In addressing the challenge of youth skills and entrepreneurship development, the Durban University of Technology, together with the Dr Richard Maponya Institute for Skills and Entrepreneurship Development, held the Dr Richard Maponya Provincial Annual Lecture in KwaZulu-Natal at DUT.
The lecture, which was held at the University’s Ritson Exam Hall, DUT Ritson Campus, forms part of the Dr Richard Maponya Institute for Skills and Entrepreneurship Roadshow which began at DUT and will be heading to other universities. The partnership between DUT’s Department of Co-operative Education and the Dr Richard Maponya Institute for Skills and Entrepreneurship is not only aimed at keeping up to date with global trends on entrepreneurship, but also to achieve a thriving culture of youth entrepreneurship.
“It is DUT’s privilege and honour to be associated with an institute of this sort and a man of Dr Maponya’s stature. We are looking forward to further collaboration with the institute,” said Shakeel Ori, Director of Co-operative Education at DUT.
The institute currently has a programme for graduate employment at the University of Johannesburg that takes in 30 graduates and places them with host companies for a year where they learn and are developed into entrepreneurs. DUT will also participate in this programme and at least 30 students will be selected. The difference with the DUT programme is that it will not only focus on selecting students studying finance or within the Faculty of Management Sciences, but will be widespread to other faculties as well.
Further applauding the immense contribution of the Institute, Professor Thandwayizizwe Mthembu, Central University of Technology Vice-Chancellor, said Dr Maponya is the best example in terms of economic emancipation.
“Dr Maponya’s example shows that economic emancipation is a DIY affair. He built his business brick by brick. The residents of Soweto he served did not call on government to give them jobs and neither did he. Instead, Dr Maponya, through his businesses, created many jobs for many people in Soweto. Dr Maponya’s work ironically shows us that it is such confounding, frustrating, uncomfortable, disempowering and destabilising situations that actually breed opportunities for innovation entrepreneurship. Our interest as a university is what we can learn from Dr Maponya’s innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Prof Mthembu.
Dr Maponya’s business achievements speak volumes. He has won numerous awards including World Enterprise Award in 2008 and was a recipient of the Top 100 Companies Award: Business Times (2008), Lifetime Achievement Award and BEE Entrepreneur Award. His institute’s vision is to be the premier institute for technical skills, business administration and entrepreneurship developments. The institute strives to provide differentiating and unique value offerings to learner entrepreneurs and future corporate/business practitioners by inculcating entrepreneurship spirit and culture among South African especially youth and women.
The roadshow will in two weeks’ time, the Roadshow will move to the Vaal University of Technology, then the Free State and lastly, Western Cape.
– Noxolo Memela
Pictured: Central University of Technology Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thandwayizizwe Mthembu, receives a token of appreciation from DUT’s Council Chairman, Dr Jairam Reddy, after delivering his keynote address lecture at the Dr Richard Maponya Provincial Annual Lecture in KwaZulu-Natal.