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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) recently signed a 5-year agreement with the National School of Government (NSG) to perform various education, training and development functions for the public sector. The signing ceremony was held at the NSG offices in Tshwane, last Thursday, 3 June 2021.

DUT was one of the 10 South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who attended the signing ceremony, to seal the partnership which will accelerate the delivery of education, training and development programmes aimed at expanding the skills base of the public sector. The partnership agreements were signed by the Principal of the National School of Government, Busani Ngcaweni, with senior executives of the ten institutions. Representing DUT at the ceremony was Professor Fulufhelo Netswera, Executive Dean: Faculty of Management Sciences.

The ten institutions namely DUT, University of Fort Hare, Nelson Mandela University, University of Pretoria, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, Rhodes Business School, North West University, Stellenbosch University and University of Free State were selected after responding to a call for partnership made by NSG last year, 2020.

Prof Netswera said at the signing ceremony, the NSG made emphasis that it can best deliver its programmes in partnerships with Higher Education Institutions. He emphasised that the NSG’s priority is professionalism of the public sector.

“To this effect, no senior government officials like Chief Directors, Deputy Director Generals and Director Generals will be appointed if they have not gone through the NSG training to familiarize them with public governance ethics and other important legislations. This agreement fully supports DUT’s ENVISION2030 in that, in partnership with our important stakeholder (government) we shall ensure that we have a future capable and competent state, which in turn will benefit both the Higher Education sector and members of the general public in terms of service delivery,” said Prof Netswera.

According to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement at DUT, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, DUT is ecstatic to have been chosen as one of the key partners.

“This is one of the most strategic partnerships DUT has brokered this year. It forms part of DUT’s ENVISION2030 aspirations and DNA, that is, ensuring its people are innovative and entrepreneurial as well as being people centred and engaged. The NSG responds to the dictates of the South African Constitution, the National Development Plan, AU Agenda 2063 and UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in as far as building capable and well-governed institutions is concerned. DUT similarly, through its strategy, also aspires to contribute to skills training and to the SDGs, NDP2030 and Agenda 2063 through quality training and creating sustainable communities. Good governance plays a big role and through DUT’s Faculties of Management Sciences, Accounting and Informatics, for instance, there are opportunities to further collaborate to the NSG aspirations and ensure we contribute to national building,” said Prof Moyo.

She thanked the team that worked on the proposal led by Prof Colin Thakur, DUT’s Director for the Short Courses Unit and Prof Netswera for representing the University’s Executive Team at the signing ceremony.

Speaking on this achievement, Prof Thakur who led the team that worked on the winning proposal said: “Our continual journey upward trajectory as a world class university demands that we up our game to tackle and deliver projects of national consequence. To this end we have responded to the National School of Governance (NSG), call for proposals. This was a massive undertaking within a short frame of time. The scope of the project includes curriculum co-creation, programme development, expert input in digitalisation and innovation, provide coaching and mentoring services and finally to undertake research. The project goals are to improve leadership, governance and accountability, nurture a functional, efficient and integrated government; and enable a professional, meritocratic and ethical public administration.”

Furthermore, Prof Thakur said the fact that only 10 institutions made the qualifying stage is testament to DUT’s resolute effort. He said the 5-year duration of the contract demonstrates how seriously DUT and NSG views the partnership. According to Prof Thakur, the hard work now begins, making emphasis that the scope, scale and size of the engagement will see many facets of the DUT involved at various stages.

Pictured: DUT’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof Fulufhelo Netswera with the Principal of the National School of Government, Mr Busani Ngcaweni at the signing ceremony.

Simangele Zuma

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