The historic victory of the sensational Enactus Durban University of Technology (DUT) team at the Enactus South Africa 2019 National Competition was recognised during the High Tea Celebration event held on Monday, 12 August 2019 at the Riverside Hotel in Durban.
The Enactus DUT team were crowned the national champions from the 16 competing universities at the annual Enactus National Competition held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last month (08 – 09 July 2019). They were the first University of Technology to win the competition in 2018 and now they have retained the title for the second consecutive year.
Speaking during the event, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu congratulated the team for their impressive accomplishment. He also urged them to pursue the ultimate prize when they represent South Africa in the Enactus World Cup, which is scheduled for next month (16 – 18 September 2019) at the renowned home of innovation Silicon Valley, San Jose, California (USA).
“I say this so many times here at DUT – that it’s one thing to be good, but if you think you are good and you want to brag about being good, those who are not good as yet will work very hard to be better than the good you are. So you must always strive for greatness, and greatness always comes out of pursuing excellence, you must always be on top of your game. In fact, I believe that you as our Enactus team know this very well, you know how to pursue excellence and greatness much better that many of us here because if you had thought last year you were good enough and it is time to celebrate being good, you would not be where you are today, having defended your championship,” said Prof Mthembu.
Prof Mthembu also advised the Enactus DUT team not to take their participation in this project lightly because as young people they can come up with solutions to most challenges facing our country including the poor performing economy and lack of employment opportunities.
“Given that the majority of our people who are unemployed in this country are young people between the ages of 15 and 35. If we provided the environment and opportunities that would make those young people engage productively in something that is of economic value, this country would be different. You, our Enactus students have just shown us that. The report that you gave, the opportunities that have become available as a result of your projects are testimony to what is possible in this country,” he added.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo said driving entrepreneurship is a key pillar of DUT’s strategic plan, which is the reason why the University has decided to allocate resources towards the success of the Enactus DUT team.
“In one of the sessions with the Vice-Chancellor he asked me this question: So what did they learn from the last time so that they could try to improve so that when they go back they perform better? So the VC felt that it was necessary to have this function, and also try to improve the performance of the team in September. But I would like to wish the team well for the World Cup and congratulations for retaining the National Championship,” said Prof Moyo.
One of the partners of the Enactus DUT team for its greenhouse project, Emathaleni Primary School was represented by its Principal, Bonga Mathonsi who thanked the team for choosing their school as one of the beneficiaries of their project. “When the Enactus DUT came to our school, they exposed our learners to many new innovative things, and they also educated them about the environment. So we are very grateful to the Enactus DUT team for their contribution to our school,” he said.
Enactus South Africa CEO, Letitia de Wet applauded the DUT management for supporting the Enactus DUT team, she also wished them well as they will be representing South Africa in the Enactus World Cup.
Enactus DUT President, Obed Chauke said their journey as the team has not been easy, but they persevered and made sacrifices in order to make it to where they are today. He also expressed gratitude to the DUT management for their unwavering support for the Enactus DUT team.
“Like all University students, we have a demanding course work, but we cannot sit down and hope somebody will make a change, we believe change begins with us. Yes, our academics are challenging and so is Enactus, balancing both is a huge challenge but ultimately, we seem to manage because we love Enactus,” he said.
Enactus DUT Faculty Advisor, Lana-Ann Brady thanked all partners and stakeholders for their support. “Most importantly thank you to the Enactus DUT team, you are a great inspiration and I hope that the new team will follow in your footsteps,” she said.
The Enactus DUT team members also received certificates of recognition from the Vice-Chancellor for their impressive performance.
Pictured: Enactus DUT team with some members of DUT management including the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu.