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INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ON TRACK AT DUT

INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ON TRACK AT DUT

Durban University of Technology (DUT) is forging ahead with its commitment to enhance its campuses through two significant infrastructure projects. The first one includes a Student Centre, a Multipurpose Hall and a Parkade on the Steve Biko campus in Durban, as well as Science Building and Lecture Venues on the Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg. The other major project involves the construction of five different building facilities between the Steve Biko campus (Administration building and Papa Joes) and the Ritson campus (Innovation Hub; Health Sciences Building; Lecture Venues and Parkade).

These projects, in line with the ENVISION2030 strategy, are pivotal components of DUT’s master plan to expand its teaching and learning capacities, ensuring a conducive environment for academic excellence, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Senior Director of Real Estate Management Mr Thabani Mhlongo provided updates on the multi-million rand infrastructure development projects that are currently on the go at DUT.

Steve Biko and Indumiso building facilities

The multi-building project, spanning across the Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg and the Steve Biko campus in Durban, focuses on constructing four new facilities to accommodate the growing needs of the university community. The project includes a science building and lecture venues on the Indumiso campus, along with a multipurpose hall, parking facility and a student centre on the Steve Biko campus.

Mhlongo confirmed that “while the project had encountered delays attributed to COVID-19 and technical issues on-site, progress is underway with the contractor currently focusing on internal finishes. Despite the challenges, the project remains a beacon of local employment opportunities, with local subcontractors heavily involved in construction activities. Furthermore, DUT students whose studies were in the built environment discipline, have been provided with practical experience on the project, contributing to both their education and professional experience.” The handover of this project is expected imminently, as the contractors finalise the finishes.

Multipurpose Hall and a Parkade on the Steve Biko campus in Durban.

New Infrastructure Buildings (Ritson and Steve Biko)

Similarly, this multi-building infrastructure development, spanning the Steve Biko and Ritson campuses in Durban, aims to expand DUT’s infrastructure with the construction of five new buildings. These include an administration building, innovation hub, health sciences facility, lecture venues and structured parking.
Mhlongo highlighted that “notably, the administration building and innovation hub are both designed to meet green building standards, showcasing DUT’s commitment to sustainability. To ensure smooth project execution, DUT has implemented robust stakeholder management strategies, prioritising local stakeholders’ involvement in the construction process. Additionally, the project serves as a platform for skills development, offering students valuable hands-on experience and opportunities for professional growth.”

Despite challenges posed by the heavy rains which negatively affected the progress of the project, DUT remains optimistic about meeting project deadlines without revising the proposed timeline.

“With a dedicated focus on local engagement, sustainability and skills development, DUT is poised to transform its campuses into vibrant centres of learning, research and innovation,” said Mhlongo.

He also added that “the university appreciates the patience, understanding and support of all staff and students who may be affected and inconvenienced by the construction work on campus. Soon we will have improved facilities, as we continue to deliver on the objectives as detailed in the DUT ENVISION2030 strategy.”

As DUT continues to invest in infrastructure and development projects, the university reaffirms its commitment to providing a world-class educational experience for its students and contributing to the socio-economic growth of the region.

Pictured: Science Building and Lecture Venues on the Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg.

Alan Khan

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