In a bid to further promote the South African and Chinese people to people partnership in South Africa, Durban University of Technology (DUT), together with the DUT Confucius Institute, hosted a visit by the Vice-Premier of China, Madam Liu Yandong at DUT’s Ritson campus on Wednesday afternoon. Madam Liu handed over equipment for language laboratories at DUT and vouchers for DUT students to use to travel to China for the annual summer camp.
The Vice-Premier awarded 50 equipment pieces to be used for the DUT’s language laboratories and 100 travel vouchers for students to use when visiting China during the 2017 summer camp. The handover took place during her visit to DUT’s Confucius Institute on Wednesday, 26 April 2017. The donations were handed over at a function hosted by DUT and its Confucius Institute (CI), with Mandarin and Drama students at the Ritson Exam Hall, Ritson Campus in Durban. The handover event consisted of a photo exhibition of the CI classrooms in South Africa.
In welcoming the high-level delegation from China and the South African team which was lead by Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mdu Manana, as well as the MEC for Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Mthandeni Dlungwana; DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu said the visit was one of the greatest and crucial events to occur at DUT as the University has enjoyed many good partnerships with Chinese universities.
Deputy Minister Manana said that the ‘People-to-People exchange mechanism’ hopes to deepen mutual understanding and relations between South Africa and China, and further enhance people-to-people exchange and co-operation in the areas of culture, education, communications, health, science, technology, sports, tourism, women and youth. He stressed that DUT being part of one of the five universities in South Africa that are homes to CI’s, the visit marked a milestone for both students, the University and the Department of Education.
He applauded DUT for its work in the CI and highlighted the relationship between South Africa and China as being one that dates back to the days of Apartheid. “Our relations with the people of China date back to the time when we were fighting for our liberation. The bonds of friendship that exist between the two nations are unbreakable. As the Department of Higher Education and Training, we have committed ourselves to invest in the youth of this country, who are the future. We are happy to see the great work being done by DUT students, staff and the Confucius Institute,” said Manana.
In her keynote address, Madam Liu also shared the same sentiments as the Ministry of Education. “Setting up of the People-to-People mechanism by Chinese President Xi Jingping and South African President Jacob Zuma, marks a milestone in the history of ties between our two countries. This will not only play a major role in facilitating an understanding and friendship between the people of China and South Africa but it is an exemplary in stronger Sino-African people-to-people exchange,” she said.
Furthermore, she said she was pleased to see how South African young people fluently speak Mandarin and how they have adopted the Chinese culture through the CI’s that are in the five South African universities.