By Staff Reporter – 9 September 2021
The Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) programme has experienced sustained decline in student enrolments for the past five (5) academic years. In response to this decline in student numbers and to reverse this trend, the NDT staff together with the Advisory Board Committee members, consisting of several industry stakeholders, has embarked on an initiative of requesting companies for student tuition sponsorships and donations. Donated funds and targeted sponsorship would then be used as ‘vehicles’ to enrol more students, particularly the first-time entering (FTEN). This initiative is still at its infancy and is to be expanded to guarantee the sustainability of the programme.
Mr Gabriel Sebothoma, Managing Director of Monalebo Engineering Services (MES), an NDT service provider company, through his Helping Hand Foundation, is the first to respond to this request and donated R180 000. The donation process was facilitated through the Resource Mobilization Department at VUT. The funding has since been allocated to three (3) NDT students in June 2021, who can be termed the ‘missing middle’ in higher education.
It is the first time Helping Hand Foundation donates to VUT, however, MES has been working with VUT NDT for several years, by offering Work Integrated Learning (WIL) to students. Mr Sebothoma has also served two terms – 2016 to 2018 and 2019 to 2020 – on the VUT NDT Advisory Board Committee with him being the chairperson in the 1st term. Although, he has since resigned being a member of the Advisory Board Committee, he continues to support all endeavours that seek to advance VUT NDT and its integral impact in the industry.
“As the NDT department, we are grateful for the interminable support from MES. It is this kind of support that keeps us going despite all the challenges that we face. Your efforts will not be in vain, the society that you are uplifting through the sponsorship will contribute greatly to the enhancement of the NDT fraternity and South Africa as a whole,” concluded Ms Ngele Nyambeni: NDT Programme Coordinator.