Laying the foundations: The Civil Engineering lecturers and S4 Students with Coach Mshengu
On 26 October, Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Civil Engineering lecturers and S4 Students went to Lehutso Primary School in Sasolburg – Zamdela to level the ground on which a sports field will be constructed. This is part of a project undertaken by the VUT ladies’ soccer team coach, Mr Mshengu in partnership with the Civil Engineering Department. The project entails benchmarking a sports field for the community.
Coach Mshengu approached Professor George Ochieng, the Head of Department (HOD) of Civil Engineering. Prof Ochieng then appointed Mr Kabelo Gaborone who is a lecturer and Ms Machiveyi Chapinduka who is a lab technician to manage the project and ensure its success.
Coach Mshengu, who also happens to be a teacher at the primary school, said after school hours he coaches the VUT ladies’ soccer team – being a coach at the university inspired him to come up with the idea of having the school grounds levelled, and thought it best to gain the assistance of VUT’s civil engineering experts to make preparations on levelling the ground to construct the field, so that it looks similar to Isak Steyl Stadium. “The vision I have for these kids is to play in a field that will allow them to develop and enhance their skill in sports,” Coach Mshengu said.
Kabelo and Machiveyi both agreed that this project is the first of its kind by the department and that it has the potential to be a great tool to enhance learning for the students. “Rather than showing the students in class how to do the work, the students went to a school that actually exists and they saw a project from start through to its conclusion,” Machiveyi said. Engineering surveying is a subject taught at the university. “Working on campus grounds has its benefits, however, the students went as far as seeing the land being levelled and the TLB doing its job until the grounds translated the results of the survey,” Kabelo added.