VUT delegation meeting the Microsoft team
Prof Gordon Zide, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) accompanied by a selected team of staff (Dr Ramdhani, Director: Resources Mobilisation; Mr David Ramasodi, Executive Director: Information Technology Services; Dr Joe Molete, Executive Director: VUT Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUT SGSTP); Dr Anneke Harmse, Acting HoD: Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences and Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi, Director: Marketing and Public Relations) met with the newly appointed Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa, Ms Lilian Barnard and her team on Friday, 17 May 2019. The purpose of the meeting was two folds: to give context in terms of VUT’s current operations, future developments and to broaden the scope of the relationship that VUT has with Microsoft South Africa. Prof Zide also touched on recent negative media reports and the circumstances that lead the Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Dr Naledi Pandor to appoint an Assessor whose responsibility will be to submit a full report to the Minister once his investigation has been concluded.
Ms Bernard and her team responded positively to VUT for reaching out, at a time when they have been considering avenues through which they could penetrate the UoT market. She also reiterated the fact that their focus is to provide meaningful contribution in education through digital platforms. This contribution is driven through their Educational Transformation Framework, e.g. providing help and support to universities in terms of curriculum development; staff development and digitising processes. Microsoft SA will arrange a two-day workshop to be hosted at the VUT SGSTP in Sebokeng to map out how these two organisations can work together. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed once key deliverables have been outlined.
The above meeting is preceded by a meeting with Liquid Telecom South Africa (LTSA) on Monday, 29 April 2019 in Midrand. Present at the meeting were: Prof Gordon Zide, Vice-Chancellor and Principal; Dr Narissa Ramdhani, Director: Resource Mobilisation and Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi, Director: Marketing and Public Relations. This was an introductory meeting between the VUT Vice-Chancellor and Mr Rashaad Sha, CEO of LTSA and Dr Ramdhani as newly appointed Resource Mobilisation Director for VUT. VUT and LTSA signed an MoU during March 2017 during the launch of “Champion a Student Campaign” to give financial support for Information Technology B-Tech students at VUT. Prof Zide expressed his appreciation for the support VUT has received for the past two years.
Mr Rashaad Sha welcomed the visit by the VUT delegation and promised to revisit some of the committed spending and evaluate the support for VUT from 2020 through their CSI programme. Both parties agreed to re-look at VUT holistically and submit a business plan that will address the needs of VUT for consideration by LTSA over a three-year period.
All the above are linked to VUT’s strategic imperatives of funding and Resource Mobilization. These also include the establishment of the VUT Foundation and the Global Friends of VUT Project.