VUT APPOINTS HEAD OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
09 September 2022
The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) has appointed Dumile Mlambo as the HOD: Corporate Communications, effective 01 September 2022. This role is attached to the Advancement Department, custodian of the VUT brand image and its promotion thereof, both internally and externally.
Dumile is a Corporate Communication Professional with experience spanning more than ten years across a range of sectors – including the public service (both government and state-owned entities) as well as the higher education sector.
Dumile’s assignment at VUT is clear-cut. Alongside his team, he has been tasked with the immediate responsibility to help the university reimagine how it communicates with its diverse multi-stakeholder groups which include staff, students, council, strategic partners, and alumni community members. Drawing from his sound knowledge of the South African media landscape, coupled with an understanding of higher education, he is expected to help position the institution positively and favourably in the public domain – through proactive media engagement for improved traction on both traditional and new media.
He joins the VUT family from the South African Medical Council (SAMRC), where he served as its Public Relations Manager at its headquarters in Cape Town. The SAMRC is an entity of government whose mandate is improving the nation’s health through research and innovation. In addition to identifying touchpoints to communicate the work of the organisation effectively, Dumile found it more fulfilling to apply his insight into creative writing, editing, and proofreading. This passion enabled him to craft compelling content and break down complex scientific data into simple jargon-free messages for a variety of audiences, particularly the public, to impact their lives positively.
Born 35-years ago in Itsoseng, a dusty township 40 kilometers outside Mahikeng, North West province, Dumile is no stranger to the higher education setting as a working environment. He brings experience and knowledge from Stellenbosch University, where he served as Communications and Marketing Coordinator, and the North-West University’s Mafikeng and Vaal campuses, where he served as a Digital Communications Officer and Internal Communications Officer, respectively. He also brings along knowledge of government communications, having been part of the communications team that played an instrumental role in the paradigm shift process of the Department of Human Settlements from then Housing – a period which he says required a great deal of organisational change communication and stakeholder engagement.
Asked why he returned to higher education and VUT specifically; he says having served at three different campuses of two South African universities, he grew fond of the sector and couldn’t resist when his name was called for this assignment. “I am passionate about education and higher education. Although the dynamics may have changed since I left, I look forward to contributing differently and more impactfully for the betterment of the VUT, and more, to being a part of the process of repositioning it as an African university that leads in quality teaching and learning, informed by research and driven by innovation and technology,” he said.
Acknowledging the mammoth task that lies ahead, he emphasises that he draws much comfort in knowing that he inherits a vibrant team that brings to the table a variety of individual strengths and that all he has to do is harness them for the project at hand. He concludes that as a professional that embodies a collaborative approach to all his work, he enjoys strategy development as much as he wants to roll up his sleeves to get the job done.
In welcoming him, the Executive Director for the Advancement department, Ms Tandi Mapukata, said his appointment comes at a critical time when the university is in the process of rolling out several facets of its renewal project: including the promotion and implementation of the recently relaunched VUT brand image. All of the above entail an institutional journey which draws considerable strength from the corporate communication function which he leads.
“We welcome Dumile on board the Advancement ship. He brings along a youthful vibrancy, coupled with rich knowledge of the higher education sector and the marketing communications profession. He is undoubtedly an asset to VUT,” said Tandi.
Welcome to the VUT Family, Dumile!!!