VUT staffer, in the Top 3 of the crèmes de la crème women leaders in SA higher education

By: Puleng Maphisa – 15 september 2023

When Ms. Kediemetse Mokotsi, the Acting Executive Director for the Advancement Department at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) joined higher education twenty-eight years ago, little did she know that she would one day be among the remarkable women leaders making strides in the sector.

Back then, as a young zealous woman all she wanted to do was make a decent living while contributing minimally to the sector and the development of others within her reach without expecting anything in return. But as fate would have it, the universe had other plans for her – and today she has an award to show for it.

On 7 September 2023 she was called to ascend the stage at glitzy and glamourous gala dinner in Cape Town to receive the Higher Education Resource Service – South Africa (HERS-SA) Higher Education Women Leaders Award (HEWLA). This, after securing third position in the Woman in Academic Administration (WiA) category out of more than two hundred and eighteen (218) other exceptional calibre of all nominees from across the length and breadth of the country – including twenty-six universities.

These inaugural awards celebrate the remarkable achievements of women leaders who have consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership in the higher education sector for a minimum of four years. Nominees are specifically recognized for their contributions to academic administration, which may include innovative interventions, practices that enhance institutional performance, peer mentoring, and community engagement activities such as school visits and mentoring projects for the underprivileged.

During her interview, Ms. Mokotsi expressed her deep appreciation for the opportunities provided by HERS-SA, allowing her to gain invaluable knowledge from accomplished women in high-profile positions. These experiences further fuelled her passion to contribute even more to her field. The award served as a profound revelation, highlighting the significance of her work and its profound impact on people’s lives.

On winning the award, she said “I believe in changing one life at a time. I am grateful that my efforts have borne fruit. I eagerly look forward to participating in more of these awards, aiming to continually excel. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the HERS-SA academy for presenting this opportunity and for establishing this award, which will inspire other women to strive for excellence in their respective fields. As women, we must support one another and foster a spirit of empowerment.”

She also expressed gratitude to the divine for making this accomplishment possible, emphasizing her commitment to selfless service without expecting anything in return. Ms. Mokotsi acknowledged her colleagues at VUT, particularly Prof. Grobler, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Computer Science, for nominating her in this category, and Ms. Faith Mocoancoeng for her unwavering support and motivation. She also recognized those who submitted testimonials and the dedicated team behind the scenes who provided essential information.

Ms. Mokotsi concluded by attributing her spirit of giving to her late mother Mrs Dorah Dimakatso Mokotsi and the late Professor Kotie Grové, who introduced her to the world of fundraising for needy communities. She expressed heartfelt appreciation to the sponsors who have continually supported her endeavours.

VUT takes immense pride in Ms. Mokotsi’s achievements and eagerly anticipates more accolades not only from her but also from other members of the institution.