President proud to be part of forward-looking institution
THE King Bhekuzulu Hall was packed to capacity when President Jacob Zuma recently visited the University of Zululand (UNIZULU). The ceremony was a special event aimed at acknowledging his contributions during his term as chancellor from 2001 to 2009 and to honour him for his contribution to society, politics, academia, South Africa’s governance and freedom.
The event was also attended by King Goodwill Zwelithini who appealed to students to respect the elders and focus on their studies to make the country even better.
In his address, President Zuma appealed for peace and political tolerance ahead of the elections. “As we prepare for the elections we urge the people of KwaZulu-Natal not to allow themselves to be provoked towards senseless violence. We urge the political parties to work together and co-operate with the Independent Electoral Commission, to ensure peaceful elections in the province.”
He said institutions of higher learning such as UNIZULU have a critical role to play in moving the country forward through education and skills development. He said it was for this reason that the ANC government declared education as a priority in 2009.
“We are investing in education because good-quality education and training will allow more rapid economic, social and cultural development for society as a whole. We can prove our seriousness about higher education. It gets the biggest slice of the national budget,” he said.
President Zuma said the infrastructure funding allocation to UNIZULU between 2010 and 2014 amounts to R480 million. The university is reported to have also added R50.8m from its own resources for infrastructure projects. “We congratulate the university on this intervention. It makes me proud to have been a chancellor of such a forward-looking institution,” he said.
UNIZULU Chancellor and the Minister of Correctional Services, Dr Sibusiso Ndebele said under President Zuma’s leadership, education remains the apex of socio-economic development. “We salute him for his unflinching commitment to the education of the African child, especially children from impoverished, rural families,” said Ndebele.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko said: “As members of the UNIZULU community we are honoured and extremely privileged to be visited by the president who shares a common vision and patriotism that combines education, academia and political activism. UNIZULU is immensely proud of your achievements, leadership, responsible citizenry and exemplary leadership.”
The President through the Jacob G. Zuma RDP Education Trust continues to provide bursaries to 240 students at UNIZULU.
Pic2 from left: His Excellency President Jacob Zuma; Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko; Chair of Council, Mr Cyril Gamede and Chancellor and Minister of Correctional Services, Dr Sbu Ndebele.
Pic3-Chancellor and Minister of Correctional Services, Dr Sbu Ndebele; President’s Spokesperson, Mr Mac Maharaj; Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko. Council member, Mr Sbu Xulu and a few VIP guests look on.
Pic4 – Mayor of uMhlathuze and Council member, Councillor Elphas Mbatha; Staff and Council member, Ms Nomusa Mbatha; Chancellor and Minister of Correctional Services, Dr Sbu Ndebele and Director: CMD, Ms Normah Zondo
PICTURE: MACK MAKHATHINI and CHARLES NDLOVU