alumni relations takes pride in celebrating the success of our alumni I am told that one of the contributing factors earning Universities a prestigious status is that they either have a Medical School or have an excellent Alumni Relations program. If the statement is anything to go by, at the Durban University of Technology, since we donâ€™t have a Medical School as yet, we have to invest a considerable amount of energy consolidating our relationship with you - our valued Alumni. This magazine is one of the critical investments we are making in order to keep you CONNECTed to DUT, your Alma Mater.
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Getting to know the Vice Chancellor A Hole in One: Golf day Vusi Mazibuko, The Commonwealth Games Nomsa Mahlangu: Women in Sport The Sport of DUT: DUT radio Bianca Warren: Fashion Designer Zoliswa Nodada: Catering for Success Better Health For All: DUT Clinic Cassim Vanker: Information Technology Trends CCPE: Lifelong Learning
The purpose of the publication is not only to keep you informed on the developments at your University but also to contribute to your quest for continuous professional development and life long learning.We will take every opportunity to follow and celebrate Alumni that fly the DUT flag through their achievements. I therefore call upon each one of you to help keep this magazine circulating by sharing your success stories and other ideas. We want to keep you connected with your former classmates, Professors and other DUT Alumni. If you are a graduate of former Technikon Natal, ML Sultan Technikon, Durban Institute of Technology or Indumiso College of Education, you are an Alumnus of the current DUT. Make a point to update your details with the Alumni Relations Department so that we can either post or email the magazine to you. Send us your updated contact details to Alumni@dut. ac.za or through our update-your-detail link on our website: www.dut.ac.za/alumni. We are looking forward to hearing from you. If you are a DUT graduate or know a DUT graduate who is doing great things, email us on Alumni@dut.ac.za. If you have any news, about your career, your family life and any awards that you have received â€“ share them with us so that we can proudly share the news on CONNECT. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Mosimanegape David Sedumedi Manager Development and Alumni Relations
Publisher: Durban University of Technology Editorial Leader: Mosimanegape David Sedumedi Editorial team: Alan Khan, Sinegugu Ndlovu,Vasantha Govender Editorial support: DUT Corporate Affairs including the Marketing and Communications Department Administration Support: Zandile Ndlovu, DUT Development and Alumni Relations Layout and Design: Truth Advertising Journalist: Shirley Le Guern Disclaimer: This magazine is published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure that the information was true and correct at the time of going to print. Contact: DUT Alumni Relations Office 10 Botanic Avenue Durban South Africa Tel: +27 31 373 3020 www.dut.ac.za
Getting to know the ViCe chancellor
“People know me as the VC but not necessarily as an academic. Many have no idea of what I did and what I do as a particle physicist. Particle physicists study the fundamental particles out of which everything in the Universe is constituted and the fundamental forces between these particles. What that means is that I study what the universe is made up of,” explains Professor Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor of DUT. He received his Ph.D in Theoretical Physics at Durham University in the UK and acknowledges that he has worked with academics across the world on joint research projects. Prior to joining DUT in August 2010, he was part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hunter College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Centre, both in the City University of New York. He began his journey through academia as a laboratory assistant at the University of Natal and then as junior lecturer at UD-W. He has also served as the Program Officer for Higher Education in Africa with the Ford Foundation. You’d be forgiven for feeling a little daunted by his many achievements – in addition to serving on a number of science and technology and higher education policy development teams during and after the nineties, he was an inaugural member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation until 2002. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa as well as the Academy of Science of South Africa, served as Chair of the Board of the Foundation for Research Development, was Vice-Chair of Atomic Energy Corporation board and served on the boards of Telkom and Sanlam. He is also an approachable, forthright and passionate man who has a special heart for the students that he and DUT serve. It is near impossible for him to separate his quest for delivering a truly student-centred university from his broader professional
path. As he surprisingly points out, not many South African universities put their students first. In fact, most “aren’t nice to students”. More recently, a lot of Prof Bawa’s work has been on the role of universities in society and trying to understand how universities can take up big societal challenges. For example, understanding the role of universities in South Africa in addressing issues of nation building and trying to understand how research systems can be geared to addressing big social problems. Closely aligned with this and what he recognises as one of his most fascinating challenges is ensuring that the University works best for its students. As he explains, many are first time higher education learners in their families. “We need to be particularly concerned with how the university can provide these young people with a good environment in which to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally”, he points out. They come to university as 18 year olds. We live in a very challenging society. Our purpose is not just to produce accountants or engineers, but to develop well-formed human beings who can be good, responsible citizens and contribute to strengthening our democracy.” This standpoint has evolved during an extensive career in administration. Whilst working overseas, Prof Bawa grappled with issues that impact on tertiary education. The nine years he spent as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Natal/University of KwaZulu-Natal provided firsthand experience. He says he took the position as vice chancellor at DUT because it presented him with a wonderful opportunity. “It’s a very new University and the challenge has been trying to understand how to get the institution to function as a University (rather than
“A quest for delivering a truly student centred university”
a technikon). It’s about creating something new.” Prof Bawa grew up and went to school in the Midlands town of Greytown, initially living there with his grandmother but eventually commuting to and from his parents’ home in nearby village of Seven Oaks. “When I got to matric, physics wasn’t on offer there. It was only when I got to medical school that it suddenly dawned on me that physics was what I really wanted to study,” he recalls. An about turn saw him return to take up a job in Greytown whilst studying part-time through UNISA.
essentially also carries the responsibility of overseeing the running of an extremely complex business with a turnover of about R1,1-billion. A university is a complex organisation, he acknowledges, which requires him to engage with a wide variety of issues – from hospitality issues for the almost one third of students that live in residences, to student safety, to unexpected occurrences such as student strikes and protests.
Although he admits that these student actions can often be trying, he also sees another side. “There’s no Then came what he terms “the remarkable fortune” reasoning or logic when these things happen but, having of being offered a job by the University of Natal in said that, it’s also interesting.What one sees during these Pietermaritzburg as a laboratory assistant which gave times is the emergence of leadership. You see students him an opportunity to complete his degree in physics trying to grapple with issues. It’s part of university life and add an honours degree. Then, he was offered a to make sure that students have an opportunity to job by the famous Prof Krish Baruth-Ram at the then demonstrate and march. It’s a part of their growing up.” University of Durban Westville as a junior lecturer. He At present, he is focusing on the four strategic areas says he felt that this was almost a calling. “Being a physics that have been mapped out for the DUT going forward. academic was what I wanted to do. I love teaching. It’s The first is to build sustainable student communities of about engaging with young people, finding new ways of living and learning – which goes back to creating a good getting what I think is a difficult subject across and just learning environment for his charges. He points out that seeing the kind of understandings emerging. students’ lives aren’t divisible into inside and It’s always a nice thing to experience. It’s outside the classroom.The emphasis should “We’ll be still very much like that even though I’m not be on treating students as full human beings spending in the classroom anymore though I have a who are developing in a complex, challenging yearning to get back to the classroom. I do environment. Second is to build research about R600 miss it a lot.” and innovation for development so that the million on work of the University impacts on crucial intrastructure To keep his love for teaching alive, Prof quality of life issues such as the availability development ” Bawa is now looking at the possibility of water, energy and food security as well as of offering a general education course, meet the needs of industry. possibly entitled “Science and Society” in the near future. This leads on to another issue about The third one is building a learning organisation within which he is deeply concerned. Science is not popular an external environment that he describes as changing with young people which is why DUT is embarking on at the speed of light. This will allow DUT to be relevant, recurriculation projects. Part of this is to introduce responsive and resilient in this context of vast change. general education which means that at least 30 percent The fourth area is building a sustainable university. of every curriculum at DUT will encapsulate what he 20 years from now, he wants to see DUT “in a good terms a general education opportunity for students. The position” with well-maintained infrastructure. Currently, plan is for every student to do a mathematics course he is enjoying watching extensive construction on although this will be tailored to the specific area of study campus – some right next to his office. “Between last – for example, Engineers will do this automatically as it is year and next year, we’ll be spending about R600 milllion integral to their courses. Management sciences students on infrastructure development mainly due to grants will do a course better tailored to their needs. “We from the Department of Higher Education,” he says. want to try and inculcate in our graduates some level Overall, Prof Bawa says he loves his job, although he does of skill in mathematical reasoning. It’s almost unthinkable have plans for a career after he has made a meaningful for a young person to go through 12 years of schooling contribution to the well-being of DUT. “I would love to and two years at university and not have some level of go back to physics for a while. I would like to teach and competence in mathematics, some exposure to applied do research again,” he adds. “I also read a lot because philosophy, some exposure to literature, to writing and one has to read. There’s so much going on in the world. communication courses and so on. We all know that I enjoy listening to music and then, whenever I can, I try the basic education system isn’t really functioning as well to watch art movies which I love. I try to walk on the as it could, so its about looking at how to fill this gap. beach often and, perhaps most importantly, try to write. Our programmes have to be sensitive to the fact that It is mostly academic stuff but also, from time to time, I students aren’t coming with all the requisite skills for have dabbled with poetry and short stories - but there’s higher education that one would expect,” he says. On just not enough time for everything.” the subject of practical responsibilities, Prof Bawa says he
Although government’s investment in tertiary education has increased from zero to R9-billion, this is still not enough to put every deserving student in class, says Wiseman Madinane President of the DUT Convocation. He has spearheaded the creation of a bursary fund that has been supported by a highly successful annual golf day over the past three years. This year’s event, which saw 84 golfers tee off and featured 10 major corporate sponsors, is evidence of just how well this event has been supported. The initial event had around 50 participants. He says the convocation started its bursary fund as a “Give a Tiger” Campaign based on the slang for R10. The idea was for the approximately 60 000 graduates over the past 10 years to donate just R10 a month which would make a marked difference to supporting students who were battling to pay their fees. What they didn’t expect was the huge challenge it would be to track and trace DUT Alumni. Their next idea was to host a charity golf day in Gauteng where Madinane says the majority of DUT graduates work.This would also facilitate contributions from those who had not studied at the DUT but still wanted to contribute. “We specifically wanted the money raised to go into a fund to provide scholarships for needy and deserving students. We have run the golf day for three years. The last one which was only a few weeks ago was very successful,” he said. In fact, it was so successful that he says the Convocation is planning to extend it to a second event in the DUT’s home town. At present, monies raised via the golf day fund two different campaigns – the bursary fund and the One Meal a Day Campaign which started late last year. “We realised that there are some students who actually go to class on an empty stomach, so we created a fund to deposit money on to their student cards so that they can access meals like every other sponsored or funded students.We didn’t want their dignity to be compromised. We don’t want a soup kitchen where the poor students queue up, so we have packaged it in a way that is embedded into the system of the institution. It has kicked off very well,” he says. When it comes to bursaries, he says the Convocation raised funds are combined with monies provided via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), a statutory body funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training which provides study loans
to academically able but financially needy students. The idea was to avoid duplication and keep down costs. The criteria for selection are the same, so the Convocation is happy to provide the funding which the NSFAS disperses and manages on its behalf. Overall, he says, it is a very humbling experience to give back to the DUT. “There’s no value that I can attach to the fulfilment I get in serving DUT in the various ways that I do at this current point in time.” Madinane describes himself as “a Durban boy” who graduated from DUT in 1993 with a qualification in Chemical Engineering. He joined pulp and paper giant, Mondi, where he progressed through the ranks from trainee to Executive Director over a 12 period. After resigning, he remained as a Non-Executive Director for the next two years. However, he remained in the paper industry, buying stakes in a variety of smaller companies. Eight years on, when the industry was struggling and he had a yearning to do something completely different, he began consulting and then joined Anglo Zimele, Anglo American’s empowerment and business development initiative. Here, he served as a mentor, guiding and putting troubled companies back on their feet. 2012 marked another big change for Madinane. He re-joined the corporate world, this time as an executive manager with Transnet Freight Rail where he is responsible for container and automotive transportation along the Natcor corridor between Durban and Gauteng. However, throughout, he admits that he never really left the DUT. From 2000, he was Chairperson of the Chemical Engineering Department advisory board. He went on to become a member of the executive of the Convocation of which he became president in 2013. He was also asked to represent the Convocation as one of the constituencies on council. From there, he went on to being elected the deputy chair of council. At repent, he also chairs the subcommittee of council for human resources and he serves on the audit committee and Council Exco. “My appeal to Alumni who are now employed is to consider themselves lucky and realise that there are students in the queue at DUT for food or because they do not know how to pay for the next semester. I think we owe it to ourselves to dig deep and make a difference,” he concludes.
Chance to Host the Commonwealth Games
Could Durban host the Commonwealth Games? Definitely, says Vusi Mazibuko, General Manager of Durban’s landmark Moses Mabhida Stadium and one of a delegation that travelled to Glasgow to experience this year’s event. “When I was in Glasgow, I realised that sport plays a big part in mobilising people, creating opportunities and building social cohesion. Glasgow was clear about the legacies they wanted (to leave behind),” he says. This, he recalls, was palpable in the streets of the city. The energy and enthusiasm was evident in the attendance and enthusiasm. “The theme was ‘People make Glasgow’ and everyone fell in love with that and lived it,” he says, adding that he has never been greeted so many times as a visitor walking through a city. At this point, Vusi is only prepared to offer a personal opinion given the sensitivities surrounding whether or not Durban will crack the nod for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 or even the Olympic Games further down the track. He says that although the intention to bid has been expressed, it is still early days and a final decision needs to be made. At present, he points out, there are two schools of thought. The first is that Durban should bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 as a precursor to a bid to host the Olympics. The second is that Durban should go for gold and bid for just the Olympics. Either way, Vusi believes that Durban has a special offering and will be the perfect host for an international sporting event of this stature. In his opinion, the city is an obvious choice for a number of reasons. For starters, Durban has built a reputation and has shown that it has the capacity to host major events that extend from sporting events to high profile world conferences. Durban welcomed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1999, the African Union launched in Durban in July 2002, the Durban ICC was the venue of choice for the International AIDS Congress in 2000 (plus the upcoming one in 2016)
as well as COPE 17, the Fifth BRICS summit and more. Then there was the 1995 Rugby World Cup and various Super 15 fixtures, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 20089 IPL, the Comrades Marathon and the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. “The list is endless. It is on the record that Durban was the best host city in 2010 with the best public viewing areas. We can illustrate that we can host,” he stresses. Then there is the political will to host an event such as the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics. “For any event of major magnitude, you need politicians to be at the forefront. Durban has the support of politicians across the entire political spectrum with a council decision to position Durban as an events destination. “That goes a long way. The consequences of a lack of political support and leadership would be dire for a decision like this,” Vusi points out. Next on his list is the fact that Durban has the required infrastructure. In fact, the city has already invested R3,4 billion in sport. “If we were to host the Commonwealth Games, only minor adjustments would be needed to facilitate this,” he says. Each Commonwealth Games host city has to cater for 10 compulsory sporting codes and then can choose an additional seven based on the culture and facilities of their country / city. Durban’s ICC could accommodate seven indoor codes, the Moses Mabhida stadium would be home to athletics with the required warm up facilities just across the road. Kings Park is there for rugby sevens. Durban has an Olympic sized swimming pool, our beaches are perfect for beach volley ball and have hosted international events.The Valley of a Thousand Hills would be an ideal site for mountain biking. Again, the list is endless. For Vusi, the only shortcoming within the Moses Mabhida precinct is a lack of an athletes’ village. However, Durban is the only city with two golf courses close to the sports precinct. A village could be located on one and would be close enough for athletes to walk to venues. Of course, Moses Mabhida itself is the trump card. “Within the precinct is a venue that defines the city. In the international space, if you show footage of the stadium, people know that it is Durban in the same way
that people identify London with the London Bridge or the pyramids with Egypt. Moses Mabhida has redefined the image of Durban,” he says. Although the stadium was built for soccer and 2010, the designers provided for minor upgrades to host athletics events from the outset. With a proven record, he believes it would be the logical logistical headquarters for the Commonwealth Games. According to Vusi, an added advantage has to be Durban’s mild winter weather. Both the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics are hosted between July and August. This time of year would be like summer for the Europeans and a cooler option for African athletes. He says that the main impetus for a city to host sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics is a desire to address important shortcomings and leave a legacy in the same way as the 2010 FIFA World Cup left the city with a top notch stadium and revamped beachfront promenade. “The reason for any city to host an event of this nature is because there is something that they want to address. For us, in Durban, we could use either or both events as catalysts for urban regeneration.” He believes that the Commonwealth Games would leave behind a stronger road network, would motivate Durban to address its public transport limitations and give new impetus to putting in place the planned rapid transport system. Then there’s the issue of generating employment before, during and after the event. Again, the FIFA World Cup provides an example. The precursor to the Moses Mabhida stadium was a small soccer venue that employed just five people. Today, the stadium provides 144 permanent jobs as well as temporary employment during events. “After hosting the Commonwealth Games, the city of Durban will never be the same,” Vusi sums up. For a dedicated Durbanite and sports enthusiast, this means a great deal. “My passion has always been sport. I started to do sports administration at the age of 14 in Umlazi where we formed a soccer club called the Scorpions. I ultimately ended up serving on the executive of the Umlazi Football Association. That was the beginning of a journey for me.” The next stop was ML Sultan and the DUT where he studied towards a Diploma in Public Management from the then ML Sultan Technikon and
then a BTech in Public Management at the DUT. Both stood him in good stead during the rest of the career. At the DUT, he was both a student and an employee and served on a number of institutional bodies and committees. As Sports Officer at the ML Sultan campus, the head of head of student life when the tertiary institutions merged to form the DIT and Head of Student Governance and development for the DUT, Vusi believes he not only faced special challenges but benefitted from exposure to a wide variety of sporting codes. This helped him to understand the magnitude and scope of sport in general. “I could have chosen to stick to football. But when I joined the city in 2003 as Director of Sports Development and Recreation, I knew that one could not focus on a single sport. Everyone has a different passion and makes different choices. You need to provide the infrastructure and services so they can excel in their sport of choice,” he says. Whilst responsible for sport in the city, he project managed the 2005 SA Games, the provincial games in 2007, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) games between 2005 and 2011, sat on the 2010 FIFA World Cup committee responsible for the mobilising communities and was head of AFCON Durban host city last year. With the resulting extensive knowledge of different sporting codes, he was a good choice for the position as Assistant General Manager of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in 2013. He took over as General Manager at the beginning of this year. With a repertoire like this, Vusi could apply for a job anywhere in the world and has been offered jobs from far and wide. But he is adamant that he isn’t going anywhere. Instead, he is looking forward to seeing Durban reach its full potential as a destination city as it works towards hosting a high profile international sporting event such as the Commonwealth Games or even the Olympics. “We have our own unique advantages and character. We don’t want to be Glasgow or Melborne. We want to be Durban - a city which people can be proud.”
Nomsa Mahlangu has many titles to her name. Not only is she the Head of the DUT’s Department of Sports Administration, but has also been a national executive committee member of the South African Football Association since 2009, a director of the 2013 AFCON organising committee, the chairperson of the SAFA Commercial, Marketing, Media Strategic Studies and International Affairs and a member of the SASCOC Sport and Environment Commission since 2010. Yet, in her own words, she is primarily a sports activist. Unpacking that isn’t easy. She is not about simply getting more women athletes over the finishing line or ensuring that women’s sport is higher profile. Her vision is to empower women to embrace sport in a far more meaningful way. The reason that she works for a tertiary institution, she says, is to use sport to fight social ills and empower young people. A quick look at the depressing statistics that show that these social ills usually impact women the most helps you realise where this is heading.
proficiency in sport is a stepping stone to far more wide ranging opportunities
“My passion for sport hinges on the fact that it is not only something that is seen or something that you do for leisure but that it can play a major role in society,” she explains, pointing to the importance placed on sport as a nation builder by Nelson Mandela. “Sport means different things to different people and plays different roles in different lives. Sport is very complex even though it seems simple,” she suggests. Although she is primarily associated with soccer, her promotion of sport is more wide ranging – from being involved in a football development programme along with M-Net to encouraging local lifesaving champions Carmel Billson and Lee Geeson from the DUT as they competed in France.
back. Nomsa is no stranger to grit and determination. As a student at the then Vista University in Mamelodi, she decided to become involved in the male dominated sport of football. “I got where I am today because I also took a conscious decision that I would get involved in football and would one day make it to the sport’s national executive level,” she says.
She encountered many road blocks en route and even remembers male soccer players discounting her advice as “a woman doesn’t know anything about soccer.” As a sports administrator, she admits that she has had to work five times as hard as her male counterparts but quickly adds that in an environment such as this, it is important to know when to hold back and when to fight for what Nomsa also believes that proficiency in sport is a you believe in. Here perseverance certainly never went stepping stone to far more wide ranging opportunities unnoticed. She was nominated for the 2011 SA Sports and spends a great deal of her personal time organising Awards Sports Administrator of the Year and during the bursaries for promising sports people. This is closely same year, she scooped CEO Magazine’s Most Influential aligned to the Vice Chancellors vision Women in Business and Government of making the DUT student centred and award. Her association with SAFA she believes that contributing to the started during her student days at overall well-being of talented athletes Vista University, a tertiary institution is not done on the training field but founded during the apartheid era and “Sport is very through taking time out to listen and ultimately closed and merged into other complex even advise young people. “I don’t believe in universities. Ultimately, she graduated making appointments. My door is open with a Bachelor of Leisure Sciences though it seems and I like to solve things straight away,” (Event and Facility Management) and a simple” she says. BA Hons in Human Movement Science (Sports and Recreation) from the She adds that mentoring successful University of Free State. young players as they make critical decisions is also important recounting But her heart was in football and in the difficult decision by Banyana Banyana 1996, she took on the position of captain, Amanda Dlamini, to give up her captaincy but General Secretary of the South African Student Sports continue to play in order to have more time to devote Union Football (SASSU) nationally. Between the nineties to her studies. However, what concerns her most is and early two thousands, she served in various positions that many girls don’t get the opportunity to play sport here. In 2009, she became chairperson of SAFA women’s in the first place because of deeply entrenched cultural Football and dedicated herself to growing football. During norms and views. “Society dictates how we must behave her tenure – which extended until 2013 - the women’s as women. There are unwritten rules. Society closes out national football Under-17 (U-17) team qualified for the women and women accept this and are not willing to FIFA World Cup U-17 and Banyana Banyana qualified for push boundaries. As mothers, we need to ensure that the Olympics. One of the highlights of her career was we give opportunities to our girls,” she says citing the undoubtedly her involvement as director of the 2010 example of young girls being expected to return from FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee. These school to do chores while young boys can play sport. days, she has extended her love for soccer to encompass Women also need more role models in sport – people all sports and the young people taking part. She has no like captain of the Proteas netball team Bongiwe Msomi specific plans for her own future at this point. However, or paralympic swimmer, Natalie du Toit who persevered speaking more broadly she says she would love to see against massive odds. not only the DUT, but South Africa as a nation, investing more in sport and encouraging young people to take Most of all, though, she says that young South African part. Sport she says can heal a nation and a healthy women need to want to succeed badly enough and believe nation means fewer resources need to go into healthcare that they can. Closely aligned with that is discipline, hard which can only be a plus for a developing country such work and being prepared to pick yourself up when things as South Africa. don’t go as planned. An athlete like Caster Semenya who didn’t make the South African Commonwealth Games team needs to take this as inspiration to fight her way
Radio DUT is the first online campus radio station in KwaZulu-Natal and, despite being just a few months old, has already set its sights on being the best campus radio station in South Africa. In just three words, station founder and head, Sbu Nxumalo describes it as fun, fresh and vibey and a perfect fit with the technical identity and brand that is the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
Although he has a public relations and marketing background, Nxumalo says his love for radio saw him trying to find a place in established commercial stations. When this fell flat, he dreamt up his own. He took his idea to Dean of Student Services, Amar Singh. “We worked together. He was an important part of this journey. I was just a student. I had the creativity and the passion. He helped me with the structure.”
“Radio DUT is the official in-house radio station of the DUT. Our mission is to provide quality information and entertainment that speaks directly to the needs of the DUT community. This is a diverse, vibrant and wellinformed radio station that seeks to empower students before, during and after their academic careers,” he explains. While that might seem a little on the formal side, the laughter, friendliness and excitement both inside the studio and out resonates with the energy and passion of Nxumalo who came up with the idea for Radio DUT whilst completing his second year internship as part of his B Tech degree with the DUT’s student services division.
It was that structure that evolved into a sound foundation
and the extremely detailed business plan that Nxumalo still keeps in his desk drawer.The six months of research and hard work was hectic but worth it, he admits. Armed with his business plan and the belief that he had a 50/50 chance of getting approval, he presented his concept to the DUT’s executive management committee. The end result was the launch of Radio DUT in June.
between the different campuses in order to create a common DUT culture. There is a 20 strong team behind the station which comprises 13 presenters that drive the shows and others who are co-hosts and are regularly rotated as shows are reviewed and refreshed.
Although not as colourful as the funky and bright studio and image of the station, one of the key success factors is a foundation that sees Radio DUT run as a business in its own right with alternative revenue streams identified to make it sustainable and ease any financial burden on the DUT. This happens in liaison with the student services division and Nxumalo says he constantly refers to the station’s mentor when determining strategies or doing any planning.
In in addition to running the station, the well-knit Radio DUT production team also puts together DUT advertisements that are aired on commercial radio stations.
He says they are working extremely hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders – from sponsors and potential advertisers to those that are interviewed. So far, he says, there has been extremely positive feedback, especially from musicians featured on the station. Radio DUT is streamed to all seven DUT campuses, including Pietermaritzburg. This helps bridge any gaps
“We challenge ourselves every day,” he says.
Radio DUT offers invaluable opportunities for students studying media related courses to gain work experience. Nxumalo would like it to become both a provider and repository of skills in KwaZulu-Natal. “Radio DUT is an outlet for the creative skills and energies of its community. There is a lot of talent at this institution and we need to tap into this. When commercial stations are looking for talent, I want this to be the first place, they come.” For its target audience, Radio DUT is striving to be an operation that provides relevant content, good quality entertainment and plays an integral role in advocating for social change. Broken down, Nxumalo says, this entails providing alternative music and information from that heard on other local radio stations whilst championing values such as freedom of expression, fairness, respect and accountability when it comes to participation and programming. He says serving their student community extends from informing students of student issues and activities to educating them about wider issues. “It’s about developing our audience holistically. We want to equip our community to deal with social, health and financial issues and to solve important problems.” For example, he says, high school learners who are either making career choices or about to begin their courses could gain a lot from tuning in to Radio DUT. This would help them understand and integrate into the DUT culture, to know what to expect. In a very short space of time, Radio DUT has grown remarkably. Originally operating five days a week between 9 am and 5pm, it is now a seven day a week operation. Nxumalo says they are in the throes of launching an early bird slot between 7am and 9am and will follow this with a later afternoon slot which means they will soon be broadcasting from 7am to 8pm. He is extremely positive about the future of Radio DUT. “We’re game on. This is an opportunity we are ready to use.” As things stand, he confides, they are “planning mega stuff” – they’re just not saying what right now.
Designed for Success in Durban Invest in quality basics such as jeans, handbags and shoes and stick to versatile neutrals. Then accessorise with novelties to stay on trend for the season – and don’t forget that little black dress which you can easily dress up or dress down. That’s just a snippet of fashion advice from talented young designer and entrepreneur, Bianca Warren. She has just rushed up from the small cut, make and trim (CMT) operation in the basement of the Square on Umhlanga Ridge that generates both the commercial ranges and bespoke designer garments that are putting her name on the Durban fashion map. Since graduating from DUT three years ago, it has all been about getting her brand out there, she explains. The fact that her collections have found their way on to ramps at SA Fashion Week, that she has dressed VIPs, set up two upmarket boutiques in Umhlanga and is about to launch her summer collection in Johannesburg and an online shop is testament to just how far she has come. But looking back, this softly spoken young designer says it has been more about hard work than about the glamour that is expected from the fashion world. However, when she sees her ranges on the ramp, it is very rewarding. She admits that it was inevitable that she would find her way into the world of fashion. As a little girl, she and her sister would play dress up and rifle through their mother’s
fabric collection. Her passion hasn’t waned since the age of frills and Barbies. Before heading out into the big bad world of fashion, Bianca won the best Commercial Range on Show at the DUT Fashion Show at the end of her third year in 2011. Last year, she was invited to judge the DUT Fashion Show and says it felt really wonderful to hand over the same prize to someone else. Her path into the world of fashion has been slightly different from her fellow graduates, however. Most made their way into the corporate sector while she plunged straight into her own business. In retrospect, she says it probably would have been best to go this route as she would have gained invaluable business skills needed to manage a growing operation. Instead, Bianca started selling her clothes at markets across the city. She also hosted an open day each month at her family home in Umhlanga. Her mother, although a strong supporter and head of her finances and admin to this day, proved a hard task master and insisted that every cent she borrowed to set up was repaid. She says she started out designing the clothes that she liked. Today, her collections are more sophisticated, timeless and elegant and aimed at a slightly older and far wider market that stretches from 27 to 60. She favours neutrals and loves chiffons, linen pants and flowing tops. On the practical side, although she caters for sizes 32 to 38, she is happy to make bigger sizes if needed. She also offers to alter garments for nothing while customers wait. Her machinists down stairs can pause production to shorten a dress, for example. “That’s one of our biggest selling points,” she says.
available. She used her basement spot for her fledgling CMT operation but has since grown this into a much bigger facility. Shortly afterwards, she opened a second shop on Marine Drive which has proved popular with tourists. Many of her clients have continued to buy from her via her Facebook page. This inspired her to create an online sales facility as well as begin working with agents to launch her ranges in Gauteng and Cape Town. She also supplies to nine shops in South Africa, offering free overnight delivery to major centres. “But I only supply to proudly South African boutiques,” Bianca stresses. This is something very close to her heart. If every designer employed a few local machinists it would make a great difference, she says. “It is sad that people do not support local. We have a lot of talented machinists but people don’t use them. The same goes for the textile industry. Because there is no support, a lot have closed down which makes it hard to find locally produced fabric,” she points out.
“I only supply to proudly South African boutiques”
At the outset, Bianca outsourced her ranges to local CMT operations. However, at the beginning of last year, she set up her own CMT operation which she has grown to include five machinists. As her business continued to gain traction, she separated it out into a commercial stream and one that focuses on bespoke designs for matric dances, weddings and other special events. Right now, things are pretty manic. She is dressing 45 girls for the upcoming Crawford Matric dance, has a wedding a week for which she is making bridesmaids dresses until the end of the year and is also creating two wedding dresses. On the commercial side of her business, Bianca opened a shop in a 4 metre by 4 meter basement shop at the Square. When this out-of-the-way venue did well, she became confident enough to move upstairs when the corner shop at the entrance to the Square became
She walks her talk in that she buys almost all of her fabrics at home. The only exception is an annual visit to India to source silks. She sticks to neutrals and prints her own fabrics when needed. She also works closely with LIV Village with their crafts people doing her “handwork, beadwork and crafty stuff.” Closely aligned with urging her industry to support local manufacturers is her wish for Durban designers – a very small community – to stick together and support each other.“I wish there was more camaraderie,” she says of a sector that can be competitive to a fault. She also wants to see South African shoppers supporting local designers. That’s why she says she keeps her pricing within range of top end retail chains. Because she keeps units low, buyers have the advantage of having something unique. If she repeats best sellers, she uses different colours and fabrics. She also updates her offering regularly, adding something new each week. Looking to the future, Bianca says she would like to open more boutiques but with one proviso – they will remain small and quirky, each with its own character. “I believe that, like Europe, destination shopping will be the future in South Africa,” she says. Although, at a very young age, she has managed to tick many of the boxes on her wish list, she does have one long term dream – showcasing her designs at the New York Fashion Week. Again, it’s a case of being proudly South African.
Campus Caterer’s Recipe for Success Zoliswa Nodada
Dishing up daily meals for thousands of students every day is all in a day’s work for Zoliswa Nodada, Managing Director of Alpine Food Services. Zoliswa started her business at the end of her third year of studying catering management. Responding to an advertisement for innovative business ideas in the campus newspaper, she submitted a business plan for what was essentially campus fast food and won R4 000 to start her enterprise. That was a lot of money to her in 2003, she says. Her tiny business was boosted by the fact that she was allowed to work from an old kitchen in the Alpine Road residence in which she was living.
to do all the cooking and driving, arriving for work each day at 5am. Today, she employs a staff of 43. Since renewing her initial ML Sultan tender in 2012, Zoliswa has opened a new kitchen every year. She is currently looking for an opportunity for 2014 but believes that this should remain in hospitality but be outside the campus environment in order to balance her income stream. At present, when students are not on campus or lectures are suspended business takes a dive. Overall, the rewards have been huge but so are the challenges, she admits. “It hasn’t been easy and it is still not easy.”
The location was free but she had to supply all her own equipment.. She started out by selling fries for students when she returned from her lectures after five.Then she began catering for SRC functions before adding catering for university and staff meetings. Although catering is extremely labour intensive, Zoliswa managed to continue as a one woman band whilst still continuing her studies. After finishing up in 2004, she didn’t go out and look for a job, but continued to run her small business whilst “bunking” with her sister. When an opportunity to apply for the tender to run the student canteen on the ML Sultan campus was advertised in 2008, Zoliswa responded and was awarded the contract. When it came up for renewal in 2012, she not only submitted a proposal to continue but also to upgrade the operation at her own cost.
One of her biggest hurdles is to remain hands-on and make her presence felt in each of her kitchens. “I travel from kitchen to kitchen but I’m here for the bulk of the time.The reason for this is that we do all our catering for functions from ML Sultan – and there’s a function every other day.” When it comes to both running canteens or catering for events, she admits that it is not easy to compete with big catering companies or meet student and staff expectations. People assume that bigger companies with better known brands are superior without any foundation. Students tend to think that R20 is a lot to pay for steak and chips.
“I realised that the dining hall was still the same as it was when I was a student. Nothing had changed and the DUT was not able to make the funding available to renovate it,” she explains. Needless to say, her contract was extended for five years. Before, she says, there were no tables and chairs for hungry students just a large open space with four pool tables. She took care of the furniture and then sectioned off a part of the canteen to accommodate a smoking room (to which the pool tables were relocated) and a specialised staff canteen. Not prepared to leave it there, she added a tender to run the canteen at the DUT’s Seaboard Residence on the corner of Mahatma Ghandi Road two years ago and then took on the DUT’s Indumiso Campus in Pietermaritzburg in 2013. She describes this facility as similar to the one at the ML Sultan campus, only much larger. Last year, the students protested and demanded that the caterer be removed. She was approached to help. Taking over in March meant setting up an entire kitchen in just three weeks. From a one woman operation, Alpine Food Services grew to a team of five in 2006 when Zoliswa took on two employees to work in the kitchen, one to wash dishes and a cashier. She continued
But Zoliswa is not daunted. As the person responsible for creating the menus, she has made it her mission to interact closely with the youngsters that she feeds in order to get a better understanding of likes and needs and how she can improve her service. Perhaps the greatest obstacle when it comes to devising menus has been a squeeze on margins in the wake of rapidly escalating prices of food and petrol. In terms of the tender, prices in a university environment are controlled, forcing her to absorb increases. “It’s tricky because, in the University, you can’t increase your prices when your suppliers do. You only have one increase each year.” Another growing cost is the many requirements and registrations in terms of new safety and food legislation. Complying doesn’t come cheap and nor does business and public liability insurance. Zoliswa knows she has come a long way. Since the earliest days when she battled to balance cash flow when payments were late and, as a new small business, her suppliers were not prepared to sell on account, she has built up resources. “People assume that if you own your own business, you have money. I have worked hard for what I have achieved. I have learnt to make do and save, save, save and invest,” she says. Over the years, she says the DUT – from the Vice Chancellor to the students – have been very supportive of her business. That makes it worth it.
New DUT Clinic is a Stepping Stone to Better Health for All
The recently refurbished state-of-the-art clinic facility at the DUT has further enhanced the university’s offering when it comes to alternative medical therapies for which more mainstream medical training facilities do not provide. Professor Lina Puckree, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Science, says the DUT fills an important gap in this respect. For example, it is one of only two in the country and the only facility in KwaZuluNatal that offers a recognised homeopathy qualification, one of only three to train chiropractors in South Africa and one of very few that offers courses in somatology. The Health Sciences Clinic initially opened during the nineties in response to the need for a facility for the training of students in the non-traditional professions like chiropractic, somatology and homeopathy. The 2013 refurbishment of the original facilities was part of the natural evolution of these courses. Not only did it provide a technologically advanced facility that kept pace with latest technologies, but also provided more patient rooms and was more able to better accommodate the increased numbers of students following the merger that
created the DUT. “The clinic will serve two purposes, firstly as a facility for DUT students to receive hands-on training and secondly to provide services to those who may not be able to afford private healthcare. Compared to the weekly patient load of approximately two to 25 per week in the nineties, the clinic now services about 300 chiropractic follow ups per week and at least 30 to 50 patients per week in each of the other clinics,” she said.
about yourself you release hormones and endorphins which makes you feel good. We don’t think about the physiological and neuro physiological aspects,” she says. In addition to planning to do a lot of research in this facility, she says there are also plans to invest in equipment to carry out Kirlian photography which visually records oric fields, helping identify any blockages. This identifies any pathologies which can be treated in order to restore the oric fields,” she explains. For Prof Puckree, the combined clinic facility is still a work in progress. There are also plans to bring other clinics such as clinical technology and medical orthotics and prosthetics on board. That way, patients will also be able to have blood tests and lung function tests on site.
These patients include both the public and students who are offered free treatments. In addition, those who participate in research projects are also treated at no charge. Prof Puckree says that the refurbishment was the result of a R22,5 million grant from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through “In the planning, that was not accommodated for as funds its Infrastructure Grants Programme. In addition to were limited. But it’s something that’s beginning and uplifting the existing chiropractic and homeopathy clinics, will evolve,” she believes. Even more important is the the upgrade allowed for the inclusion of somatology creation of a mobile clinic with funds for a suitable vehicle and dental clinics which had up until that seats 25 also provided as part of then been located on the ML Sultan a grant by the DHET. This will allow campus. The combination of clinics students to provide much needed gelled and the end result was a multi clinical services to communities “There are also discipline approach that made it whilst also receiving training in possible for patients to be referred to “real” situations. Right now, she says, plans to bring other adjoining facility if there is a need. the DUT is in discussions with the clinics such as clinical eThekwini municipality to identify technology and “This makes for a very holistic a community site where there is a medical orthotics and approach to patient treatment. facility available for use together with prosthetics on board” They can access all the services we the approval of the local community. offer in one building,” she explains. The ultimate goal is to encourage In addition to the chiropractic, students to identify community homeopathy and somatology projects which can be tackled under services already mentioned, these the guidance of the department and services also include a dental clinic run by a qualified earn credits towards their qualifications. dentist and radiography services. The latter, which include a mammography and ultra sound unit, are at Initially, her department will have to rely on its own an elementary stage but will grow in line with the new limited resources to provide the consumables that the facility, says Prof Puckree. The somatology clinic – mobile clinic will need to provide services. However, which is on par with those in upmarket private setting she ways, it is hoped that there will be sponsors further – is something of which she is particularly proud. down the line which will enable them to conduct research and tackle more vexing problems such as child She admits that too few people even know what and maternal deaths in South Africa which are amongst somatology is, explaining that a somatologist is a person the highest in the world. By partnering an educational who improves patients’ general wellness and aesthetic institution such as the DUT, Prof Puckree believes that appearance through information and practice of healthy a potential sponsor would enable more disadvantaged life style habits, product use and clinic treatments. communities to access much needed healthcare. “We At the DUT clinic, these include face therapies such have a lot of ideas but we don’t have the resources that as deep cleansing facials, spas facials, non-surgical face we need so we try to streamline them in order to be lifting, sonophoresis (specialized anti-ageing treatments), as efficient and effective as we can. We have 2 600 that galvanic facials (specialized moisturizing treatments) and we need to train. If we let every student do a project in body therapies which cover body analysis, manual and the community, you would reach far more people than mechanical massage therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, if you just depended on the healthcare profession. So, I slimming, waxing and hand and foot care. “You will very feel institutions of learning are a very big tool in ensuring rarely find a somatologist in a medical centre, yet stress that health care outcomes are achieved. I believe that we is a reality in our lives. If you just go and have a facial should tap into the resourcefulness of our students,” she and your nails done, you have a chance to sit down and concludes. relax and feel good about yourself – if you feel good
Guiding Students into
the Real world of
According to research firm Gartner, the cloud and “The Internet of Things” are the top two information technology (IT) trends most likely to impact both students and graduates in the near future. “There is no lecture that I’ve walk into where I don’t have a new discussion topic in information technology. It’s very difficult to keep up. We have to be on top of
developments for our students to be employable,” says Cassim Vanker, a lecturer in the DUT’s Department of Information Technology. His primary focus is dealing with third year students who are on the cusp of entering “the real world” of computing.That means part academic knowledge and part industry experience and plenty of research. “The challenge for us is that information technology is such a fluid field. New trends and developments are emerging rapidly and as an academic we have to predict what technologies will be used in the next three years so that we can prepare our students accordingly.” he says. As classic example as Vanker points out is the evolution of the desktop into cloud computing. A few years ago you wouldn’t have imagined doing your banking online. However today it’s become a necessity in our everyday lives. For those less familiar with the complex world of information technology, the cloud or
cloud computing refers to internet based computing where different services and applications are delivered to an organisation or companies over the internet rather than traditional servers. The internet of things, Vanker explains, is essentially getting inanimate objects to talk to mobile and web applications. In other words, this is a sci-fi world where a homeowner can remotely adjust either the room temperature or turn on the lights in his home using his cell phone, where the door unlocks automatically when you turn up on the doorstep with your mobile phone in your pocket, where you can turn off a plug or an appliance remotely.
host a number of deliberate workshops in conjunction with its partners. Deliberate practice means that one must effectively practice in order to become good at something. “According to research some of the top athletes excelled in their fields because of vigorous practices” said Vanker.
“One of the unique attributes of being in the information technology field is that one does not only need to learn emerging technologies but very often a software developer is required to work in different business vertical. As such being a quick learner can be an important tool in the software developer’s tool kit.” In more technical terms, this involves the use of added Vanker. embedded technology to connect a piece of equipment With cloud and the internet of things opening the to the internet and then use a remote device to interact door to start-up businesses and creating opportunities with it. “This is the next major trend. We are seeing a for youngsters to set up their own companies, lot of start-ups working on the internet of things. It’s an entrepreneurship is now being actively factored into the area in which we will see more innovation,” he believes. IT curriculum. Although he is aware of the shortage of Meanwhile, though,Vanker’s students are just trying their professional IT people and skills in the marketplace, he wings in the real world of business. Each third year student believes that the only means of addressing South Africa’s has to engage in a group project that demonstrates the unemployment problems is through professionals’ student’s ability to solve a so-called real world problem. starting their own businesses. He sees his job as both The objective is to give the student an training entrepreneurs and identifying opportunity to experience the day in the opportunities for them to launch their “the only means of life of a software developer. own enterprises. The IT Department addressing Closely aligned with this is the on-going recently hosted a workshop for students shift towards mobile technology, Vanker in conjunction with the Microsoft South Africa’s also works with industry partners who Bizspark program. Neil Hinrichsen of unemployment provide the DUT with equipment, KoiStrategy was flown in for a three day problems is through seminar and the DUT is now working software and training. “Partners come professionals’ on board to do training, seminars and with the programme organisers so starting their own workshops and provide students with that third year students with workable access to their latest products and ideas can become part of the Bizspark businesses” technology. They also support and programme. work with our students discussing best practices within the industry.” he explains. The opportunities are significant, he says, pointing out that Facebook was conceptualised within a university One of the highlights at the Department of Information environment. The beauty of mobile technology is that Technology is the memorandum of understanding (MOU) start-up costs are minimal. A good idea or app can that was recently signed with software giant Microsoft. simply be uploaded into the relevant apps store who The MOU provides a platform for the department will handle all transactions on behalf of the developer to engage with Microsoft on their Windows Phone and paying over royalties from downloads into the and Windows 8 development platforms. The second originator’s banking account. “It is simple to start these partnership is with Vodacom. “Vodacom has supported kinds of things. We just need to get students more us on the Android platform” said Vanker. “They have energised about creating these start-ups,” he says. One provided training in the form of workshops and boot way to do this is to take full advantage of the evolution camps and have even given us access loan equipment”. of cloud technology. The IT Department also received “The big challenge for young IT professionals is a $37,400 grant from Microsoft that gives students bridging the substantial gap that exists between tertiary access to the Windows Azure cloud platform. They are education and the workplace” said Vanker. In order to responsible for putting their developed product on that address this challenge the department has enhanced platform and hosting it in a live environment. “We are student learning through the use of mentors. “Our not only showing our students how to develop software mentorship program allows academics to interact with in the classroom but we also letting them experience and work with students in smaller groups. This allows us the transition to a live production environment where to impart tactile knowledge in information technology. the software is accessible to the world. There is a big The ultimate objective is to stimulate principles of difference between two.” he says. lifelong learning” said Vanker. The department also Again, this brings us a step closer to the real world of IT.
CCPE: DUT’s pragmatic approach to promoting lifelong learning lifelong learning opportunities
A year in the making and on the brink of being rolled out, the Centre for Continuing and Professional Education at DUT (CCPE@DUT) will provide lifelong learning opportunities by centrally promoting, managing and coordinating DUT’s continuing education courses. There are many continuing education courses that are already being run by various academic departments and units at DUT and CCPE will partner with all six faculties, identifying synergies and developing opportunities to offer training to meet the needs of both businesses and individuals whilst also providing a third income stream for the University. “The world is moving ahead at such a fast pace. It’s frantic and, if people do not upskill and upgrade their knowledge, they’re going to be left behind. Lifelong learning concepts actually help you to have a better chance at a better job. With that comes a better personal life. It just helps us to keep pace and cope with the rate and nature of change both personally and professionally,” says Dr Kavita Beemsen who will head up the emerging division. “CCPE will operate as a division of DUT, as an outward-focused dynamic interface between the University and its external context. CCPE@DUT’s mission is to facilitate lifelong learning through flexible delivery systems in response to the education and training needs of business, industry, professions, communities and individuals,” she explains.
“The strategic thrust we also plan to take involves identifying or anticipating niche or industry relevant areas and to respond accordingly. We plan to achieve these by setting up CCPE units that will drive the initiatives in the niche areas identified.” “It’s not just about ‘offering courses that improve the profession or for career advancement’,” she says referring to the fun courses segment. “You also have those at that point in their lives where they just want to learn for personal interest for example learning a foreign language or perhaps an arts and craft course. It’s going to be creative as well.” But why should someone study at the DUT and CCPE in particular? “DUT is a credible brand in the first place. Further DUT is embedded in its local context with a firm understanding of the global environment and subscribes to the strategic priorities of studentcentredness and engagement. These notions allow CCPE to have a service orientation and to be responsive with relevant courses and programmes,” she answers.
“The world is moving ahead at such a fast pace”
Dr Beemsen says that CCPE aims to offer programmes and courses that attract a diverse group of lifelong learners and this is reflected in the structure of the division which rests on four pillars: flexible offerings of formal programmes, short courses which may be either credit or non-credit bearing, continuing professional development courses to meet the requirements for professional registrations and fun courses which are taken for personal enrichment. When it comes to business or industry centred training, she says CCPE@ DUT is supporting a demand led orientation. “We will partner with corporate clients in order to determine their training needs and provide them with learning solutions so that their employees can perform better in their jobs and their businesses can achieve greater organisational effectiveness,” she explains. Consideration is also given to customisation of courses and flexibility in presentation in order to meet the needs of the
world of work. These needs could mean a customised course catering to certain skills sets, hosting the courses on a DUT campus or on site or holding courses at specific times of year. This is seen as something of a meeting of minds between industry and the DUT – company experts who know a business or sector’s specific needs and academics who have a wealth of experience and are all subject matter experts. CCPE is intended to be the portal that connects the two.
Information technology has influenced education delivery. Most importantly CCPE must be a leader in using these technologies. Dr Beemsen says that they are already looking at tapping into rapidly evolving online learning tends. This includes a project of launching the DUT’s first MOOC (massive open online course). “We are looking at CCPE being the vehicle to do this and where web-based learning will be used as a tool to promote lifelong learning”. CCPE@DUT is ideally poised to articulate its vision and realise its identity as a premier provider of lifelong learning and training to meet the flexible learning needs of the people and communities that it serves.
FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT
This is the official DUTCONNECT summer 2014 issue