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Volume 1 | Issue 2 November 2017

Issue 1 | May 2017

A communication from UP’s Office of Government Relations and Special Projects

Principal training: Supporting the DBE’s Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship South

African principals face an array of unique challenges in the school environment, including violence, sexual abuse, poverty, drugs, HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancy, learner passivity, underperforming teachers, lack of support, changing expectations and a heavy administration burden. As such, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) initiated a policy to establish a clear and agreed understanding of what the South African education system expects of those who are, or aspire to be, entrusted with the leadership and management of schools. The Department’s Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship fully defines the role of school principals and the key aspects of professionalism, image and competencies required for the position, and addresses professional leadership and development goals. The standard sets out the work a principal is expected to do in eight key areas, and competencies for each of these key areas, including school leadership, school development and direction, organisational management, quality of teaching, extramural activities, empowerment and community work. In support of this policy, the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria (UP) has developed a professional course for school principals, aspiring principals and heads of departments. The Faculty’s Department of Education Management and Policy Studies has been specialising in school leadership and management for nearly 40 years, and has drawn from this knowledge to develop the Professional Course for Educational Leaders to equip principals and other school leaders with the management and leadership skills they need to run schools effectively. The development of this course follows the Faculty’s identification of certain gaps in professional development that have led to an underperforming education system, the

appointment of incompetent principals and the uneven distribution of good leadership. The course is the first comprehensive professional course for educational leaders to be developed specifically for the South African educational context. It follows on and supports the implementation of the standard and deals with the practical aspects of educational leadership. It also enables principals to develop an individual leadership and management programme for their institutions and to lead their schools to success despite the challenges they may experience. Prof Jukka Alava, emeritus professor and former Head of the Institute of Educational Leadership at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, assisted the Department with the development of this course. Finland is known for the quality of its education and its educational leaders. The experience of Prof Alava ensured the development of a dynamic course that strives to improve the provision of education to South Africa’s learners and to contribute positively to nation

To ensure its relevance, the Faculty strives to remain responsive to the needs of the education system – Prof Chika Sehoole, Dean of the Faculty of Education

building. The course is available to participants through Enterprises University of Pretoria and was launched in October 2017. The event was attended by delegates from UP, as well as the ambassador of the Finish embassy. International collaboration such as this is a positive step towards educational excellence in the country. UP’s Department of Education Management and Policy Studies continues to work towards the Faculty’s goal of responsiveness by developing opportunities for the professional development of educational leaders. Its next major project is the establishment of a professional doctoral degree for educational leadership.


GRASP University of Pretoria

From the

Manager’s desk: The Office of Government Relations and Special Projects at the University of Pretoria


to the second edition of GRASP! I trust that this issue will continue to enlighten you on developments at the University of Pretoria, and provide you with insights on possible collaboration between all spheres of government, foreign missions and our institution. I am happy to report that, since our last issue, we have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Tshwane, and have been approached by two major national government departments about possible cooperation. Foreign missions in the city continue to interact with the University by, among others, providing opportunities for UP experts to interact with visiting specialists from their countries who share cutting-edge knowledge. In this issue, we focus on two streams of initiatives by the University that are aimed at providing support to government in delivering on its mandate and implementing its policies. The first relates to programmes offered by the Faculty of Education to school principals and aspiring school managers in support of the Department of Basic Education’s Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship. The other is a course offered by the University’s Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership through Enterprises University of Pretoria to the management cadre in all three spheres of government to support the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). In our regular slot on transformation at the University, we turn our attention to the recent changes to the institution’s language policy. Furthermore, we focus on unfolding partnerships with government. Our section on research highlights provides insights into excellent work that could benefit appropriate government departments and entities in the featured subject areas. In this regard, we showcase developments in malaria research, which is an essential focus area for the entire African continent, as well as developments in tourism research. Tourism is a major revenue spinner for our country that should be exploited more effectively and substantially with the prevailing high regard of our offerings internationally. It could also contribute substantially towards job creation in South Africa. I invite you to approach the Office of Government Relations and Special Projects at UP should you require any additional information on research at the University. In our slot on UP alumni in government, the spotlight falls on Deputy Minister Andries Nel of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). I trust that this issue of GRASP will make for an interesting read.

Prof Denver Hendricks Manager: Government Relations and Special Projects (GRaSP)


Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership:

Supporting local government leadership with implementing the National Development Plan


University of Pretoria’s Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (ALCRL) has developed a custom-made course for local government officials to empower them to responsibly implement the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. The Programme in Empowering Responsible Leadership at Local Government for the Implementation of the National Development Plan considers both the theoretical and practical elements related to the implementation of the NDP, and frames this in the context of responsible leadership. The first module orientates local government leaders in the framework of responsible leadership by providing them with the appropriate tools for the task. At the end of the module, delegates are expected to understand how leadership manifests itself in various contexts, and thus identify their own individual roles and responsibilities as leaders. The second module of the course practically locates the relevant aspects of the NDP within the forthcoming five-year strategic programmes of local government. It provides the basis for building a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient developmental local government system in line with the NDP for 2030. This is followed by a very practical examination of the role played by leaders in developing long-term plans in the third module of the course. This module provides the international background to long-term planning and possible future scenarios and trends. It also explores the various roles that leaders play in the conceptualisation, implementation and realisation of long-term visions. To ensure that these goals are achievable in practice, the module unpacks the core of the NDP, including its vision, pillars, objectives and the envisaged implementation and monitoring for the benefit of delegates. The fourth module situates local government’s role in the NDP and responsible leadership in the context and theory of public participation and engagement. It introduces different objectives, typologies and tools of participation (including rights-based approaches), drawing on local and international literature, as well as the NDP. It examines the significance of engagement for implementing policy, the practical challenges, constraints and opportunities to do so, and the role of local government officials. The course concludes with a discussion of various modes of strategy execution, and encourages delegates to navigate from strategy, through implementation, to monitoring and evaluation. After successful completion of the course, delegates will have the

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ability to effectively implement their five-year strategies in their own contexts. The vision of the ALCRL is “Leaders for Good”. It aims to develop the next generation of leaders in support of social and environmental justice. The Centre was established in 2010 and is headed by Prof Derick de Jongh. It was named after Chief Albert Luthuli, the first African to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960, as a tribute to his shining example of responsible leadership and in honour of his legacy. The ALCRL is a multidisciplinary research centre that draws on its experience in developing and executing complex multidisciplinary and often multinational research projects on themes related to leadership in Africa.

The Programme in Empowering Responsible Leadership at Local Government for the Implementation of the National Development Plan is available to delegates through Enterprises University of Pretoria:

from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Cheryl de la Rey

Research strength in support of local and national challenges


strives to inform government on how the University of Pretoria is helping to meet the challenges that we face in South Africa through our core business of teaching and learning, and research, as well as through our transformation initiatives. We are pleased to report that we continue to make great strides in transformation. The latest figures show that, demographically, the university community now has a staff complement that is 53.8% black, and a postgraduate student cohort that is 58.9% black. In this issue of the newsletter, the focus on transformation initiatives is on our language policy. GRASP also provides insights into our research endeavours that may be relevant to government’s work. Our research performance continues to instil confidence and places us in good stead to provide quality support to the government sector. Research success at UP is intentional, fuelled by aspirational targets, and is being driven by committed, highly qualified and skilled people who have achieved significant increases in research productivity over the past year. Last year, the University Council approved a new five-year plan for the period 2017–2021. It reflects a committed response to current challenges that we face in our country and on the continent. The following five goals will be pursued during this five-year cycle: enhancing access and successful student learning; strengthening the University’s research and international profile; fostering and sustaining a transformed, inclusive and equitable university community; optimising resources and enhancing institutional sustainability; and strengthening the University’s social responsiveness and impact in society. The plan foregrounds commitment to the pursuit of research that matters, will have a positive impact on areas of great societal need, and will strengthen the country’s social and economic fabric. Some of that research is featured in this edition of GRASP. UP’s identity as an engaged university that is responsive to the contexts in which it is embedded, together with its history of resilience and innovation, is helping us to stay on course in building a better society.

Vision: To be a leading research-intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, and also for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally. 3

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Language transformation

at the University of Pretoria



takes great pride in reporting on the transformation initiatives of the University of Pretoria. This issue focuses on the changes made to the University’s language policy*. These changes provide for English to function as the main language for teaching and learning, as resolved by the University of Pretoria’s Senate and Council on 20 and 22 July 2016 respectively. The University’s language policy has seen several changes throughout the history of the institution. At its inception in 1908, the University’s sole medium of instruction was English, until a dual-medium structure was adopted in 1917. Through this structure, subjects were offered in both English and Afrikaans if there was sufficient demand for it. However, in 1932, the University Council resolved that Afrikaans would be the sole medium of instruction. The policy prevailed until 1994 when the University adopted its bilingual policy again. In 2010, the policy was amended to recognise Sepedi as a third language of communication, while retaining English and Afrikaans as languages of instruction. In 2016, a new policy was adopted that provided for English as the University’s language of teaching and learning. The policy further recognised the need to develop Sepedi as a language of scientific discourse and the need to maintain Afrikaans as a scholarly language. The 2016 decision was based on three broad developments at the institution. The first of these relates to the declining demand for Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. In 1990, approximately 88% of students were Afrikaans. However, by 2010, this number had dropped to 36% and by 2016 to 25%. In 2010, 77% of mother-tongue speakers preferred Afrikaans as a language of tuition, but by 2016, this percentage had dropped to 59%, while 41% of Afrikaans mother-tongue speakers expressed a preference for tuition in English. In 2015, only 18% of all the students at the University preferred to be taught in Afrikaans. This substantial change in the language profile of students pointed unequivocally to the declining demand for Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, with the trend expected to continue and possibly accelerate in future. This trend brought considerations of the practical feasibility of duplicating instruction in English and Afrikaans into sharp focus, particularly in the current environment of economic constraint and financial austerity. In addition, with the declining demand for Afrikaans instruction, classes taught in Afrikaans are significantly smaller than those taught in English, resulting in potential advantages of individualised attention. The disparate impact could be interpreted as amounting to discrimination against non-Afrikaans speakers. In this regard, students whose home language is neither English nor Afrikaans (primarily African language mother-tongue speakers) have to contend with teaching and learning in larger classes on top of non-mother-tongue instruction. Afrikaans-medium classes, being predominantly white, also perpetuate separation, both in terms of language and race. This undermines the University’s commitment to social cohesion and denies the future leaders of the country, coming from diverse social, economic and political backgrounds, the opportunity to engage on critical issues that affect society in a common space. This is intellectually counterproductive. The University’s new language policy takes effect in 2019, while its legal obligation to students, who enrolled at the institution on the understanding that they had the option to receive tuition in Afrikaans, will be honoured if that is feasible. The policy supports the University’s commitment to the transformation imperative by rejecting exclusivity and privilege, promoting an educational environment that recognises dignity and respect for all, actively seeking to overcome discriminatory practices of the past, creating an educational environment that reflects the diversity of society, specifically with regard to race, and promoting social integration. * The topic is much more complex than allowed for in the discussion presented in this publication, and it should therefore be read with these limitations in mind.


Graduates of the University of Pretoria actively contribute to the wellbeing of the country through their leadership positions.


Andries Nel, Deputy Minister of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, is one such alumnus. Since July 2013, Deputy Minister Nel has served the Department in the portfolios for which he has been responsible. Nel holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Pretoria, and has been active in politics since high school in São Paulo, Brazil, in the 1980s. During his studies, Nel was involved in various student organisations focused on democracy and human rights. Thereafter, he served as the coordinator of the Lawyers for Human Rights’ Capital Punishment and Penal Reform Project from 1990 to 1994. He has been a member of Parliament for the African National Congress (ANC) since 1994. His political career has gone from strength to strength through his service as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC Youth League from 1996 to 2001, and his involvement in the ANC NEC subcommittees on legislatures and governance, peace and stability, elections, and archives, as well as the Centenary Task Team. Nel has also served on the Constitutional Assembly Committee dealing with the judiciary and legal system and was the coordinator of both the Legal and Monitoring Team and the ANC National Elections Team. Nel has served the constituencies of Pretoria Central, Centurion and Atteridgeville in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, as well as Waterberg in Limpopo and Midvaal in Gauteng. He has also served various government entities, including the departments of Correctional Services, Health, Home Affairs, Communications, and International Affairs and Cooperation, as well as the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). From 2009 to 2013, Nel served as the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. In addition, he has served as the Whip of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and the House Whip from 2000 to 2002, Acting Chief Whip of the ANC from 2006 to 2007, and Chairperson of the House of the National Assembly between 2008 and 2009.

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Government partnerships

elevate the impact of higher education and research Memorandum of Understanding between the Gauteng Provincial Government and Gauteng higher education institutions


Premier, David Makhura, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the institutions of higher education based in the province in May 2017. The MoU brings government and higher education institutions together to work in partnership in pursuit of common interests such as research and development, innovation and the advancement of the knowledge-based economy. The institutions involved in the MoU comprise the University of Pretoria, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of South Africa, the University of Johannesburg, the Tshwane University of Technology, the Vaal University of Technology and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. The areas of collaboration it identified include energy and water security, economic growth and development, governance and public administration, and environmental sustainability. The signing of this MoU confirms the commitment of the Gauteng Provincial Government to work with various stakeholders in pursuit of the vision of building an integrated, economically inclusive, sustainable, socially cohesive and competitive city region. Upskilling the civil and transport engineering sector with valuable partnerships


the current South African scenario, where there is a shortage of civil engineering and other transport engineering skills, it is vital to ensure that critical mass in these areas is developed and maintained. In June 2016, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Nazir Alli, CEO of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL), and Dr Rachel Chikwamba, Executive Director of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), signed a collaborative agreement that will lead to the establishment of an integrated education, national certification, national reference and research laboratories facility, as well as SANRAL national test tracks. New laboratories and equipment, together with existing facilities, will conduct academic and industrial research, as well as certification functions. The University’s strategic plan for the period 2012 to 2025 focuses on problems of national and/or regional concern in order to simultaneously maximise local impact, while enhancing its academic stature and visibility in a highly competitive international world. To this end, the University has been fostering relationships with SANRAL, the CSIR and other research entities in the interest of producing quality engineers and research. Long-term UP-government collaboration: Exotic Leather Research Centre


2011, Dr Rob Davies, the current Minister of Trade and Industry, stated the there was a complete lack of sector development, infrastructure, skills and institutional investment in design, innovation, research and development in the leather and leather goods manufacturing industries. He also noted that the domestic market share and exports orientation, as well as investment and technology demonstration in the industry, were low, and that raw leather resources were under-beneficiated. This is exceedingly troublesome as these are important agro-processing industries in South Africa. As one of its strategies to overcome the challenges facing the domestic exotic leather industry and to seize the opportunities presented by the international luxury market, the Department of Trade and Industry has partnered with the University of Pretoria to form the Exotic Leather Research Centre (ELRC). The ELRC has been operational since 2013. It acts as a technical collaborator for Exotic Leather South Africa, a subnational cluster approved by the Department of Trade and Industry. It is responsible for developing best practice industry standards and benchmarks to improve the long-term sustainability and global competitiveness of the industry.



a developing country such as South Africa, job creation should be considered a top priority. This is because it has become increasingly difficult for the growing population to participate in, and benefit from, economic growth without sustainable job creation. Studies have indicated that some 60% of paid internships have the potential to lead to a permanent position for graduates. Internships can be seen as a significant stepping stone to help graduated youth launch their careers in the process of securing a better future for themselves and their families. Government entities are ideally placed to participate in internship initiatives in support of this goal.

The Ready-for-work programme, hosted by UP’s Career Services Office, is one way in which government departments in all three spheres (national, provincial and local) can contribute to early career development. The programme places a high value on selfactualisation skills for students to ensure that they are competitive candidates when seeking employment.

GET INVOLVED! Register with the online portal, TuksCareers, to become a part of this valuable initiative. Kindly go to CareerHub/employers/.


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Faculties at a glance


World-class business school: Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)

9 Industry-relevant faculties

Economic and Management Sciences

Health Sciences

Natural and Agricultural Sciences




Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology


Veterinary Science

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS – A FOCUS ON MALARIA UP researchers work towards eliminating malaria


University of Pretoria hosts two unique programmes that contribute towards malaria research: the South African Malaria Transmission-blocking Consortium (SAMTC), which focuses on transmission blocking, and the University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC), which is composed of multidisciplinary researchers who collaborate to find novel and innovative alternative methods for controlling malaria.

that inspires Dr Brider’s involvement in malaria research. Young children’s immune systems are not strong enough to fight the infection and those who survive can miss up to 50% of their school year while trying to fight off recurring bouts of the disease. Much of Dr Brider’s research is focused on discovering new drugs that target different forms of the malaria parasite in both humans and mosquitoes. The elimination of malaria will require the development of drugs that, apart from killing the parasite in the blood and preventing the spread of the disease, will also have to kill any transmissible variants of the parasite that might develop.

One researcher who has made great strides in this area is Dr Bianca Brider. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the University who earned her PhD in Biochemistry for her research on malaria drug discovery in 2014. Her research findings have led to the discovery of novel antimalarial compounds that counter resistance. In 2016, 70% of the deaths caused by malaria were in children under the age of five. It is this prevalence of the disease among children

Malaria control innovation Malaria is a serious health crisis on the African continent and the lack of adequate control measures is an important reason for the continued prevalence of the disease.


contribute to combatting this crisis, the University of Pretoria has delivered state-of-the-art research regarding malaria prevention in recent months. The first consists of inventions for innovative mosquito repellents from the Institute of Applied Materials (IAM) in the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. IAM researchers Homa Izadi, Prof Walter Focke and Leo Braack have discovered a synergistic mixture of approved mosquito repellents that could provide a faster route to the public use of replacement repellents with less negative consumer perceptions like high costs, odour, a high absorption rate, an oily feel or skin irritation. Through their research, Izadi, Focke and Braack have discovered a special blend of two repellents that exhibit pseudo-azeotrope behaviour with improved repellent efficacy and persistence. This approach will open the way for the development of better mosquito repellent formulations based on azeotropic blends, which are sorely needed to fight mosquito-borne diseases. Another project undertaken in the IAM by researchers Mthokozisi Sibanda and Prof Walter Focke, in collaboration with Dr Andreas Leuteritz and Dr Harald Brünig of the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany, has successfully produced personal protection clothing items. The project developed a bi-component polymer yarn with a core containing a volatile repellent active and a sheath layer that reduce the rate at which the active ingredient is released into the atmosphere. The yarn has been successfully knitted into personal protection clothing items such as socks and ankle covers. These items can be used to reduce the infective mosquito bites on the ankles and feet, specifically to reduce outdoor malaria transmission in resource-limited countries.


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Malaria Buddy 1.2 loading Even though we celebrate World Malaria Day every year, it is important to note that the drive behind malaria awareness has to be ongoing. The University of Pretoria’s Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC) aims to do just that.


institute launched version 1.2 of the Malaria Buddy application (app) during its Malaria Awareness Week from 18 to 26 April 2017. The app was originally launched on World Malaria Day 2016. Malaria Buddy originally focused on informing people, especially tourists, about the disease, its symptoms, prevention, and steps to follow if they suspect they have the disease. It also included a malaria risk map of South Africa. The latest version of the app boasts information regarding causes, symptoms, treatment and the prevention of malaria. It also includes frequently asked questions with detailed answers, map data on the latest risk zones, clinics that offer malaria-related services and a travel mode that notifies users when they are entering or exiting malaria risk zones. This useful modern tool could aid in the fight against malaria. The next version of the app is planned for release during the 2017 SADC Malaria Week in November. It will include more map data and a secondary platform for healthcare practitioners to access additional information. The app can be downloaded on the Google Play store for Android phones and on iTunes Store for iOS devices.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS – A FOCUS ON TOURISM Multi-functional VICs for community beneficiation Measuring memorable tourism experiences The University has developed a new tool to measure memorable tourism experiences. This will help tourist attractions around South Africa attract new visitors and improve the quality of their visits. Measuring an experience may seem far-fetched, but it is important to understand the intangible value of a tourism experience when building and running tourist attractions.


researcher Berendien Lubbe says that understanding what makes up a memorable tourism experience is at the core of this study. Through surveys distributed to five different tourist sites across South Africa, the researchers gathered data on how different intangible aspects like hedonism, novelty, refreshment and involvement combine to form a memorable tourism experience. The tool has been validated, is usable, and the scale is reliable across all the sites.

Visitor information centres (VICs) at tourist attractions such as national parks, botanical gardens and cultural heritage sites are created to educate visitors about the sites. However, UP doctoral candidate and Director of Research at the National Department of Tourism (NDT), Kholadi Tlabela, aims to determine how VICs could function as a source of information not just for visitors, but for the park, local communities and businesses as well.


her study, Tlabela is looking at how to improve access to information within the tourist industry to create jobs and make the sector more competitive in the international arena. Combining her work in tourism with her interest in the power of knowledge sharing, Tlabela embarked on a study of publicly managed VICs to ascertain how information exchange in VICs could help create more memorable experiences for tourists and empower local communities. She believes her research is perfectly aligned with the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) and the National Development Plan (NDP) because it focuses on two important pillars of the revised NTSS: enhancing memorable visitor experiences and community beneficiation.

Table Mountain, Kruger National Park and Robben Island spring to mind when thinking of excellent tourist sites in South Africa; but the country, as a whole, has a lot more to offer.


help promote other sites around the country, the NDT and UP’s Tourism Management Division have teamed up to explore the tourist expectations and experiences of five tourist attractions to increase their appeal. Augrabies Falls National Park, Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Mapungubwe National Park and Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens have been identified and selected for this purpose. The findings were compiled into a detailed report for each site. With reliable data and recommendations to build on, these tourist attractions will soon be competing with big-ticket attractions for visitors.


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FOREIGN MISSIONS COLLABORATE TO BRING WORLD-CLASS KNOWLEDGE TO SOUTH AFRICA Exploring the right to development in Africa The Centre for Human Rights in the University’s Faculty of Law welcomed a Flemish delegation led by the Minister-President of Flanders, Hon. Geert Bourgeois, and General Representative of the Government of Flanders, Dr Geraldine Reymenants, in August 2017 for a lecture on the link between official development assistance and the right to development. The lecture was presented in the Advanced Human Rights Course on the Right to Development in Africa.


course is aimed at responding to the eternal question: “Is development a human right?” and what this means in the African context. The right to development plays a key role in addressing pressing political and socio-economic challenges on the African continent. Dr Reymenants explained the aim of the visit of the delegation to South Africa as that of development cooperation. The visit was an opportunity for the Flemish Government to visit projects,

interact with stakeholders and assess the impact of its programmes in Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique. MinisterPresident Hon. Bourgeois explained the link between foreign official development assistance and the right to development, and highlighted the historical connection between South Africa and Flanders in the areas of development cooperation and assistance. In particular, he noted that Flanders was one of the first donors to sign the Declaration of Intent to cooperate with South Africa at the end of apartheid in 1994.

The Government of Flanders generously supports three advanced human rights courses that has enabled the Centre to train judges, magistrates, police officers, staff of national human rights institutions, academics, researchers and students. These comprise the Sexual Minority Rights Short Course in collaboration with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Right to Development in Africa Short Course in collaboration with the Universiteit Antwerp and the African Human Rights System in Comparative Perspectives Short Course in collaboration with the Universiteit Ghent.

Towards sustainable renewable energy efforts Through collaborative efforts with the American Embassy, the University welcomed Owen Zinaman, Senior Power Sector Analyst from the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to the Seminar for the Integration of Renewable Energy in 21st Century Power Systems: Strategies and Approaches, hosted by the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology in June 2017.


countries around the world, power systems are undergoing significant change. Progress in both supply- and demand-side technologies, as well as increased digitisation and the automation of end uses, is influencing how the power system is planned and operated. In many countries, South Africa included, variable renewable energy (VRE) resources are the lowest cost source of new-build generation on a levelised cost basis; a paradigm shift to a new era of power systems. Responding to this change requires innovative approaches across the entire power system, spanning both institutional reforms and technical adaptions. Leveraging his extensive experience in the international renewable energy


field, Zinaman presented a compelling overview of strategies and approaches for promoting the cost-effective and reliable integration of VRE resources into power systems to the delegates at the seminar. Zinaman’s body of work focuses on translating international best practice in power system planning, operations, market design and regulation into robust action in emerging economies. He specialises in the development of planning tools and processes for the effective procurement of renewable energy and network infrastructure, and designing regulatory interventions for encouraging distributed generation. He has worked with emerging economy governments in Colombia, Mexico and South Africa. Harnessing international expertise such as this is essential for contributions to

Owen Zinaman research into solutions for problems on a local level, and successful collaboration with international partners through the University’s Office of Government Relations and Special Projects is key.