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To bring you up to speed with key issues that were discussed and decided during Council's meeting on 26 September 2019.
NWU bids farewell to its chancellor, His Majesty Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi

It was a prestigious occasion when the NWU paid tribute to its outgoing chancellor, His Majesty Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, on Wednesday, 25 September 2019.

Council appointed Kgosi Molotlegi as the second NWU chancellor in June 2009. His appointment was extended for a second term of five years in 2014. The university hosted a farewell and appreciation dinner at the Emerald Hotel in Vanderbijlpark to acknowledge the involvement, guidance and support that Kgosi Molotlegi has given to the institution during his term of 10 years.

Since his inauguration as chancellor in 2009, his relationship with the NWU evolved from being a ceremonial office bearer – encompassing graduations in the main and representing the NWU to external audiences – to exploring and introducing collaborative projects in the furtherance of the interest of the university.

During its meeting in July 2019, Council appointed Dr Anna Mokgokong as the third chancellor of the NWU. She will be inaugurated on 20 November 2019, and details will be communicated in due course.
New structure and reporting lines of the Language Directorate

Council approved the language policy in 2018. The university's Language Directorate plays a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient and effective implementation of the language policy.

To this end, Council considered the activities of the Language Directorate, currently resorting under the office of the registrar.

It became evident that the vast majority of activities that are performed by the directorate are mainly in support of the university's teaching-learning programme.

Therefore, Council approved the recommendation to move the Language Directorate from the office of the registrar to the office of the deputy vice-chancellor for teaching and learning.

It is envisaged that this shift will enable efficient implementation and management of the language policy, especially in the teaching-learning environment.
Terms of reference: HRC

Council approved the revised terms of reference of the Human Rights Committee (HRC) of the NWU.

The HRC is a standing committee established in terms of the NWU's human rights policy in order to assist the university to establish relevant processes, procedures and structures aimed to respect, pursue and uphold the fundamental rights and values as contained in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of South Africa.

Reponsibilities of the HRC

Staff and students are encouraged to report human rights-related incidents to humanrrights@nwu.ac.za.
Mid-year performance review

Council took note of the progress made with regard to the implementation of the Annual Performance Plan.

Council was satisfied with the overall performance of the university and the progress made towards the achievement of set targets.

Council also expressed its gratitude and appreciation to management and staff for the university's successes and achievements to date.
Policies and rules

The following policies and rules were approved and will shortly be available here:
  • Policy and Rules for the Awarding of the Chancellor's Medal

  • Policy and Rules for the Awarding of Honorary Doctorates

  • Policy and Rules for Honorary Naming

  • Policy on Student Discipline

  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy
Implementation of the 10 preferential procurement principles

During its meeting on 18 March 2019, Council approved 10 principles to improve the university's procurement of services from black-owned businesses and support for local economic development. Council took note of the envisaged implementation of each principle and progress made to date.

The 10 principles are:
  • The inclusion of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading system within the tender process for building construction tenders
  • The inclusion of company share certificates as validated by the CIPC in the tender process
  • Use of the governmental central supplier database (CSD) in the procurement process
  • Validation of the BBBEE certificate for the service provider that is recommended within the final steps of the procurement process (i.e. when evaluating the top three to five tenders)
  • The reaffirmation that NWU procurement advertisements be placed widely to ensure that advertisements are received widely, and the inclusion of advertisements on the Purchasing Consortium (PURCO) website
  • The inclusion of black-owned percentages in Tender Committee reports
  • The establishment of a target of 50% to 60% of total procurement spending to be for preferential procurement (black owned) but with no compromise on price and quality
  • The supplier and enterprise development spend of R10,8m per annum to train and develop black-owned supplier and enterprise owners
  • A panel of professional consultants for construction projects should be selected and then appointed per project
  • 30% of procurement should be allocated to small local suppliers situated in the city/town where the specific campus is located
These principles will be included in the drafting of the procurement policy and rules which are expected to serve at Council during its November meeting.
NWU staff and student culture review

Council was briefed about the staff and students culture review project and noted various pressure points that have the potential to affect staff and students negatively. Council expressed its concern and requested management to compile an action plan, start with the implementation thereof as a matter of urgency and update Council regularly.

The objectives of the NWU staff and students culture review project are:
  • To accurately determine and understand in detail the prevailing NWU culture and the anchors of the said culture and related subcultures for both staff and students
  • To facilitate the deep conversations around the desirability and undesirability of specific elements of the culture and subcultures for both staff and students
  • To facilitate the high-level mapping of the desirable/preferred NWU culture for both staff and students, based on the NWU values and the strategic intent
  • To reflect the undesirability of specific elements of the culture and uproot same from the NWU systems, processes, practices and behaviours and facilitate employee and student participation, including an understanding of the undesirability of these norms and practices; and
  • To assist the NWU to develop, embed, support/enhance and institutionalise through various forms/incentives, policies and practices, the desirable dimensions of the culture
As part of the way forward, the second phase will now be implemented to determine what the NWU Way should be. Information gathered during this phase will form the basis for broader consultation. The comprehensive overview of the "As Is" culture report can be accessed at: http://services.nwu.ac.za/nwuway/nwuway.
The next Council meeting will take place on 21 November 2019 on the campus in Potchefstroom.

For more information please contact Amanda van der Merwe.