Research provides Food for Thought

The Cape Town Hotel School’s recent BTech Conference served a mixed bag of research topics, leaving attendees with much food for thought.

A total of 20 presentations were covered and students were given 10 minutes to present their work.

The event, held at the Southern Sun Waterfront, was attended by several industry representatives, many of whom indicated that they were impressed with the calibre of student and the presentations.

The research topics included: The impact of the VAT increase on restaurant operations in Cape Town, The impact of drought on the ultra-luxury hotel segment in the V&A Waterfront and Diversification of ethnicity beliefs within the working environment.

Senior lecturer Dr Tshinakaho Nyathela said the conference is an annual event and was first held in 2017.

“The main aim is to showcase what we do as the hospitality department and also showcase to the industry and departments the kind of research that our students do as well as the research we do as a department. I was very impressed with the presentations, our students went all out.”

She said the conference was also an opportunity to identify potential candidates for Master’s study.

Student Andisile Mbolompo said the conference was a great learning experience and helped to connect students with industry role players

Futuristic exhibition bags Open Day awards

The Media Department’s futuristic exhibition at CPUT’s annual Open Day scooped two of the four trophies during an awards ceremony where the best stalls were announced.

The department’s winning exhibition was themed future creatives and won the Most Informative and Best Team Spirit categories.

Their exhibition included a set and stage, a green room, cameras, crew and a producer, which gave visitors the impression that they were part of a live TV studio production.

The department consists of the Public Relations, Journalism, Film & Video and Photography programmes.

Lecturer Ayesha Toyer said the Public Relations Programme was responsible for organising the exhibition.

“This exhibition is organised by our first year Public Relations & Communications students as part of a Work-Integrated Learning initiative. The project assesses outcomes like project management, budgeting, sponsorship, fundraising, planning, marketing, promotion and advertising and event management to name a few,” said Toyer,

“Students are assessed on their ability to successfully produce and manage their exhibition stall, as well as promote the four programmes within the department and, in so doing, recruit potential students. They raised over R70 000 in the form of sponsorship and fundraising to stage their exhibition.”

The Department of Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences won the Best Marketing Concept award while the Food Technology Centre won the award for the Best Faculty Experience.

Passionate poets represent SA in US

Two talented CPUT students with a passion for poetry recently showcased their skills at an international youth slam poetry festival in the United States.

Lesego Mkhize and Alutho Mbendeni, both journalism students, were part of a four-member team who were invited to participate in the 20th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, which was held in San Francisco, California.

According to Wikipedia a poetry slam is a competition at which oral poets recite original work.  A panel of judges scores each participant, with those scoring lowest being eliminated until there is only one winner.

Members of Team SA were the winners of the Cape Town Youth Poetry Slam, held in April.

“The more you enter slam competitions the more you grow as a writer. You learn and you observe and you have so much to write about at the end of the day,” says Lesego, a second-year student.

The international poetry slam festival convened young poets from around the world for four days of workshops, slams, showcases, community service, and civic participation events.

South ho.Africa sent the only team from Africa and its team reached the quarter-finals of the competition.

“It was a great learning curve,” states first-year student Alutho.


Student a finalist in Miss Universities SA Pageant


An Electrical Engineering student with a passion for charity work has been selected as a finalist in the Miss Universities South Africa pageant.

Third-year student Pauline Marere is one of 19 finalists in the competition and the winner will be crowned in East London in September.

Twenty-three-year-old Marere has thus far been the most popular contestant in terms of public votes.

She says she entered the competition because it brought her love for modelling and her passion for charity work together.

The contestants are required to participate in charity campaigns, including blanket collections.

“The blankets that I have collected will go to the victims of the fire earlier this year in Hout Bay,” she says.

Marere, who is originally from Zimbabwe, has been doing charity work since she was in her first year of studies at CPUT

Her charity work includes cooking for the homeless and providing them with clothes and blankets provided by students.

She also visits orphanages during holidays.

Her charity work and progress in the competition has seen her being featured in the local press, including the Cape Argus.

To vote for Marere go to

Voting closes on June 30.


Future journalists make their mark

FOUR talented third year journalism students recently earned a full page spread in the Cape Times newspaper in which they expressed their views on youth participation in democracy and the obstacles to it.

Journalism lecturer Asanda Ngoasheng said that in August last year she asked the second year political reporting class to complete an assignment on the topic.

“I wanted the class to write about it as we often hear about this topic but we hardly hear from young people themselves. I wanted to challenge the class to think about how youth can participate in democracy and to think about it beyond voting.”

She said the assignments contained a diversity of ideas from students and Ngoasheng approached the Cape Times to publish some of the articles for Freedom Day.

Four articles were selected and were published on April 28.

“We were told in advance that the articles would be published and the students were very excited. We are very proud of them,” said Ngoasheng.

The four students who were selected for publication are Tina Soetzenberg, Sinaye Mvumbi, Shireen Fisher and Marisha Flovers.

Written by Ilse Fredericks


Star athlete needs a helping hand


A budding CPUT athlete is raising funds to fulfil his dream of qualifying for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London and the World Students Track and Field Championships in Taipei, China.

Siboniso Soldaka, a third-year student in the Department of Business and Information Administration, represented both the Western Cape Province and the country successfully in 2016.

After winning a bronze medal at the USSA National Championships last year, Siboniso booked a spot in the CUCSA Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he went on to win the silver medal in the 1500m.

He also ran the fastest time for the10km race in the Western Cape as he was the only athlete to finish the distance under 30 minutes.

“I am raising funds for my trip to Europe in June to go and compete against the best athletes in the world so that I may run some good times and qualify for the World IAAF Championships and the World Student Championship that will both take place in August,” says the tenacious athlete.

“I am trying to raise R12 000 so that I can be able to book my flights and pay for accommodation.”

He wants to join a small group of athletes who are travelling to Europe in June to compete on the international circuit with the aim to run fast times that will qualify him for the world championships.


Despite the lack of sponsorship, Siboniso is grateful for the financial support he receives from Annelie Swarts, CPUT’s Student Sports Administrator, and his coach Sean Snyman, who on various occasions paid out of their own pockets for him to compete outside the province.


For more information contact Annelie Swarts on 0214603740 or


5 minutes with Lukhanyo Mdingi

CPUT fashion graduate Lukhanyo Mdingi seems to have his career all sewn up. He was recently selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives and was already earmarked through his studies as a talent to watch. We caught up with the rising star to discuss his first year in industry.

You were pretty much the talk of the town throughout your studies. Name some of the exciting awards and commendations you have received through your studies and afterwards?

Oh wow, I have no idea. To me my biggest achievement was completing both my under-grad and post-grad years in record time. The other achievements while still in CPUT has to be when I was selected as one of the top 8 finalists for the 2013 ELLE in association with Mr Price – Rising Star Competition, this took place when I was in my 3rd Year.

Design Indaba Young Creatives is the latest notch on your belt. What do all these awards actually mean to your career at the end of the day?

It’s very gratifying but even more so, it means that I have the opportunity to learn more about the South African fashion industry and as well as use these platforms to expand the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand.

In a nutshell where are you from and why did you chose CPUT?

I am from a small town in the Eastern Cape – East London. I chose CPUT purely because of its credentials, access to equipment and software as well as affordability.

How do you think the institution prepared you for the rigours of industry?

I think this differs for each individual fashion design graduate, purely because you are able to go into so many different fields of fashion with the Diploma/Degree , it has prepped me extremely well with garment construction knowledge and range/concept building and planning.

Do you have a muse?

I would have to say South African Artist, Athi Patra. He oozes sophistication.

2015 has just kicked off, what is the plan for the year?

To be honest I’m a short term planner, right now it’s all about production and building my brand.

Would you ever be absorbed into someone else brand for a few years or are you intent on building your own right now?

I would love to do both. I don’t want to ever constrain myself. I believe you have to be very tactical about these decisions, identifying what will be best for you as the designer and making sure your integrity isn’t compromised.

Where can people follow you on social media?

Instagram and Twitter both @lukhanyomdingi / Lukhanyo Mdingi

Sport Advocates

It’s game on for a group of students who have been selected to be part of the 2015 Wellington Campus Sports Forum.

Launched in 2012, the forum’s key goal is to facilitate sporting activities at the campus. It is also a one-stop-shop for all students’ sport related enquiries, complaints and comments.

This year’s chairperson is Conrad Du Plessis, a fourth year Education student and manager of the Wellington Campus rugby club.

Conrad says they are looking forward to working together with all the sport clubs.

He says each sport club was tasked with coming up for a vision for the year and that with the assistance of the forum, they hope to realise the goals that have been set.


Sports Forum member, Maud-Mari Wagner says the forum has proved its worth over the past few years, with more students participating in sport and additional clubs being launched.

The campus boasts 12 sporting clubs, with rugby, netball and hockey being the top three clubs. The campus also boast the university’s only adventure club, which sees students participate in activities that range from river rafting to abseiling.

Francois Du Plessis, who is responsible for the forum’s marketing and public relations, says while their main aim is to promote sports on the campus, they hope to also inspire students on the other campuses to adopt a similar structure.

“We would really like to see sport forums on all the campuses and to establish a central sports forum,” says Francois.