Students schooled on intellectual property rights

Students from the Electrical Engineering and Food Science Technology departments recently attended a workshop to broaden their knowledge on the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection.

The workshop, which was hosted by CPUT’s Technology Transfer Office, included presentations from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the National Intellectual Property Management Office of the Department of Science and Technology.

“The workshop aims to enlighten the students about the importance of IP and how it can benefit them in future,” says TTO coordinator, Halimah Rabiu.

Mojalefa Khoza, senior education specialist at the CIPC, says many innovative people remain poor while those who don’t innovate or invent take their ideas and become wealthy.

“The reason this workshop is so important is that IP is relatively unknown in our country. They (students) should be aware that if they innovate, if they come up with something new, they are the intellectual property owner of that invention or anything that they’ve come up with and therefore they have the right to decide what should be done with their invention,” he says.

NIPMO’s Lungelwa Kula says students should talk to the TTO to disclose any potential IP and the TTO would assist them to protect it.



Athlete wins big at World Transplant Games

First year Management student Martinique Du Preez raked in four medals at the recent World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, including a gold in ball throw.

Besides the gold medal, Martinique also won silver medals in javelin and long jump as well as bronze in the 100 m sprint.

He defied a major obstacle to make his dream a reality after falling ill three weeks before leaving South Africa for the tournament.

“The fact that I could just participate in the World Transplant Games, was a major achievement,” he says.

“A lot of hard work and sweat went into making that dream a reality; it was truly an honour.”

Martinique had to prepare mentally and physically to win the medals in his sports codes.

“Training was and is still a daily thing; ball throw comes naturally as I was born in a rural area.”

He says ball throw was a breeze, so he already knew he would bring back the gold.

“I was out of action the last three weeks before I left. For an able or differently-abled athlete that’s bad but for a transplant athlete it’s disastrous because my chronic medication breaks muscles down, so three weeks is literally a year.”

Martinique was once dubbed the Miracle Boy by surgeons at Groote Schuur Hospital because he beat the odds to receive not one but two kidneys.

He would like to encourage his fellow students to register as organ donors.


Staff and students open hearts to fire victims

A call to donate food and other essentials to victims of a devastating fire in Hout Bay has been met with an overwhelming response from staff and students.

In March thousands of residents from Imizamo Yethu lost their homes when the fire swept through the area.

Two Accounting students, Luchulumanco Nanto and Siziphiwe Refiloe Dlulane then started a campaign in aid of victims of the fire.

The students appealed to the CPUT community to assist and a call for assistance was sent to students via Whatsapp groups. The students were also interviewed on a number of radio stations.

The CPUT community opened their hearts and made donations to the tune of about R10 000.

The donations were recently handed over to residents of Imizamo Yethu.

“When we took the donations to Imizamo Yethu one of the residents told us they were like babies who were learning to walk again and that the donations came at a very critical time. The donations included food, clothing, blankets, sanitary pads and other items. I would really like to thank the CPUT community. The residents were very grateful,” says Nanto.

More donations have since been received and these will also be handed over to the community.





Project broadens students’ horizons

Three nursing students, who have been participating in an international project, say the knowledge and experience they’ve gained has been a major boost in preparing for their careers.

Molefi Shebi, Shihaam Barnes and Philicia Bloem from CPUT’s Western Cape College of Nursing spent two weeks in Europe where they visited the Karel de Grote Hogeschool in Antwerp, Belgium and Avans University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

CPUT has teamed up with three European universities of applied science and two South African research universities for the new project, which is focused on the fields of healthcare and welfare.

Called the Caring Society (CASO) 3.0 consortium, the six participating partners have received a grant of more than €800 000 from the European Union’s Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education programme to help them achieve their goals.

At a recent forum meeting of College Principals and Academic Staff, which was held at the Bellville Campus, the three students were given an opportunity to reflect on their experience.

Barnes said that, among other things, the students attended an interprofessional collaboration in healthcare project while in Belgium.

“The experience was quite intense. We learnt a lot about working as a team while making your patient the centre of your care.”

Shebi said the experience helped to sharpen his communication skills and helped him to grow as a person and a professional.

Bloem said this experience was “truly out of this world”.

“We not only learnt a lot about our profession, but we also got to know different cultures, different histories and people. Being able to bring awareness to the different programmes that we could bring to South Africa and implement into our nursing education, is such an honour and we are happy to share this experience and all that CASO brings to the table.”

For more information on the project go to:

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Film puts spotlight on precious resource

A film, which focuses on a collaborative project between CPUT and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), was recently screened at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.

We are Water was filmed two years ago and follows a group of students during AfrikaBurn – a community festival which is held in the Tankwa Karoo on an annual basis.

The film places the spotlight on water as a precious resource at a time when climate change is considered one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.

Senior Industrial Design students from CPUT as well as Architectural Technology students participating in the Extended Curriculum Programme participated in the project.

During the festival the students arranged a series of activations in the desert – all of which were aimed at highlighting the importance of water.

One of the features was a water bar, which served water shots to festival-goers while giving them food for thought on the precious resource.

“The film had a very serious message behind it. We experience that message at the moment because we now have serious problems in terms of water shortages in the Western Cape. It was almost a prediction of what was going to come. Climate change has such a big impact on our lives and we don’t always realise that” says senior lecturer, Dr Alettia Chisin.

Chisin said the 2015 Afrikaburn project was the continuation of a project started in 2014 with a Tiger Fish, named Fiscilla, which was designed by senior Industrial Design students.

It was used as an installation piece at a conference in Namibia and was used as a mediating artefact to share the message of climate change with communities along the way.

Fiscilla was also used as an installation piece at Afrikaburn and the film conveys what she represented and captures the end of her journey.

The project was funded by the National Research Foundation, the Research Council of Norway with further support received from CPUT and AHO.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Bonjour to French students

A group of French students – the first to benefit from a new agreement between CPUT and two French institutions-has spent the past few months with the Information Technology Department.

IT lecturer Dr Boniface Kabaso said the students were from two French institutions – Efrei  and Esigetel – and these institutions have a tradition of sending students abroad do part of their orientation in an English-speaking country.

Some of the countries students had been sent to included India and Malaysia and South Africa was recently added to this list.

“CPUT was asked to provide a classroom environment with teachers for 20 to 40 students twice a year (semester 1 and 2). We agreed and the memorandum of understanding was signed in Paris. We have an agreement in place for the next five years,” said Kabaso.

He said the curriculum delivered to the French students while at the IT Department had to be the same as what was being delivered in the other countries.

“We teach them the same thing during the same period.”

CPUT students have been acting as buddies for the French students and have been showing them around campus.

French student Simon Teixeira said he would encourage other students from his institution to make use of the opportunity to study at CPUT.

“It was a very enjoyable experience and we got a different view from how things are in France.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Entrepreneur shares his secrets to success

A leading Malaysian entrepreneur recently shared his business acumen with Cape Town entrepreneurs and CPUT students.

Dash Dhakshinamoorthy is the co-founder of Startup Malaysia an organisation which supports entrepreneurs at school and university level to access global networks and support.

Cameron Dugmore, a former CPUT Council member, in conjunction with the Business Studies Dean, Prof Mzikayise Binza, arranged the opportunity for Dhakshinamoorthy to stay in Cape Town for five days in the hopes a successful partnership with him will pave the way for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the university and his company.

The success of this partnership is expected to see CPUT, in conjunction Startup Malaysia, hosting a Startup Weekend next year to train students to become entrepreneurs.

During his stay Dhakshinamoorthy addressed a group of NGOs and SMMEs on building a culture of entrepreneurship at the Cape Town Hotel School as well delivering a lecture at the Cape Town campus to inspire students.

Dhakshinamoorthy says he is equally excited about partnering with CPUT to produce the next generation of business people.

Improved tutor training enhances academic performance

The tutor training programme for lecturers and their Teaching Assistants (TAs) is bearing fruit at CPUT.

The success of the programme was revealed in an evaluation study commissioned by the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee to determine the effectiveness of tutor training at the institution.

The study was conducted by Prof Lorraine Hassan, Head of Academic Development Unit at Fundani.

“The predominant emerging finding was that there was an absence of discipline-specific tutor training at CPUT,” says Hassan.

She subsequently led a team that was responsible for the design and implementation of a training programme that would address this deficiency.

Since the program has been piloted hundreds of TAs and their lecturers have been trained.

The subsequent employment of the TAs is being funded by the Teaching Development Grant.

“It is hoped that the use of TAs will not only benefit tutees through higher quality support being provided but that TAs will also capitalize on this opportunity to position themselves in academia,” says Hassan.



The home of boxing

Boxing is one of the fastest growing sports at CPUT and the university’s club has about 50 male and female boxers.

The popularity of the sport on CPUT campuses has come with merit. In its 12 years of existence, the club has been receiving accolades and has produced two professionals.

At the beginning of this year, Fortunate Chidzivio turned professional while Mandilakhe Qavane, who went to Russia to represent the university at the World Student games, hopes to achieve the same feat next year.

The club’s manager, Vuyani Mtshikana, says the club’s popularity has even attracted boxers from outside CPUT whom it accepted into its fold.

“We are also proud to have one of the recognized coaches in the SA boxing fraternity. Thabo Makepula has been with the team since its inception and has tremendous coaching experience in amateur boxing,” he says.

The club brought home seven medals from the last University Sports South Africa (USSA) games in December when it won three gold, one silver and three bronze medals at the Witwatersrand University.

It was the club’s consistent all-round success that paved the way for Mtshikana to be elected as the national Vice-Chairman of USSA Boxing.

Training for boxers is from Monday to Thursday at 17H30 in the Gymnasium (opposite the Bellville campus Student Centre).

*Photograph by foto76 at

Truth to power

SA needs skilled young innovators.

Renowned political analyst Prince Mashele says a pool of educated and skilled young innovators are needed to grow the country’s economy by creating employment opportunities.

Mashele, Executive Director: Centre for Politics and Research, was delivering a public lecture at the Bellville Campus recently to commemorate the June 16 massacre which was organized by the Department of Student Affairs.

He argued that while in the 1970s youth were killed for challenging Apartheid, new challenges such as drugs, HIV/Aids and unemployment are facing today’s youth.

He added that new tactics which do not warrant the use of arms are needed to address them.