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Unisa online - Faranani - a partnership that makes a difference

From left: Prof van Zyl, Prof Alex Visser, Prof Gerrie Prinsloo, Ms Helen Mnguni,  Ms Karen Visser and Mr Simon Ntete.
From left: Prof van Zyl, Prof Alex Visser, Prof Gerrie Prinsloo, Ms Helen Mnguni, Ms Karen Visser and Mr Simon Ntete.

On 3 August 2012, CEMS’ Department of Transport Economics, Logistics and Tourism hosted the annual Faranani day in partnership with the National Department of Transport. Faranani, meaning “working together” is a collaboration between the National Department of Transport, Unisa, the University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and North West University (Mafikeng campus). The Department of Transport provides bursaries for two to five students in each academic institution, studying within the field of transport economics, logistics and engineering and the funds are administered through the Northern Transportation Centre of Development (NTCoD). The aim of the event was to track the progress of the students’ research and give presentations on the different projects that they are working on.

The presentations given by the students were both thought-provoking and highlighted very interesting areas for research. The University of Johannesburg’s Rosah Makgato presented on “The Face of South African Transport” where she provided the pros and cons of using the current means of public transport, namely; taxis, buses, rail and even pedestrians and a cycle lane. Unisa’s Oscar Thobela spoke about the “Feeder system to rail passenger transportation” with a particular focus on Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. The main aim of his study is developing a strategy for a feeder system to rail passenger transport which will be economically, environmentally sustainable and cost effective in Ekurhuleni.

The presentations from TUT and UP focused primarily on road construction material and techniques.

This year’s host, Prof Ciné van Zyl, the COD for the Department of Transport Economics, Logistics and Tourism at CEMS expressed her appreciation for the event. “The research presented today is quite diverse and indicates the depth of understanding our students have of the complexities within the study of transport economics. A platform such as this certainly provides opportunity for future joint initiatives in research,” she said.

The National Department of Transport was represented by Ms Helen Mnguni and Mr Simon Ntete. In her address, Ms Mguni complemented the students for the progress they made in their studies and emphasised that the department was committed to supporting them and providing funding. “I am very impressed by the level of research our students are engaged in. It is important not to remain stagnant but to continue finding innovative solutions that will help solve the real challenges government is facing where road construction and general transport planning is concerned. Our Strategic Integrated Plan entails working together with various stakeholders, including Sitas and academic institutions in order to add value in the work that the department is doing. The success of today’s event is certainly one example of the importance of such strategic partnerships”, she said.

The Department of Transport sponsors three Centres of Development namely;

  • the NTCOD – Northern Transportation Centre of Development (UP and others);
  • the STCOD – Southern Transportation Centre of Development (University of Stellenbosch and others) and
  • the ETCOD  Eastern Transportation Centre of Development  (University of Cape Town and others)

Representing UJ, TUT, NWU and UP were Prof Gerrie Prinsloo, Ms Daphne Ngoma, Ms Karen Visser & Prof Kobus Cronje, Prof Alex Visser & Ms Marilise Lombard respectively.

The event was organised by Ms Sandra Groenewald.

Delegates representing Unisa, UJ, UP, TUT and NWU, as well as the representative from the Department of Transport
Delegates representing Unisa, UJ, UP, TUT and NWU, as well as the representative from the Department of Transport

*Story submitted by Nolwazi Mwabi



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