In the quest to becoming a ‘great’ university, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) successfully launched the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework at Ritson campus, Durban and Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, 19 July 2023. The DUT community was encouraged to live the DUT values which are namely; Transparency, Honesty, Integrity, Respect and Accountability as well as adopt its principles which are; Fairness Professionalism, Commitment, Compassion and Excellence.
Facilitating the event was Mr Avhatakali Nenungwi, Director of Organisational Development and Talent Management at the DUT Human Capital Services who began by welcoming the Executive Management, esteemed guests, staff and students to this prestigious event.
Delivering the opening address was the DUT Vice-Chancellor: People and Operations, Dr Vuyo Mthethwa who is the custodian of the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework. Dr Mthethwa unpacked the DUT values and principles and gave examples that resonate with each value.
“Every day when we walk into campuses, we must remind ourselves that our values are only as good as what we do and it is through these actions and behaviours that DUT will no longer be known as the capital of strikes, protests and destructions but the capital of prosperity, distinction and longevity for future generations beyond ourselves. Today is about celebrating what we are, our actions now and to the future that will showcase DUT as an institution of high power. Let us celebrate today and pledge to let our values live,” said Dr Mthethwa.
Discussing the values and principles, Dr Mthethwa began with Honesty as it resonates with her because it promotes trust and respect between students, staff and many other stakeholders. She said Accountability means taking ownership of the actions whether good/bad and being able to address them accordingly and also going beyond the norm. Looking at Integrity, Dr Mthethwa said it speaks about how staff and students conduct themselves, doing things right even when no one is watching or recognising them for what they have done.
“Respect encourages people to value one another’s opinions and lastly Fairness means we are consistent in the way we treat others and behave. As I end my welcome this morning I would like to highlight compassion where we should help continuously to empathise with others in difficult situations,” explained Dr Mthethwa.
Speaking on the establishment of the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework, DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu said a number of townhall engagements took place in 2019, where participants, students and staff had to give voice to what they regarded as the most important values and principles for DUT.
“Today marks a great milestone in the life of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in its quest to become a great university. Today is the launch of a unique blueprint we call the Living Values Framework. The launch today builds on the soft launch we held on 26 April 2023. Our Living Values Framework cements the unbreakable foundation from which our unique social compact will help us to pursue the goal ‘to contribute towards improving the lives and livelihoods of our broader society’ by deploying our collective innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial flair,” said Prof Mthembu.
He further called on all DUT members to earnestly commit to embedding the university’s values and principles and thus entrench this new institutional culture.
Students from the Department of Drama and Production Studies gave an outstanding performance, meanwhile the award-winning DUT choral graced the house with a musical interlude that left everyone dancing and rejoicing.
Sharing his excitement on the launch, Dr Joe Molete, the DUT Midlands Director said that in order for the DUT community to live together, there must be certain values in place.
“The ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework unpacks the fact that students, staff and we as a collective, need to understand what each and everyone’s role is when contributing to the Living Values. We need to live the values, we don’t want to see them on the wall, hanging there. There will be a number of initiatives that will be rolled out to make sure we live the values and we are visible. We need to build a harmonious environment where we all grow, develop and become a happy DUT,” said Dr Molete.
One of the DUT Midlands students who attended the launch was Siphosethu Ndebe, third year accounting student who is also the Chairperson of the DUT Midlands choir.
“I am so excited to be part of this big launch. I can see that DUT is really moving to the right direction and we hope that we make it through. I plan to adopt the Living Values Framework; I believe it will help me to become a better student and a better person. I look forward to seeing DUT achieve its objectives as per the ENVISION2030 strategy,” said Ndebe.
Department of Applied Management Lecturer at DUT Riverside campus, Yachal du Plessis, was also excited to be part of the launch of the Living Values Framework. She said she was pleased to finally see that DUT is moving towards a culture of more professionalism, more integrity, and more transparency.
“These are values that are important to me when I am teaching, guiding and developing students to reach their potential,” added du Plessis.
Pictured: DUT values and principles highlighted in the ENVISION2030 Living Values Framework.
Photographer: Khulasande Tshayile.
Simangele Zuma/ Zanele Mashaba/ Nikiwe Sukazi.