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Source: The Presidency
Title: J Zuma: University of Zululand Graduation Ceremony
ADDRESS BY DR JG ZUMA, CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND, ON
THE OCCASION OF THE UNIVERSITY'S GRADUATION CEREMONY, Durban-Umlazi
Campus, 7 June 2003
The Vice Chancellor
The MEC for Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize
Chairperson of the University Council
Members of the University Senate and Council
President of the SRC
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today is a special occasion for all present here - the graduands,
their families and friends as well as the university.
It is therefore an honour for me as Chancellor to be able to say a
few words to our graduands, who are today reaping the fruits of
their hard work.
As we celebrate your achievements, we also celebrate the resilience
and achievements of the Umlazi campus of the University of
Zululand, which has over many years produced many graduates for our
country, who are contributing to the development of the
Your graduation also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on
the challenges facing our country and continent, in terms of its
This campus of the University of Zululand has played a key role in
providing access to education for many students mainly in Durban
and surroundings, and this is an important contribution to
education in this area.
The University of Zululand is being reconfigured to expand and
broaden access to higher education in KwaZulu-Natal. This
institution is therefore well-placed to contribute to addressing
the many challenges our country faces.
Our economy needs large numbers of graduates with high-level skills
who can operate in a technologically sophisticated environment that
demands constant innovation and renewal.
As you graduate today, you also need to bear in mind that you are
joining a class of critical black intellectuals and leaders, who
must participate in our young democracy and contribute to its
development and consolidation.
It is an intelligentsia that must be prepared to work harder to
build a better life for all, and participate in all spheres of our
I am saying this because education for a developing society like
ours is not for the individual, but for the nation. Your
qualifications therefore belong to all of us, and we expect you to
use them for the upliftment of others and of your country.
Given the globalisation of the world economy, we are increasingly
improving our human resource strategy as a country, as we need
skills that make us compete in the global economy.
Graduates must also be better prepared to enter the work place as
life-long learners able to function as critical, culturally
enriched and dynamic citizens.
This campus in particular is located in one of the most vibrant
growth points of our country, the city of Durban. This provides an
exciting environment in which to study, and should also inspire
students and the campus to produce the skills that would enhance
the development goals of this region.
Information communications technology, economics and agriculture
are some of the growth areas we should be looking at in terms of
development in our country and the rest of the continent.
I am happy to see that the graduands here today come from a wide
spectrum of faculties and this indicates that a diversity of skills
have been produced in this ceremony, yet another contribution to
the country's human resource goals.
Having said that, we also need to remember that we are part of the
African continent and should therefore seek to expand our knowledge
and contribution beyond the borders of our country as well.
The social, economic and political challenges of this continent
have been correctly identified through the New Partnership for
Africa's Development, (NEPAD), and we hope our intelligentsia will
also contribute to achieving the developmental goals of the
Another challenge we face is how to make black economic empowerment
to benefit the masses of our people. Your role as our
intelligentsia is therefore critical, in terms of advising and
coming out with suggestions that would take this country's
transformation needs forward.
I am also sure that I am speaking on your behalf in thanking your
parents for the sacrifices they made in ensuring that you were
afforded this opportunity to pursue your studies. Without their
sacrifices you would not be here today. We salute them for their
courage and foresight.
We would also like to thank your lecturers for a job well done, and
also the non-academic staff for creating a supportive environment
within which you could study. These are people whose roles can
never be underestimated.
Once again to you graduands, you should always remember that you
have a responsibility not only to this country but to the continent
as well. The challenge for you now is to ensure that you advance
-from whatever discipline that you have chosen - the agenda for
Africa and the developing world at large. You must make the
difference and create opportunities where non exist.
We congratulate you today, and invite you to become part of the
exciting road ahead, towards a prosperous and successful
This country needs all of you to keep the momentum going of
developing South Africa to its full potential.