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DUT donates gardening tools to local schools

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) through the innobiz DUT Midlands Campus donated gardening tools to nine local schools from in and around the Greater Edendale area. The handover ceremony was held at the DUT Indumiso campus, in Pietermaritzburg on Friday, 4 March 2022.

The programme was attended by DUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, representatives from the Msunduzi Municipality, Principals, and pupils from all the selected schools.

The beneficiary schools included Ekukhanyeni Special School, KwaMpungose High School, Izwilesizwe Primary School, Inzuzwenhle Primary School, Amakholwa Secondary School, Sinathing Primary School, Funulwazi primary School, Phayiphini High School and Nansindlela Primary School. Community garden beneficiaries were Msomi Road Community Garden, Ngubane Road Community Garden and Imbali Road Community Garden.

Prof Moyo welcomed the guests and shared words of gratitude to all the partners who collaborated in making the programme a success.

“We are grateful to all who partnered with the University in this programme, and we are interested to see more engagement with local Agri-entrepreneurs and schools. There is a lot that the University wishes to do for the community, and we hope to continue working together to grow local businesses,” said Prof Moyo.

She further spoke on the importance of sustaining the land and utilising it to grow food, contributing to food security. Ms Nontokozo Ngcobo, innobiz Midlands Centre Manager concurred with Prof Moyo, explaining the importance of agriculture in society and how it can alleviate poverty.

“Food is important, hence the emphasis to revive the interest in agriculture for everyone; we need to learn to grow our own food not only for consumption but also commercialise it and make a profit,” stated Ngcobo.

Speaking on behalf of the schools, Mr Sibusiso Zulu from Sinathing Primary School commended the Centre for their efforts in encouraging agricultural entrepreneurship in the community. He further explained that this is an opportunity for students to learn something new in schools and this will have a positive impact on them, their families, and the community at large.

“As schools we have limited resources, the financial support we receive can only be utilised for academic programmes. We are thankful for such programmes; they do not only help us with gardens but also to enhance entrepreneurial skills in us and our children. We do have gardens, but they are not fully functional but now that we have resources provided by DUT, we will be able to revive them,” said Zulu.

Mr Rodgers Nzimande, the owner of one of the beneficiary gardens shared the same sentiments with Zulu, praising the University for changing their mindset around agriculture in communities.

“DUT has taught me the importance of farming and commercialising my garden, I am now a business owner because of the University,” said Nzimande who currently plants and sells spinach and potatoes from his garden.

Mr Duke Ngcobo, External Industry Projects Officer at DUT concluded the handover ceremony with words of encouragement for the beneficiaries. “We will push very hard to get the best from you because there is no reason why our small communities businesses thrive. Our doors always open for assistance and support,” said Ngcobo.

Pictured: The giveaway package.

Nontethelelo Mzizi

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