Muzi Siyaya Heads 12 Member UNESWA Task Team

By Sizwe Dlamini

The Minister of Education & Training Owen Nxumalo has appointed a 12-person task team with the mandate of addressing the current challenges engulfing the University of Eswatini (UNESWA).

The university has been going through a tumultuous period for several years now. Just recently, they were forced to cease operations on two occasions after failing to settle their electricity and water bills.

The task team has been granted six months to formulate solutions aimed at resolving the institution’s financial woes effectively.

The aforementioned task team was appointed during a meeting held at Kwaluseni yesterday.

The task team will be chaired by Muzi Siyaya, Managing Director(MD) at Ubombo Sugar Limited, while members of the task team are Professor, Bheki Mamba from UNISA, Dr. Alex Tsela of Alex Tsela Holdings, Mboni Dlamini of the Eswatini Qualifications Authority, Farlie Mabuza CEO at Eswatini Industrial Development Community, Sibusiso Nhleko of Eswatini MTN, Sifisosethu Bhembe at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Mbuso Simelane of Inhlonhla Co. Simangele Shabangu of the Office of the Accountant General, Leonard Nxumalo of the Eswatini Revenue Services (ERS) and Primrose Dlamini of the Ministry of Finance (PEU).

The Secretary of the task team is Mcolisi Maphosa from the Ministry of Education & Training.

The meeting was attended by the university’s various stakeholders including the ministry’s portfolio committee members, the university’s senate members, members of the UNESWA Students Representative Council (SRC), as well as members of the various workers unions.

In his address after touring the university, the Minister highlighted four strategic areas of focus for the team, namely, financial management and resource efficiency, academic programmes, governance and management capacity, and the funding model of the University.

The Minister emphasized that the first issue to be addressed is the operational and infrastructure aspects of the University.

Additionally, another area of significant concern is the relevance of the university’s current academic programmes which will be addressed with the help of external consultants who will be working in conjunction with the university under the second phase of exercises.

Moreover, the Minister emphasized that the 12 members of the task team possessed competent backgrounds suitable for overseeing the aforementioned areas of concern stating that an interim report on the initial assessment would be generated in the first three months with the final report expected in six months.

Nxumalo concluded by announcing that information for the report will be sourced from interviews, document reviews, and comparative analysis as well as other avenues.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNESWA, Justice Twala who had also attended the meeting said that he was looking forward to working with the task team to solve the issues at the university.

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