Students doing the BEng Tech in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology – from left, Thabang Modiba, Amoegelang Tshabalala and Sammy Mashabela .

Bokamoso Polymer Fund launched

TSHWANE University of Technology launched a new qualification in October ­ the Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology. The aim of this new qualification is to addresses the critical shortage of qualified plastics technicians and engineers facing South Africa, as the global competition and technical skills gaps in the industry increase.

In July this year, the Academic Advisory Committee of TUT’s Polymer Technology Section ­ consisting of industry members and academia* ­ registered the Bokamoso Polymer Fund. The aim of the fund is to offer incentives to students enrolled in the programme for excellent academic performance, in the form of financial contributions which will be made towards their TUT academic tuition fees (paid directly into their TUT account).

A portion of the money raised for this fund will also be used to help pay for the purchasing of new equipment, as well as for the general upkeep and maintenance of existing equipment currently being used by the students within the Polymer Technology Department. The administration of these funds will be strictly controlled by the Department’s Academic Advisory Committee.

Members of the SA plastics industry are invited to adopt and own this fund to ensure that we leave a legacy that continues to enrich the lives of young people in our country. At the same time, we will be improving the skills pool and  strengthening the plastics industry with young, vibrant and talented successors who will build on the legacy of their predecessors.

Members of the Academic Advisory Committee are Gert Claasen (Safripol) – Chairperson; Elaine Relling (TUT) –  Vice chairperson; Kirtida Bhana (Plastics|SA); Prof C Khoathane (TUT) – Assistant Dean: Teaching and Learning; Polymer Technology Division; Dr V Khumalo (PISA representative); Dr N Luruli (Sasol); P Makhubela (Sasol); Dr V Ojijo (CSIR); Dr W Mhike  (TUT) Researcher and lecturer in Polymer Technology Division; Prof ER Sadiku (TUT) researcher and lecturer in Polymer Technology Division; K Sekwele (TUT) Polymer Technology student representative; M Thulo  (Denel Aeronautic); Dr H Van der Watt (TUT) Curriculum Development Practitioner