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Bakkie Sakkie and guest lecture boost for Forestry Engineering 

The donation of a portable fire-fighting skid unit, fondly known as a “Bakkie Sakkie” in the forestry/veldfire management industry, accompanied by a scintillating guest lecture by industry expert, Mr Casper Pieterse of ANCO Manufacturing, brightened the day for both the students and lecturer for Engineering Principles in the Higher Certificate Veldfire Management, Ms Nontethelelo Ramantswana.

The addition of the Bakkie Sakkie to the “arsenal” of the veldfire engineering class, is in part attributed to the initiative and industry linkages of Ms Nontethelelo Ramantswana (Nonte to colleagues) who joined the part time staff of the university in 2017 as lecturer for the module: Engineering Principles in the Higher Certificate Veldfire Management.

Prior to this she worked as professional forester for one of the leading forestry companies in South Africa, where her responsibilities included fire management.  “She brought a wealth of knowledge to the programme.  Her hands-on experience in fire management as well as her close connection with the fire industry (specialised vehicle and equipment manufacturers, firefighting organisations, fire protection associations and many more) equipped her well for her lecturing task in class” says Tiaan Pool, Programme-co-ordinator Forestry & Veldfire Management.   “On her arrival at the campus she took on the task to modernise the veldfire engineering class notes by adding chapters on the latest technology and developments in the veldfire industry”, he added.

“The HCVM programme has high expectations for this upcoming academic and veldfire engineer and are grateful for her valuable contributions to the programme in the short time she has been lecturing,” Pool concluded.

Nonte, an alumnus of the campus Forestry Programme, will be completing her BTech qualification in Forestry this year, following which she plans to enrol for her Master’s degree in 2018.  Her husband, Muedanyi Ramantswana, a fellow-alumnus and a qualified forest engineer, is a permanent staff member in the Forestry Programme of University. 

Technology boost … After a scintillating lecture by industry expert, Mr Casper Pieterse of ANCO Manufacturing (front right), the Veldfire Engineering class were introduced to the “Bakkie Sakkie” – an invaluable portable unit for the managing of veldfires – courtesy of the generous donor. Dr Anton Schmidt, Director of the SNRM (front left), accompanied by lecturers Hannes van Zyl, and Nonte Ramantswana (standing behind Mr Pieterse) expressed the university’s appreciation for industry’s valuable investment in the campus and its students. 

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Mr Thami Douse