Change the world


Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has again acknowledged sterling examples of excellent student leadership. At the annual Achievers Awards on 30 October, no less than 24 awards were made to students or student societies that had excelled in excellence across all spheres of student life at the university’s George Campus at Saasveld.

Awards were made in the categories of Student Governance and Development, Arts and Culture, Student Residences, Sport and overall student leadership - a highlight being the Campus Principal’s Leadership Awards. Students themselves bore testimony to their diverse talents by efficiently welcoming guests and skillfully executing the functions of master of ceremonies and the cultural programme accompanying this gala event.

NMMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Derrick Swartz, described students’ time on campus as an “amazing journey” with less than 2% of young people enjoying the privilege of studying at a university. He encouraged George Campus students to use their years on campus well to empower themselves with knowledge to make a positive contribution to society. “Live balanced lives and be courageous – push the frontiers of knowledge further to help solve the problems of our era”, he said.

He indicated that NMMU had invested more than half a billion rand in developing new or upgrading existing facilities over the past five years and that this pattern is set to continue over the next few years. This includes George Campus, where significant upgrading of road infrastructure, as well as the construction of a new 78-bed student residence is currently underway.

Campus Principal’s Leadership Awards

The male and female recipients of the prestigious Campus Principal’s Leadership Awards - Reratiloe Thandi Makoe and Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo – are both BTech Forestry students. They were acknowledged for their proven leadership in various spheres and contributions to student life. 

Nxumalo is a member of various student societies, some of which he serves in a leadership capacity. He is, amongst others, the chairperson of the student-driven Saasveld Forestry Association (SFA) and the SAPPI Student Forestry Club which assists Sappi-sponsored students in academic and social aspects on campus. He is a supplementary instruction (SI) leader for junior students, and is involved in various community initiatives.

He has presented at a number of forums, including a conference of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) about Climate Change Mitigation held in Port Elizabeth earlier this year. He has represented NMMU at an international level, too. Last year he attended the 8th International Junior Forest Contest held in Russia, and this year he was one of the NMMU student representatives who attended the International Forestry Students Symposium held in Turkey where he was elected to serve as a councillor in the International Forestry Student Association (IFSA).   He initiated a programme to assist Forestry students with challenging modules, and is co-founder of the partnership programmes between SFA and both the Korean Forestry University and the Freiburg university in Germany. 

Reratiloe Thandi Makoe, who took the honours in the female category, is an ordained evangelist and last year’s recipients of the Mentor of the Year Award. She is also the 2012 Deputy Chairperson of the NMMU George Student Council and Society’s Officer.  Her society affiliations include the SFA, Green Campus Forum and Christian Centre. Like Nxumalo, she also attended the DAFF conference on Climate Change together with a third NMMU Forestry student.

Makoe is a supplementary instruction (SI) leader and participated in various outreach and community initiatives such as the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge. She is also an active member of the Youth Development Council. As a current member of the Eastern Cape Forestry Forum Youth Sector, Reratiloe is also making a contribution in her chosen profession, promoting excellence and Ubuntu both on and off campus.


Top Track and Field athlete, Armond Nel, was named the NMMU George Campus Sportsman of the Year for 2012 for his excellent performance in representing NMMU in this sport both nationally and internationally. He is, amongst other, a member of the SWD Senior team and represented South Africa in the International Association of Athletics Federations World Race Walking Cup in Russia in May this year. He is also an USSA Track and Field silver medallist.

Student Merrick Bourke was named the Sport Administrator of the Year while the honours for both the Club and Team of the Year Awards went to the NMMU George Rugby Club.

Al in all ten students received Sport Merit Awards for excelling in sport codes recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). They have all achieved at least senior provincial colours in the respective codes. The recipients were: John-Louis van Zyl – Angling; Tiaan Hoeben - Body Boarding; Willem Scholtz and Lyndon Volkwyn – Cricket; Marnus de Klerk, Christopher Elliot and Kelly Damons – Hockey; Amy Geweld and Yentl Swartz – Netball, and last, but not least, Sportsman of the Year winner, Armond Nel - Track and Field.


The Residence Awards went to Samantha Boesak – House Committee member of the year and Roelof Steyl – Mentor of the Year. Student house, Taeda, was named the Residence of the year.

Arts and Culture, Student Governance and Development

The awards recipients in this category were Nombuyiselo Duma - Arts and Culture Member of the Year with the Speakers Club being named the Arts and Culture Society of the Year.  Nondumiso Myataza who currently chairs the Green Campus Forum was named the Society Administrator of the Year.  Anathi Masebeni was selected as the Student Council Member of the Year, and SASCO took the honours as the Student Governance and Development Society of the Year.

Achievers Awards 01

NMMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz (back left), with Sportman of the Year, Armond Nel and Hendrik Langenhoven, representing the NMMU George Rugby Club, Prof Christo Fabricius (back right), Merrick Bourke (front from left) who was named the Sport Administrator of the Year and the two recipients of the 2012 NMMU George Campus Principal’s Leadership Awards – Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo and Reratiloe Thandi Makoe.

Achievers Awards 02

In a celebratory mood – NMMU George Sport Manager, Hugo Loubser, with Hendrik Langenhoven, and Dave Jenkings, Deputy Director, Student Development Services

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098