Eswatini (University of Eswatini) Stefanutti Stocks Graduation

KWALUSENI – On Monday 28 June 2021, The Consultancy and Training Centre (CT) of the University of Eswatini hosted a Graduation Ceremony for 24 Stefanutti Stocks Staff who had successfully completed the Combined Accounting and Business Short-term Training. The Ceremony was attended by Stefanutti Stocks (SS) Management and University Management.

In his welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Justice Thwala thanked the Acting Director of CTC, Dr Bafana Dlamini and his team for empowering SS Staff with skills and knowledge on basic accounting in the construction industry, risk management, business communication and organisational behaviour. Professor Thwala expressed hope that the trained staff would apply the skills and knowledge acquired from the training. He also reminded them that “the acquisition of knowledge is a life long journey.” He also encouraged the trainees to also consider enrolling with the University’s Institute of Distance Education for undergraduate programmes or Institute of Post-Graduate Studies for Graduate programmes.

The Vice Chancellor also hoped that “this is the beginning of UNESWA’s new marriage with Stefanutti Stocks. I foresee opportunities for both parties which could be sealed through a memorandum of Understanding (MoU).” He mentioned that the University had signed MoUs with various organisations including the umbrella organisation of the construction industry which is the Construction Industry Council. Professor Thwala also mentioned that the CTC had already designed courses for the industry which included: (1) Occupational Health and Safety (including traffic accommodation), (2) Project Management, (3) Contract Administration, (4) Construction Tendering, and (5) Cost Estimation. He requested the company to send staff to undertake the planned training programmes. On another note, the Vice Chancellor requested the company to consider providing support to the University to UNESWA through the UNESWA Foundation to construct a building which would be named after the stakeholders who would have contributed towards its construction. “I have observed that, in other universities in the world, financers of projects remained in the walls of the building forever.

Speaking on behalf of Stefanutti Stocks was one of the Directors, Ms Thandiwe Hlatshwayo. She mentioned that she was an alumnus of the University and holder of an LL.B degree. She thanked the management of Steaffanutti and Stocks for coordinating and allowing staff to attend trainings. She thanked the University for providing knowledge as it never dates. She promised that they would take up the Vice Chancellor’s challenge and would help the University as it was the only national University in the country. Ms Hlatshwayo thanked the trainees for being a participatory team and expressed hope that SS would provide more trainings in the near future.

Mr Mfundo Msibi spoke on behalf of the lecturers and to the Directors of SS, he said they were humbled to be given the opportunity to equip their staff with best practices based on the wealth of knowledge at the university’s disposal. He mentioned that the construction industry was unique as a Special Accounting Standard, IAS11 was previously used for revenue recognition in the construction sector and detailed guidance was provided for this sector when IFRS 15 was introduced. Mr Msibi also noted that due to the project nature of construction activities, excellent business communication skills, the behavioural aspect in staff engagement and appreciation of the attached risk was critical in the construction sector. In his address to the students, Mr Msibi noted that they dealt with an exceptional, probing and interested group. He recalled the lively discussions they had with the students and encouraged them to continuously read publications such as McKinsey (free) to make themselves relevant to the 4th IR era. To the University, Mr Msibi said they were grateful to the University and CTC leadership for creating the opportunity for such engagements with industry.

Ms Patricia Mavuso spoke on behalf of the graduates. She thanked SS for providing them with a life-long opportunity to study at UNESWA. She thanked the employer also for affording them the opportunity to study in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She pledged on behalf of the graduates to serve SS with dedication and honesty. Ms Mavuso thanked the lecturers for the patience whilst teaching adult learners. She also thanked the Almighty God who affords opportunities to all men. Ms Mavuso concluded by congratulating fellow colleagues for making it although it was not easy.

The Pro –Vice Chancellor, Administration made the closing remarks. She mentioned that it was a pleasure as the Management of the University to be of service to SS in supplying their training needs. Prof Zwane mentioned that UNESWA has young, vibrant and seasoned facilitators and some of them were members of esteemed bodies while others were also involved in consultancy work in the region. She noted that some were chartered accountants and had partnered with international businesses. Professor Zwane thanked SS and the facilitatorscongratulated the graduates and encouraged them to shine in their work. She commended the Acting Director for his zeal!