KZN varsity top class for good works

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal has scooped top honours in the 2009 Students in Free Enterprise SA National Competition.

The institution was recognised for a number of projects to uplift and empower local communities.

The Sife championship was held on Friday at the University of Johannesburg and the results were announced yesterday.

The UKZN team of 96 members beat teams from 25 other institutions. The university will now represent the country in the Sife World Cup championships in Berlin, Germany, in October.

The competition required teams to go out to their communities to establish projects or assist with existing projects or businesses to make these enterprises or individuals excel in what they do.

UKZN Sife team faculty adviser Mandla Ndaba said among the projects that won them the championship was a women's economic empowerment project in the poverty-stricken area of Clermont near Pinetown. They assisted a group of HIV-positive women with their sewing project.

"The women make bags and already they are receiving orders from organisers of workshops and conferences," Ndaba said.

"We assisted with the business side of the project in drawing up of business plan and budgeting, and we are looking at registering a company and positioning the project for the 2010 World Cup."

The UKZN team is a third time champion and was followed in second place by the University of the Free State while the University of Stellenbosch came third for the second year. First time participant, the University of Pretoria, was placed fourth.