Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School Leaders for tomorrow
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Back to Index 17 March 2016

Business School welcomes young professionals from KZN to the MBA and PDBA programmes

PROFESSIONALS: The new MBA and PDBA students who will study at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) Business School in Durban visited the Port Elizabeth campus this week.


Port Elizabeth, 5 February 2016 – THE Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School this week welcomed its first class from KwaZulu-Natal to its PE campus in Summerstrand. The students are all signed up for the MBA and PDBA study orientation week, following the school’s launch and opening of the new Durban satellite office last year. 

 With the new intake from Durban, the NMMU Business School’s formal graduate degree programmes are now available in six major cities including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, George, East London, and Johannesburg. This makes the school one of the most national South African business schools in terms of its national footprint and diverse student body.

“We are excited about the calibre of young professionals who were accepted into our first PDBA and MBA group from Durban. Our selection is tough and involves psychometric testing as well as interviews to make sure that there is no compromise on the quality and standard of our programmes. In spite of the strict selection process, we were still able to secure a viable group for our first and historic intake in Durban, and see a bright future for our programmes in the region,” said Professor Kobus Jonker, NMMU Director of the Graduate School.

Even though most of the students say time management will be their biggest challenge, they remain optimistic that there will be better opportunities for career enhancement and personal development once they have completed their course.

“We need strong and competent business leaders to take our country forward and to make sure that we continue to play an important economic and development role in Africa, and in the world. Research has showed that only 33 % of all managers in South Africa have some form of management training while less than 10% have an MBA degree. We do not train enough managers in South Africa and we need to convince more future leaders to equip themselves with professional management training like that provided by our PDBA and MBA programmes,” added Jonker.

MBA students, from left, Lazola Dipha, Dade Mbhele, Viresh Sahdeo visited the Port Elizabeth Business School campus this week for orientation ahead of starting their course at the NMMU Durban satellite office.


MBA students

Lazola Dipha, originally from Port Elizabeth, works as an Outsource Manager for Defy Manufacturing Home Appliances in Durban. He says because he works in a management position people look to him for leadership.

“I believe an MBA will open doors for me where it comes to my career. The programme will also help me with my own personal development,” said Dipha, who graduated from the NMMU in Port Elizabeth with a BCom Marketing Degree.

He also has an Honours Degree in Marketing from UNISA.

“Time management will be a challenge for me during this course because I will still have to meet all the expectations at work. But business changes continuously so it is important to upskill and stay relevant with the times,” said Dipha.

Dade Mbhele hopes the MBA programme will enhance her leadership skills. “I want to learn from my lecturers and peers,” she said.

Mbhele works as a Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality (SHERQ) manager at Eskom. “We have to equip ourselves with knowledge and skills or else we lag behind”.

Mbhele is married and has a 12 year old daughter. Her goal is to achieve her PhD one day.

“Family support is important if you want to succeed,” she said.

Viresh Sahdeo is married and a father of two. He is busy with the MBA programme and says his goal is to pursue a PhD in business. He currently holds degrees in Business Administration and IT.

“Studying towards an MBA will be a natural progression for me. With knowledge you can create more opportunities,” he said.

PDBA students, from left, Richard Muyelwa, Sive Mbangiswano and Dev Moonsamy look forward to continuing their studies with the Durban based NMMU Business School this year.


PDBA students

Dev Moonsamy has registered for the PDBA course and sees this as a stepping stone to the MBA course.

Moonsamy, an industrial engineer at Pefco, said “Education is a tool to uplift a community and sustain it.”

Even though he is an industrial engineer, about a year ago he took on an additional managerial role at work.

“I want to complete the PDBA and MBA courses because I lack managerial skills and other tools to assist my colleagues at work.”

Sive Mbangiswano, a BTech Agricultural Management graduate from NMMU in Port Elizabeth dreams of being the CEO of the Citrus Growers Association of South Africa one day.

Mbangiswano, who works in the logistics industry, started the PDBA programme this week and once completed will pursue an MBA degree.

“Both these courses will add value to my career,” she said.

Mbangiswano believes since she is a single woman with no children she has no excuse not to succeed with the programme.

Another family man is Richard Muyelwa who is married and has four children between the ages of 12 and 24. He will work on his PDBA this year and aims to complete an MBA.

Muyelwa is currently a property specialist and has also worked in the marketing and sales corporate banking division for 20 years.

“These courses will ultimately help with personal growth and will allow me to have a macro view of the business world.

“I am fortunate that my wife has an MBA so she knows how much work will go into me furthering my studies. Three of our daughters are at university.”

Jonker believes that South Africa needs to look forward and work harder to ensure a better and more equal economic future for everyone. “To succeed with this we need more rational economic decisions from government and less subjective decisions that seem to be driven by political emotions. Business leadership should do more to acknowledge and support the good initiatives by government like the National Development Plan. I also believe that business leadership has an important responsibility to formulate and articulate strong future business visions - especially for our vibrant cities like Durban. These visions can encourage important debate with other important stakeholders and can become important strategic beacons for the future development of these cities.”