NWU recognises top spokespersons

Marelize Santana -- Fri, 07/28/2017 - 12:02

NWU recognises top spokespersons

It pays to share words of wisdom and the North-West University’s (NWU’s) top spokespersons can attest to that. The university held its annual Spokespersons of the Year awards evening for the 2016 period on Thursday, 27 July 2017.

Academics, researchers and other faculty members were acknowledged for their positive contribution to the media landscape to enhance the brand of the institution. Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance took top honours as the individual who was quoted the most in 2016 for the second consecutive year.


The NWU’s top spokespersons for 2016 are Dr David Spies (incentive), Mr Theo Venter (second runner-up for overall award), Prof André Duvenhage (runner-up for overall award), Prof Abel Pienaar (New Voice of the NWU), Prof Raymond Parsons (winner of overall award and most quoted in print and online media as well as most quoted in broadcast media), Prof Melville Saayman (creating a spike in media coverage), Prof Eva Manyedi (incentive) and Prof Danie Meyer (incentive).

Prof Parsons was mentioned in the media 465 times and received a floating trophy, in addition to prize money, for his expert contributions.

The first runner-up in this category was Prof André Duvenhage of the Faculty of Humanities, followed by Mr Theo Venter of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance. Both Prof Duvenhage and Mr Venter were previously awarded.

The NWU is proud of the outstanding quality of its experts. This expertise is also cherished by the media as is evident in the thousands of mentions, interviews and quotes NWU staff receive in newspapers, online media and radio and television on a regular basis. In 2016 a total of 2 419 media items were published in which NWU experts were quoted or interviewed.

The Spokespersons of the Year event not only awards top achievers, but also give recognition to those who are beginning to become household names, as well as the staff members who are entering the media space.
In the subcategories, winners received prize money. These winners included:
•    Prof Eva Manyedi of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Incentive Award for her comment on abuse and sexual assault on women;
•    Dr David Spies of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Incentive Award for his comment on the consequences of the drought;
•    Prof Danie Meyer of Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Incentive Award for his comment on the economic wellbeing of the greater Vaal Triangle area;
•    Prof Abel Pienaar, Faculty of Health Sciences, New Voice of the NWU Award for his comments on indigenous health practices as well as the shortage of nurses and how it is affecting South Africa’s health care;
•    Prof Melville Saayman, Faculty of Eonomic and Management Sciences, Creating a Spike in Media Coverage Award for creating more than one spike for his comments on topics such as wildlife conservation, tourism trends and the effect of geo-politics on the global tourism sector;
•    Prof Raymond Parsons, Quoted the Most in Print and Online Media Award as well as the Quoted the Most in Broadcast Media, for his various opinion pieces and expert comments on various aspects affecting the economic situation in South Africa.

An award of appreciation was posthumously given to recognise the contributions of the late Prof Andre Mellet for the contributions he made over many years to the increased media profile of the NWU. Annatjie Mellet, the wife of Prof Mellet, took the certificate in acceptance.


Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance was quoted the most in the media in 2016. It is his second consecutive win.


Ms Annatjie Mellet received an award of appreciation on behalf of the late Prof Andre Mellet. Suzaan Paxton of RSG gave a stirring tribute to Prof Mellet during the awards ceremony.

Enquiries:    Willie du Plessis, Journalist
                      North-West University
                     (018) 299 4915 / 082 590 0692

Date:            28 July 2017