Public Management staff and students perform well at SAAPAM Conference
VANDERBIJLPARK –Eight students from the School of Basic Sciences, situated on the North-West University’s Vaal Triangle Campus attended the South African Association of Public Association and Management (SAAPAM) Conference held in Limpopo from the 29-31 October. This is the 3rd SAAPAM Annual Conference known as the Limpopo Chapter, where the students and Lecturers presented co-authored papers.
The focus of the conference in 2014 was on Corruption & Democracy in Post-colonial Africa. During this conference the lecturers and students discussed corruption in South Africa after the apartheid period. The first conference held in 2012 had the topic: Imagining the Future of Governance, while 2013 focused on The State of Governance in Africa at the turn of the Centenary of the African National Congress: Reflective Perspectives from Scholarship and Practice.
Prof Mpedi Madue, lecturer at the School of Basic Sciences, says that it is only at masters’ level that students are invited to take part in such activities, “the reason we decided to include honours students is to expose them to such prestige activities, which will prepare them for the workplace and further postgraduate activities.
The keynote speakers were Adv Sello Maake, former Chairperson of Chairpersons in the Limpopo Legislature, his focus was more on democracy and the progress registered by the government in the past 20 years. The second keynote speaker was the current MEC for Health in Limpopo, Mr Maria Kgetjepe whose address was on corruption in government and the misconception among people that corruption is only prevalent in government.
According to Prof Madue the vision of SAAPAM is to contribute towards the development of good governance and effective service delivery. By hosting these conferences the goal is to promote excellence in the theory and practice of public administration and management. Through this conference his students have learnt a lot. “I am proud to say that our team performed very well at the conference. We brought home a trophy for the best supporting university. The trophy is displayed in the in the school director's office,”says Prof Madue.
Ms Magdalene Serobane, Masters’ student says it is very motivating to be part of the team (they call themselves the PUMA GROUP), the level of support and guidance they gave one another is amazing. “Presenting at a national conference is not something I expected to accomplish so early in my studies. This was a great opportunity indeed, the experience was awesome,” said Ms Serobane.
Prof Madue says that he will continue to make sure that students are involved in such activities so that they leave the university as well-rounded public administrators. With the continued help and support from fellow lecturers and dedicated students he will make sure that students are equipped with the necessary practical skills.