Pretoria – Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande has sent his condolences to the family of the late Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Dan Kgwadi.
Professor Kgwadi died on Sunday.
The Department of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, said the minister, “passes his heartfelt condolences to the Kgwadi family, friends, colleagues, and the entire VUT community following the untimely death of the Vaal University Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Dan Kgwadi”.
Born on 28 July 1967 at Kraaipan Village in the North West Province, Professor Kgwadi was also the former North-West University (NWU) Vice Chancellor and Principal.
Professor Kgwadi also served as the first Rector of the North-West University, Mafikeng Campus where he started his term as Campus Rector on 1 January 2005.
“His leadership has been most profound as he continued to guide the Campus through the challenges of transformation and a changing environment,” the department said.
“With unwavering determination, he guided the campus and facilitated its transformation to a stable and diverse campus with a vibrant academic and student life as well as financial stability.
“Through his management skills, he established good relations and partnerships for the campus locally and internationally.”
Dr. Nzimande said Professor Kgwadi had a deep commitment to academic excellence, community services, and partnerships with the public and industry.
He had a profound passion to serve and empower the underprivileged youth, particularly from rural and township backgrounds. He further demonstrated this commitment to serve others by nurturing emerging academics and leaders, said Dr. Nzimande.
Indeed through the commitment and resolve of Professor Kgwadi and his many reformatory-focused university administrators and academics today, our university system enrols more than 1 112 439 students.
“Last year, in 2022, we allocated about 760 permanent posts through our New Generation of Academics Programme, which is our nationally coordinated programme to enable accelerated capacity development, greater representation and improved retention of blacks and women in the academic workforce, professoriate, and university management and governance structures.”
The minister said through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, “We have provisionally reached a milestone to fund about 1 083 055 students from the working class and the poor background”.
Dr. Nzimande added: “We are also on course to finalise our new Comprehensive Student Funding Model which we intend to implement in 2024”.
By any measure, Professor Kgwadi was an erudite man. His impressive credentials included:
- BSc (Physics and Chemistry from the University of Bophuthatswana, RSA);
- MSc (Physics, from Ball State University, USA);
- MPhil (Environmental Law and Management, from University of the North, RSA);
- PhD (Physics Ed, from Potchefstroom University, RSA) and
- PhD (Management honoris causa from Hanseo University, South Korea).
He recently completed the Oxford Executive Leadership programme at the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford.
“Minister Nzimande wishes Professor Kgwadis knowledge and legacy continue to shine a light for generations to come,” said the department.
“The Vaal University of Technology is liaising with the family for further details of the memorial service and funeral details.”