The implementation of the merSETA Chair in Engineering Development was initiated by Prof Henk de Jager (NMU) and Carmen Adams (merSETA) and finalized with the signing of a MOU. The MOU provides a detailed description to establish the merSETA CHAIR in Engineering Development (ED) at Nelson Mandela University. Furthermore, the scope, objectives and key performance indicators (envisaged outcomes) of each of the projects are defined.

This plan focuses on “Phase One” of the Chair for the period 1 March 2010 – 31 March 2011. This Chair has been approved until 31 March 2013, but phases two and three are pending the future of SETAs. The various projects are illustrated in the figure below.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Overview of merSETA Chair projects

The MOU was initiated with the advertisement and appointment of Mr Karl du Preez as the merSETA Chair in ED.  Ms Parshotam, Project coordinator, in conjunction with the NMU Corporate Affair department, design and commissioned the branding for the programme.

A major initial responsibility of the merSETA Chair in order to initiate all projects was to:

  1. Establish a physical and financial infrastructure at the NMMU to manage the project.
  2. Appoint relevant human resources.
  3. Establish communication between NMU and Colleges, Department of Education and High Schools.

The image below illustrates the infrastructure that were created to support the merSETA Chair in Engineering Development.Figure 2

Various successes and highlights have been achieved in a short period of time, even during the FIFA World Cup, and include:

  1. Completing training needs analysis for all three technical colleges.
  2. Finalizing training schedules for all three technical colleges.
  3. Offering first training session to PE College.
  4. Establishment of project plan for Woman in Engineering.
  5. Branding the Chair in ED as well as Woman in Engineering.
  6. Collaboration with the NMU Marketing Department to realize engineering awareness programme.
  7. Acquisition of relevant data for merSETA bursary students.
  8. Implementation of various projects with the VWSA/DAAD Chair in conjunction with Siemens SA and AIDC.

The major challenges facing the programme are:

  1. Funding for human resource development at Colleges.
  2. Funding for implementation of engineering projects at additional High Schools (not mentioned in MOU).
  3. Scheduling training sessions during academic period at Colleges.
  4. Sufficient funding to complete all training requirements of Colleges and High Schools.
  5. The lack of infrastructure at the rural schools, make setting up presentations almost impossible.
  6. Difficult to initiate High School Project due to FIFA World Cup.


Contact information
Mr Karl du Preez
Principal Lecturer
Tel: 27 41 504 3644

Ms Meera Naidoo
Project Manager merSETA Chair in ED
Tel: 27 41 504 3464