The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, today challenged some 200 graduating engineers from Wits University to forget about their “boarding passes and visas until every village in South Africa have a bridge, everyone walks on tar roads and all cities are greened”.
Opening the University’s June-July Graduation Cluster, Pandor told some 200 graduates from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE), that recent statistics show that in South Africa one engineer services 3 166 people, while in Brazil there is one engineer for every 227 people.
“South Africa is in desperate need of professional men and women who have the courage to do great things and who could make practical changes,” she said.
According to Pandor South Africa has many great debaters and many people with excellent ideas, but there are still millions of people who live in poverty on the perimeters of social change. “We need practical agents of change. We need people who can roll-up their sleeves and who can bring radical and progressive social change,” she said.
On Monday, the 25th of June 2012, Wits awarded 13 students with doctorates in engineering; as well as 47 Masters of Engineering degrees; and 44 Masters of Science in Engineering degrees.
The midyear graduations are for under-graduate as well as postgraduate students in the Faculties of EBE; Humanities; Science; Commerce Law & Management; and Health Sciences, and run until the 5th of July 2012.
Wits will also be awarding five Honorary Doctorates: Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Dr Elza Miles, David Nthubu Koloane and Professors Duncan Mitchell and Albert Solomon. Bishop Paul Verryn will receive a Gold Medal.