REPORTER: TSHEPO C MOLOTO: The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, passes his heartfelt condolences to the Kgwadi family, friends, colleagues and the entire Vaal University of Technology community following the untimely death of the Vaal University Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Dan Kgwadi.

Born on the 28th July 1967 at Kraaipan Village in the North West Province, Professor Dan Kgwadi was also the former North-West University (NWU) Vice Chancellor and Principal.

He 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.

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.

Minister Nzimande said Prof Kgwadi had 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 Minister Nzimande.

“Indeed through the commitment and resolve of Prof Kgwadi and his many reformatory focused university administrator and academics today our university system enrols more than 1.112 439 million students and last year in 2022, we have allocated about 760 permanent post through our New Generation of Academics Programme (the nGAP) 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, emphasised Minister Nzimande.

The Minister further said through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) we are provisionally reached a milestone to fund about 1,083,055 students from the working class and the poor background. We are also on course to finalise our new Comprehensive Student Funding Model which we intend to implement in 2024.

Prof Dan Kgwadi has the following degrees to his credentials; BSc (Physics and Chemistry from 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 Prof Kgwadi’s knowledge and legacy continue to shine a light for generations to come.

The Vaal University of Technology is liaising with the family for further details of the memorial service and funeral details.

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