Pretoria - The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) has called on the government, public and private sector stakeholders to partner with the country’s only dedicated health sciences university to help take it to greater heights.
University principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mbati made the call at a stakeholder gala dinner recently, when he said the institution had a number of infrastructural projects under way in order to realise its Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2025.
He said some of these projects included the construction of a 2 000-bed student accommodation, another 800-bed student accommodation project, a bulk water project, the reinforcement of the campus perimeter wall, the installation of high mast lights, CCTV cameras and a drone to complement security efforts.
Furthermore, the university had plans to renovate sporting facilities, build pharmacy labs, maximise library space, and modernise facilities. In addition, it was pushing forward with its plans to upgrade the campus ICT infrastructure, upgrade and maintain existing student residences, and tar the campus ring road, Mbati said.
He said projects in which stakeholders could get involved included funding the envisaged centre for pandemics, upgrading the SMU animal house facility, upgrading the tissue culture laboratory and the SMU Bio-Safety Level 3 lab, and commercialising the institution.
“The university is making significant strides in the areas of research, both local and abroad. One example is our role in taking part in the Sinovac/Numolux vaccine trial for children being conducted at our Mecru Centre.”
Chairperson of the SMU alumni, Dr Sol Motlhanthe, urged stakeholders to come on board to assist the university. He said it was underfunded and could do with help from other parties.
President of SMU Convocation, Linda Rojie, said: “Our detractors said it was impossible to stand alone, but we did it. SMU is becoming a university we dreamt of.”
Rojie added that SMU alumni was also aiding the country, as a number of them were serving at the 1 Military hospital where the country’s statesmen and women were treated.
“Despite some of the challenges, there is a good SMU story to tell, and I am proud to be a part of the SMU community and alumni.”
In highlighting how the success of fund-raising events aided not just the university but also the student community, Dr Phillp Makume indicated that the university’s annual Golf Day had raised R180 000 during the 2021 edition.