University of Johannesburg: Finding local solutions amidst global and national socio-economic challenges

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The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has outperformed its Strategic Objectives targets for 2021. This was revealed at the launch of the 2021 Stakeholder Report held on Thursday, 18 August 2022.

The topic for the event “Leading in the face of global and national socio-economic challenges: Instruments for local solutions?” saw guest speaker Mr. Peter Armitage, CEO of Anchor Capital, give the keynote address.

The Chairperson of the UJ Council, Mr Mike Teke, announced his retirement after a successful tenure and gave an updated assessment and report on the work of the council.

Outgoing UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala highlighted the feats of the university including overtaking a number of other universities at rankings level. UJ received 82 national, international and prestigious awards and was ranked first in the world for SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.

The 2021 Stakeholder Report can be found here
“The 4IR was not just an academic project, it was also a way of improving the way we do things. There are still a lot of things to be achieved and I am quite confident they will be achieved,’ said Prof Marwala.

Of the six Strategic Objectives, UJ achieved/surpassed 20 out of the 21 KPI’s set.

In his address, Mr Armitage reflected on the challenges the country is facing which include electricity, inflation, politics and corruption convictions. He said while the world was facing challenging global geopolitics, there was hope for the country in the next 24 months.

Mr Armitage also addressed the growing industries in South Africa; renewable energy, financial services, tourism, education and technology services.

“The globe is going through a cycle. Geopolitics is the biggest risk out there, everything else will pass. Flowing that into South Africa, we need to speed up the implementations of many policies which are much more investor friendly.”

In response to the address, Prof Marwala said the issues raised were important.

He touched on economic growth saying that there was no way the country was going to deal with the political and socio-economic challenges faced unless there was growth.

“When we talk about investment in South Africa, growth must be at the core of our strategy. The unemployment rate for university graduates was 9.5%. What that statistic tells us is that education is important. If you don’t have enough educated people you will not succeed economically. The unemployment issue has to be tackled,” he concluded.

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