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Southern Africa Rhodes Scholarships for 2016 awarded

The Secretariat, Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa is pleased to announce the election of the 2016 Rhodes Scholars-elect for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland to study at the University of Oxford from October 2016.

The Rhodes Scholars-elect for the year 2016 are:  

South Africa-at-Large:

Qhayiya Magaqa (23) grew up in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape. She attended Stutterheim High School where she became head prefect in 2010. She was also a silver medallist for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Nationals in 2009, the Schools’ Christian Association Co-Chairperson in 2010 and a silver medallist in the De Beers National English Olympiad also in 2010. She earned a BSc in Physiotherapy at the University of Cape Town with distinction. During her degree, she held the UCT Health Sciences Entrance Scholarship in 2011 and the UCT Health Sciences Faculty Academic Merit Scholarship from 2012 to 2014. She was awarded the Class Medal for the Best Student in Clinical Physiotherapy in 2014. Qhayiya is currently on a community service placement at Zithulele Mission Hospital in the Eastern Cape. She has applied her physiotherapy skills at the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans marathon and was a member of UCT SHAWCO Physiotherapy. Qhayiya is actively involved in church activities and was children’s leader at Jubilee Community Church between 2012 and 2014. Her interests include playing the guitar, singing and song-writing. At Oxford, Qhayiya hopes to read for an MSc in Global Health Science.


Ofentse Makgae (23) was born in the North West province and attended Manamakgotha High School. He was a silver medallist for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Nationals in 2009. A holder of the 2015 James Moir Medal of the South African Chemical Institute, Ofentse is currently enrolled for an MSc in Chemistry (Materials Science) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Ofentse is the recipient of the 2015 South Africa Chemical Institute Young Chemist award and the 2015 Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials prize. He also held a position as an in-service trainee at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Ofentse holds a Bachelor of Technology in Chemistry (cum laude) from the Tshwane University of Technology. Ofentse has been awarded the Mendeleev Chemistry Excellence award several times at the Tshwane University of Technology. He was a recipient of the Merit Bursary between 2010 and 2012. Ofentse was public relations officer for the Independent Student Movement at Tshwane University of Technology and a senior mentor to first year students. He serves on the Wits Chemistry Society committee and is a member of South African Chemical Institute, International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), and Applied Centre for Climate and Earth System Sciences (ACCESS). Ofentse’s interests outside science include philosophy, international law and social justice. At Oxford, he hopes to read for a DPhil in Materials.

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Studying abroad – pros, cons, how to go about it

Deadlines are looming for those applying for admission and funding to study abroad. A while back, I chaired this #eNCAlive discussion on the benefits (and downsides) of studying abroad. My guests – Itumeleng Malebye (an executive at Alexander Forbes) and Nhlanhla Dlamini (founder of Maneli Group) – are open and engaging about their experiences abroad, and offer some useful tips on how to go about this journey. Itu did his A levels in Scotland in the  late 1980s and earned a degree in social sciences at Manchester University in England.  Nhlanhla, a Rhodes scholar, obtained a masters degree at Oxford University in England and an MBA from Harvard University in the US. Watch and learn.

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Legacy of Rhodes is not black and white

My thoughts on #Rhodesmustfall:

ONCE in a while, a little voice asks me: “What were you thinking?” It belongs to an inconstant ghost that might suddenly appear when I am having a good laugh over drinks with cherished friends I met at Oxford. Or while I listen to a young, ambitious woman at pains to demonstrate how she stacks up to the attributes of the ideal scholar as set out in Cecil John Rhodes’s will. Or when students at the University of Cape Town demand that #Rhodesmustfall. What was I thinking, filling out forms, rehearsing answers in front of the mirror, rounding up referrals?

But most of the time, when the pesky ghost is not with me, I am a proud Rhodes scholar, who continues to support the aims of the trust by giving some of my time to its local secretariat.

A black woman from Hammanskraal, I’m obviously not what the colonist had in mind when he wrote his will.

The rest is here:

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Reflections on success: fighting the world’s fight

Part 3/3 of remarks made at UCT Young Women Professionals Dinner

I have touched briefly on the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. It continues to be one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. About a week ago, we were in Oxford celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Rhodes Trust.  Some of you may be aware of the criteria that the Rhodes Trust uses in selecting Rhodes Scholars. I went through that process twice so I have had to think hard about those criteria.

In crafting his will, Rhodes came up with an interesting framework for evaluating potential, and in a way, success. I find myself coming back to his formulation even as I think of my life now.

In his will, Rhodes made it clear that his scholarship was not meant for ‘bookworms’; he wanted all-rounders. The qualities he sought in a potential scholar were: 1) literary and scholastic attainment; 2) fondness and success in manly outdoor sports (I think of this as a symbol for vitality and teamwork), 3) qualities of manhood, truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak etc. and 4) moral force of character, an instinct to lead and likely to esteem to performance of public duties. In modern and general terms, one can think of these as academic and later professional success, vitality and teamwork, compassion and leadership skills. In approaching any stage of life, I think these are important axes to plot one’s life against.

I implore you to ask yourselves these questions as you conduct your lives: am I achieving as much I can? And am I achieving it through respectable methods, in community with others, and taking care of my health and wellness? Am I taking the honest and courageous path? Am I compassionate? Am I exercising the leadership that is required of me, and also beyond that?
Rhodes Scholars are encouraged to fight the world’s fight. As talented women, I urge you to do the same.

I also implore you to equip yourself psychologically and spiritually for your career. We often approach our careers with a very academic model in our minds. You work hard, you are acknowledged, you get your gold stars and move on to the next level on the hierarchy.  No-one talks about screaming matches in boardrooms, protests and manifestos, failed projects and constant daily struggle to get things done. For example, unless you are an industrial relations major, there is little in a conventional education that can prepare you for the type of discourse and emotion that has seeped into our industrial relations even in professional settings. You have to be resilient whichever side of the placard you find yourself on.

I would now like to address the future entrepreneurs in the room. We are told that feminine qualities are becoming highly valued in the business world, and that this will be the woman’s century. I hope that’s true. But however welcoming the climate, as an innovator, as a risk taker, you will start off as a David amidst Goliaths.  Speaking as a competition practitioner, I will caution that in many industries, you will need to be prepared to blow stuff up, as Cindy Gallop, a phenomenal US-based entrepreneur often says. Blow stuff up. She uses a more colourful word for stuff of course.

Because in South Africa, and in many other emerging markets on the continent and elsewhere, you will quite likely confront many barriers to entry. Never mind gender and race. You will find supply chains tied up by former state monopolies. You will find menacing cartels that either shut you out completely or try to co-opt you, sometimes using the threat of force. You will also find those seeking to acquire your business, not to develop it, but to take out a maverick.

Nine months into 2013, the Competition Commission has scored some crucial successes in its endeavour to achieve the ideal of fair and efficient markets. We concluded a ground-breaking industry-wide settlement in the construction industry, which saw 15 companies come forward to disclose and settle cases related to bid-rigging in that industry. Bid-rigging distorts competition as companies create the illusion of rivalry, whilst dividing contracts amongst themselves behind the scenes. Instead of the best company winning a contract, a sham process has already occurred and the client is none the wiser. Projects that were rigged ranged from World Cup stadia to roads, shopping malls, industrial plants and apartment blocks. This behaviour hurts the government department that is seeking to develop infrastructure for a community or the entrepreneur trying to build a factory.

We also settled a long-running case with Telkom. This was a case of abuse of dominance as Telkom’s behaviour excluded value added network service providers from competing in the market. This R200m settlement, which also came with some pricing and behavioural commitments, followed a R449m penalty imposed on the company last year, for similar behaviour spanning a different time period.

Finally, I would like to remind us all that public service is something worth aspiring to. It’s not all gloom and doom. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report of 2013-2014, South Africa is ranked 8 out of 148 countries for the effectiveness of its anti-monopoly policy.

South Africa’s competitiveness was ranked 53 overall. Commissioner Shan Ramburuth has remarked that this is an acknowledgement of the enforcement record of the competition authorities.

The Global Competition Review (GCR) 12th annual survey of the world’s competition authorities rates the Commission at three stars, in the same league as Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Russia amongst other countries. Our institutions need talented individuals to take them forward.

We cannot claim that we have rid the economy of anti-competitive behaviour. But I would like to think that the work of the competition authorities, modest as it might be in the face of the challenge, has opened up fields for you to cultivate.