NWU's Vanderbijlpark Campus celebrates new Tsebonokeng Hall
The newly built Tsebonokeng Hall on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Vanderbijlpark was officially opened on 29 May 2023.
Located on the site of the old Building 24, which used to be the administration building, construction of the hall started in July 2022 and was completed in March 2023.
NWU vice-chancellor Prof Bismark Tyobeka unveiled the plaque of the state-of-the-art facility during the opening ceremony that was attended by members of the university community, including former Vanderbijlpark Campus rector Prof Piet Prinsloo, and the chairperson of Council, Bert Sorgdrager.
Before the opening, the campus launched a competition among students and staff to submit suggestions for a name for the new building, and the winner of this competition was announced at the event.
Student Clinton Mabunda came up with the winning name Tsebonokeng. Tsebonokeng, a coined Sesotho name, means river of knowledge.
Prof Linda du Plessis, vice-principal and deputy vice-chancellor for planning and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, said the name Tsebonokeng is fitting for this new addition to the campus. Students played an important role in naming the hall – about 545 names were proposed.
"This hall is a great addition to the campus. It's amazing to see how much the campus has grown over the years and it's exciting to see this space being put to good use. The hall is a testament to the collaboration and hard work of different departments' leadership. Plus, the fact that it can be repurposed using digital technology makes it even more versatile," she said.
The hall's opening marked a significant milestone in the university's history and was particularly memorable as the first graduation ceremony also took place in the new hall earlier in the day, with 1 611 more students receiving their degrees in this venue during the rest of the week.
Boasting modern state-of-the-art architecture, the Tsebonokeng Hall will seat more than 1 700 people. It provides a space that can be used for various activities, including public events such as graduation ceremonies, examinations, conferences, workshops, social and indoor sporting events and public lectures. The launch of the hall follows the inauguration of a 1 000-seater lecturer block earlier this year.
In his address, Prof Tyobeka said the inauguration of this new multipurpose building serves as a tangible manifestation of the university's dedication to ensuring equity of provision of resources and services across all campuses, thereby facilitating the successful execution of the NWU’s academic agenda.
"We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to expand our campus and elevate our facilities to unprecedented heights. Aligned with our pledge to provide comprehensive access to our students, this state-of-the-art facility will empower students and staff to host events of varying magnitudes.
“This facility will substantially contribute to our academic agenda, fostering an enriching environment conducive to research, teaching and learning and community engagement seminars," he said.
Prof Tyobeka pointed out that there are also three ongoing building projects, including a dedicated facility for the School of Psychosocial Health that will enable the Vanderbijlpark Campus to offer essential nursing qualifications. He said plans were also under way for a building for the School of Geo- and Spatial Sciences and one for the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
“We firmly believe that these expansions will contribute to enhancing our student value proposition and create new opportunities for learners in the surrounding areas to access higher education," said Prof Tyobeka.
Please click on the link to view the video.