From left: Mr Sandile Mbatha; Miss Thandeka
Msebenzi; Miss Taryn Ramputh; Mr Kashmil
Gopal and Dr Koyi Mchunu.

Masters students from Housing and Town Planning were participants in a symposium by the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE), which was presented in collaboration with University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Durban University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, and the University of South Africa.

The symposium provided opportunities for young researchers to share research projects while also exposing them to contemporary discussions around their respective areas of research.

‘Our students presented abstract and preliminary findings of their research on water management practices in low-income settlements in eThekwini. Their research topic “Water Management Practices in Low-income Settlements: Towards Appropriately Designed and Targeted Awareness and Education Campaigns” were aimed at assessing current practices in two low-income settlements of Johanna Road Informal Settlements and Mangamazini,’ said UKZN’s Mr Sandile Mbatha.

The students research findings suggest that water management practices in these settlements are inadequate and reveal that existing educational programmes on water management are ineffective.

They also argued that this may be due to the level at which educational programmes are pitched in these communities. ‘The medium through which some of the messages are transmitted is not accessible to targeted audiences. The presentation stimulated a vibrant debate on critical water management issues and the role of the state, the private sector, and communities,’ said Dr Koyi Mchunu.

Miss Thandeka Msebenzi, Mr Kashmil Gopal, and Miss Taryn Ramputh were applauded by the attendees for their bravery and contribution to discussions in the breakaway sessions of the symposium.

Dr Koyi Mchunu and Mr Sandile Mbatha from Town Planning and Housing Disciplines respectively were in attendance to support their students and to participate in the discussions.

Overall, the symposium proved to be a great success as it allowed for networking between research institutions, researchers and government departments and officials.