(Published - 17 October 2019)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is proud to announce the appointment of Professor Pamela Dube - Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support - to the Department of Higher Education and Training Ministerial Task Team.
The task team will advise Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and his department on matters relating to sexual harassment and gender-based violence (GBV) at South African universities.
Last year, The University of the Westen Cape’s (UWC) Council approved its Sexual Violence Policy which deals with sexual harassment and GBV. UWC has also rolled out intensive First Responder Training to campus stakeholders to reduce secondary trauma and to encourage survivors to seek further care.
In a letter of appointment to Professor Dube, Minister Nzimande wrote: “I remain concerned about the prevalence of sexual harassment and GBV in our univiersties and believe there is a great deal of work that can be done to improve our understanding of the situation in all our universities; share good practices across the sector, advise on policy frameworks, minimum basic levels of services for reporting, referral and support for staff and students, other mechanisms to reduce sexual harassment and GBV harm in our universities”.
In 2015 Professor Pamela Dube was appointed as UWC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support (DVC: SDS). She has oversight over the Centre for Student Support Services, the Financial Aid Office, Residential Services, Sports Administration, Campus Health, the Office for Student Development and Student Governance, and she works closely with the Student Representative Council and its structures.
Dube is a seasoned professional whose versatile career includes higher education and research management, media communication and literature, human resources development, student affairs as well as international relations. She is a past senior employee of the National Department of Education in higher education policy, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Siegen in Germany and the former University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. She is also a past employee of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) where she managed an international relations office as well as the learning and people development unit. She has also served as a Special Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Johannesburg where she also took on the leadership of the Human Resources Division.
Prof Dube said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to play such an important role at this level and on such a vexing societal issue that need all hands on deck. While this is also a vote of confidence for the efforts we continue to make in this space, the pressure is on for us to consolidate all our efforts, to be more responsive and open to new solutions as we collectively address instances of GBV within our own university community”.
UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, congratulated Professor Dube on her appointment. “Professor Dube played a pivotal role in drafting UWC’s updated Sexual Violence Policy, approved by the University’s Council last year. The comprehensive policy is aimed at dealing with sexual harassment and gender-based violence on campus. Therefore, I do not doubt that my esteemed colleague will be instrumental on the Ministerial Task Team which will advise the Minister and the Department of Higher Education and Training.
“UWC fiercely promotes gender diversity and equality. It’s Women & Gender Studies Department, for example, emerged from the institution's activist history as a struggle university. The Department strives to strengthen gender scholarship within the socio-political context of transformation. It is truly an honour to have UWC colleagues making such a significant contribution to the country and the institution.”