Mandela Uni alumni shine in response to COVID-19

11/06/2020

Be it engineering or entrepreneurial skills, an ability to network, educate or simply to remind us of the positives in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Mandela University alumni are doing their bit.

From fast-tracking the urgent need for ventilators in hard-hit New York through to using the gift of telling stories and educating communities in how to prevent the spread of the invisible virus, alma mater around the globe are doing the University proud in the fight against coronavirus.

Marcel Botha

Architect alumnus Marcel Botha, CEO of a product development firm, responded to a call to speed up the supply chain for the manufacture of ventilators to meet demand. Armed with a basic ventilator design, he and a friend collaborated with scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, physicians and regulatory experts all over the world to design a “bridge” ventilator, or automatic resuscitator, priced at about 10% of  a typical ventilator... READ MORE

Quinton Uren

Closer to home, Port Elizabeth’s Quinton Uren, Jendamark group managing director and a 2019 Alumni Achiever award winner, is collaborating with industry partners, such as Volkswagen South Africa, as well as with the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Technology, to counter the anticipated shortages and challenges of the pandemic in South Africa... READ MORE

Allan Knott-Craig

Another alumnus, IT entrepreneur Allan Knott-Craig (BCom Honours Accounting 1998), is focusing on the positives without ignoring, nor making light of the devastating effect of the coronavirus on the economy and the deaths.  He is highlighting the fact that South Africans could dodge the worst of COVID-19 because of having received the BCG vaccine for TB lowering their risk of death... READ MORE

Pumza Deti

Pumza Deti, 30, a BCom Alumnus who graduated in 2011, is currently making a name for herself in the community development space. Pumza works on a number of projects associated with community development and recently worked with the Good Work Foundation (GWF), where she did a voice over for a video in IsiXhosa, supplying detailed information about COVID-19... READ MORE

Vanessa Mhlom

Chartered Accounting Alumnus, Vanessa Mhlom, is a business analyst at the Nybble financial technology company in Johannesburg, and came up with the idea to develop a Lockdown Levels app to give users detailed updated information about their district’s lockdown level, using a smartphone GPS-tracking capability... READ MORE

James Pearce and Charles Stretch

Bulk SMS provider SMSPortal, run by Mandela University Alumni, have stepped up to the plate and donated 100 000 SMS’s to the university to enable effective communication with students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. And this was in addition to the R100 000 that they donated to the country’s Solidarity Fund... READ MORE

Garth De Villiers 

The ROVD Group in Port Elizabeth, has come up with ground-breaking technology, creating a prototype mechanical ventilator powered by nothing but oxygen. The industrial automation company, with Mechanical Engineering Alumnus Garth de Villiers as its Managing Director, has designed a product which claims to be more practical than other ventilators as it relies entirely on a pressure source for energy rather than on electricity... READ MORE