Vice-Chancellor’s Communiqué: Honour and Congratulations to One of Our Own

15 December 2021


Dear Staff and Students

With great pride, we congratulate our UKZN Town Planning Lecturer, Professor Hangwelani Magidimisha-Chipungu, on her appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the National Planning Commission (NPC).

The Commission is tasked with delivering on the National Development Plan (NDP) – the road map to pave the way for a South Africa that is premised in our constitution. It is pinned on six key pillars that represent the broad objectives, including building a capable and developmental state, eliminating poverty, and reducing inequality.

Professor Magidimisha-Chipungu is one of 28 new members of the NPC to be chaired by Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele for the next five years.  The new NPC will operate against the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic with economic and social recovery andreconstruction of the priorities on the path towards building momentum to achieve the National Development Plan’s 2030 goals.

Magidimisha-Chipungu is the youngest ever SARChI Chair in Inclusive Cities. The Chair, funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and South African City Networks, supports research intospatial, economic and social inclusion within South African cities. 

She is an avid researcher, evidenced by her study and publications history, which includes being the author and co-author of a variety of chapters in books as well as peer-reviewed journal articles. This year, she published a book titled Urban Inclusivity in Southern Africa, which is part ofher ongoing research into urban inclusivity, which falls under the ambit of her SARChI Chair research mandate. 

She is also the founder and Chief Editor of the Journal for Inclusive Cities and the Built Environment published out of UKZN and received the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award last year.

Magidimisha-Chipungu has served on the City Planning Commission for the eThekwini Municipality, tasked with the strategic responsibility of advising the municipality’s Executive Committee and councillors.

We wish her well in her work over the next five years in such a significant portfolio. We have no doubt that her skills, expertise and commitment will prove to be a major asset to the NPC. We are immensely proud of this achievement. She is an inspiration to all.

Professor Nana Poku
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of KwaZulu-Natal