Edupark’s vision is embodied in its motto: Empowerment for all through focused education.
Our company’s mission is to operate a facility of the University of Limpopo that will provide innovative educational opportunities and focussed educational programmes to organizations and individuals; to optimise the use of facilities by entering into of arrangements with other institutions in terms of which educational programmes to organizations and individuals can be maximised; to provide developmental educational training and research services to industry, commerce , Government, community and other clients by providing career specific and professional training service.
Edupark’s values determine our conduct and behaviour. Our focus is on providing a quality service to our clients and learners, without compromising on any standards relating to transparency, ethical treatment, and maintaining a human centred focus. We continuously strive for excellence and improvement to ensure that we are better able to sustain our mission and vision.
The corporate values governing Edupark’s development include the following:
Embracing accepted ethical and business norms governing relationships with learners, tenants, suppliers, service providers, the community, and the environment;
Creating an enabling working environment that encourages loyalty, diligence and innovation amongst staff.
The following critical strategies will be followed by Edupark:
- Raise capital to construct additional buildings;
- Forge more links with strategic partners in education and training;
- Maintain links with current partners and tenants;
- Develop the marketing team;
- Promote Edupark within its target market;
- Develop new markets such as in the surrounding towns;
- Ensure a developed web presence.
Edupark is managed by a management team under the guidance of a Chief Executive Officer (the current incumbent is Professor J E Nel who has been seconded to the position from the University of Limpopo). The CEO reports to a Board of Directors that has been reconstituted to better reflect the guidelines proposed by King III. The current Chairman (ex officio) of the Board of Directors is Professor N M Mokgalong who is the Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of Limpopo.
The other members and directors of the Board, from the University of Limpopo, are (ex officio):
- The Executive Director: Finance
- The Executive Director: Marketing
- The Institutional Planner
Additional directors have been invited to serve on the Board, including a representative from the University of Limpopo’s Council. These directors will serve a term of 2 years.
Pre-history of Edupark
People lived on Edupark site hundreds of years ago..
When the construction of Edupark commenced earlier this year, little did anyone expect people lived in the area thousands of years ago. An archaeologist, Ms Hester Roodt, has now revealed that the site where Edupark is being erected may have been inhabited as far back as 1000 AD.
Charcoal from one of the graves excavated by Ms Roodt, showed that the person was buried around 991 AD. Dung from a cattle byre dates to the late 1600s, while a midden close to one of the graves also dated to 1018 A.D. The discoveries on the site led to recommendations by Ms Roodt that some of the main archaeological features such as some of the stone wall enclosures and huts be reconstructed. “The reconstructed complex can be run as an open-air museum and could be made the responsibility of the Anthropology Department in conjunction with the History Department,” Ms Roodt suggested to Vice-Chancellor Njabulo Ndebele during a recent visit to Edupark.
Ms Roodt explained that an environmental impact assessment had originally been done, but that it was never assessed what archaeological impact the building of Edupark could have. I was only one construction was under way, that the Curator of the Polokwane Museums, Frans Roodt, discovered a sequence of cattle byre, ash deposits, and pits filled with ash or cow dung, as well as a hut floor on the site. Pottery fragments were also found scattered all over most of the construction site. Ms Roodt then negotiated funding and contracted an archaeological team to help with the excavation.
Since they started working on the site, Ms Roodt, a labourer and volunteers made several interesting finds. Features like cattle byres (of which some were stone walled) are distributed over the whole site, and at least ten hut floors have been identified up to date. “Two of the hut floors had been partly excavated and finds include items like a Cowrie shell, a few glass beads, ostrich eggshell, as well as two reconstruct able pots. These features are not only spatially distributed on the site, but are also separated in chronological time, as suggested by various stratification levels,” said Ms Roodt.
She said both the glass beads and the Cowrie are indicative of the inhabitants’ involvement in a widespread network in the East Coast. They are therefore of great importance in establishing their trade connections as well as dating of the site. The four ostrich eggshells beads may indicate relations with the San. Other finds include faunal remains, many pottery shreds, and polishing stones, upper grinding stones and one broken lower grinding stone.
Four human burials were also excavated, but unfortunately all were damaged when the trenches for the water pipeline we dug. “However, enough datable material was found and enough remains were found in situ to deduct the position of the bodies in the graves It will also be possible to establish the sex of the individuals and in at least three cases to establish their age at death”, said Ms Roodt.
Several other grave have since been discovered away from the main site. Ms Roodt says all the burials are important, since various indicators can be used to identify the groups which inhabited the site. In the first grave which was excavated the person was buried in an upright, foetal position. “This is an indication of high status among several people who inhabited this part of the country. As the grave is situated in cattle byre, it is likely that is a male, although in some cases the first wife of an important man would al be buried in such a place,” according to Ms Roodt.
In the upper layers of another grave a pottery shred, dating to about 1 000 Ad (according to its decorations) was found. It was placed on the grave at the time of burial, said Ms Roodt, for charcoal which came from the grave was to about 991 AD. The skeleton has not yet been dated.
Decorated pottery shreds, reconstruct able pots and the layout of the habituation are of particular interest in the establishing the chronological period. According to the stratification, it is also known that the site was inhabited during the last two different time periods.”The upper layer suggest a Late Iron Age occupation with pole and dagha structures, few or very roughly decorated pottery; stone walls, glass beads, and large grinding stones for maize. The deeper levels could reveal and Early Iron Age occupation as the one particular potsherd suggest, while grass was probably used to build house structures as there were not hut rubble found – except for burned earthen floors,” said Ms Roodt
Ms Roodt also proposed that the University of Limpopo become more involved in cultural resource management by means of training of archaeologist in order to fulfil that pressing need . “Archaeological sites are in constant danger because of intensive and increasing development schemes. Without enough properly trained archaeologists very little can be done to preserve the past. Unlike natural resources, our archaeological heritage is not renewable” she said