SU celebrates Janine Myburgh’s outstanding Social Impact contributions

Janine Myburgh, a senior administrative officer at the Department of Civil Engineering, received a distinguished Social Impact (SI) Award at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Social Impact Award Ceremony on Thursday, 23 May 2024, at Die Stal in Stellenbosch.

The SU Social Impact Awards recognise the remarkable social impact achievements of academic and professional administrative support services (PASS) staff and celebrate the enduring relationships cultivated with external stakeholders beyond the university’s walls.

Janine was honoured in the Team Leader category for outstanding leadership and contributions to the Pniel Heritage and Cultural Trust. She has been the Chairperson of the Trust since 2019 and was born, raised, and married in Pniel, which is why it holds special significance to her. Last year, the Cape Winelands District Municipality awarded her the Phenomenal Woman in Management Award for preserving and promoting Pniel’s cultural and historical heritage.

Janine’s journey towards this accolade began with a nomination by one of her colleagues, who highlighted her extensive efforts in social impact initiatives, saying, “Her work reflects not only a deep passion for her heritage but also a proactive approach to fostering sustainable community development.”

The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact & Transformation, and Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, who set the tone of the ceremony by emphasising the importance of the university’s strategic priorities extending beyond the lecture room and laboratories.

During her acceptance speech, she said: “Everything I do is out of passion for my community and because I love people.” She said the purpose of the Trust is to protect, develop and promote the cultural and historical heritage of Pniel and to build bridges between the communities of the Dwarsriver Valley. “The Trust organises cultural events like the Adam Small Literary Festival and the Annual Chrysanthemum Show in Pniel. We also manage an art school for primary school pupils, a writing school for primary and high school learners, and a writing school for adults in collaboration with the ATKV.”

August Engelbrecht, responsible for targeted recruitment of prospective engineering undergraduate students, says Janine’s commitment inspires everyone to get more involved and create positive change. “Together, we can make a difference,” he says.

Congratulations once again to Janine on her outstanding achievement. May your work continue to inspire and uplift the SU community.

Photograph: Dr Zetu Mkize, Director: Transformation Office, Janine Myburgh and Renee Hector-Kannemeyer, Deputy Director: Social Impact and Transformation.

[Article by Amber Viviers]