Chief Executive Officer
KZN Science Center
As the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Candice Potgieter has played an integral role in the redevelopment and reorganization of The KZN Science Centre. Her strong creative and insight into the inner workings of the organization has steered the extraordinary growth of the organization from a visitor base of approximately 40 000 to now boasting a visitor base of over 100 000 each year, of which over seventy percent of all visitors are sponsored and from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mrs Potgieter’s expertise covers many components including scientific research, business development, financial management, marketing, communication, government relations and fundraising activities. Academically, she holds a postgraduate degree in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as having been a part of The National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme at The University of Cape Town. Mrs Potgieter has also completed a multitude of business and science communication courses both locally and abroad.
Further on, Mrs Potgieter was appointed to serve and is serving as an executive member on the Advisory Committee to the MEC of Education in KZN for Career Support and Guidance. Of more recent Mrs Potgieter has been appointed as a non-executive director on the board of The Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres (SAASTEC) which serves as a body for the network of science centres across the southern regions of the continent of Africa. Finally since 2014, Mrs Potgieter is also a Mandela Washington Fellow.
How to build a sustainable relationship between the youth and the industrialo-port activity ?
The pass rate of those in their final year of school published, paints an extremely bleak picture for the future of our youth in South Africa. In the year 2012 the pass rate for physical science was under 60% and mathematics was under 50%.
This performance has far reaching effects in that these school leavers will not be able to study further, be employable or be a contributing member of society. In terms of the local port industry in and around Durban, there will not be a pipeline of employable youth to continue with the important work undertaken by these industries.
To combat this problem The KZN Science Centre has been tasked by local industry to assist these learners in increasing their pass rate in these gateway subjects, understand the benefits of science related subjects, and be motivated to study further toward science related careers becoming employable and engaged members of society.
The KZN Science Centre is a registered non profit and public benefits organization focussed on inculcating the importance of education in learners, educators and the general public using funded learning projects, curriculum based resources and interactive exhibitions. Work conducted by The KZN Science Centre is undertaken through corporate social investment tying into the needs of the community and the funder.
This paper will examine these tools of mediation used to reach out to the public through private economic stakeholders such as SAPREF PTY LTD in providing access to the youth and contributing to the competiveness of the whole port city region of Durban.