Lukanyo Mekuto CPUT's youngest PhD graduate.

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has hired the youngest student to be awarded a doctorate at Cape Peninsula University of Technology after learning he was jobless.

De Lille tweeted her decision after meeting 28-year-old Lukhanyo Mekuto on Wednesday‚ and her spokesman‚ Zara Nicholson‚ confirmed that the newly capped PhD graduate would advise the city on recycling grey water as part of its emergency drought interventions.

Nicholson said paperwork had yet to be finalised but Mekuto would also help with water department training programmes.

Mekuto‚ the son of a domestic worker and a gardener from Philippi‚ could not be reached for comment about his new job but he told TimesLIVE earlier that he was delighted to have received an award from the National Research Foundation for his PhD work on purifying mine waste water.

Growing up‚ Mekuto decided he would not follow the same path as his peers. “The mistake we in the township make is that we want to go with the crowd. I decided in Grade 10 that I was not going to do that any more‚” he said.

“I tell learners‚ ‘define who you are and what you want’. Once you’ve done that‚ you have to make a conscious decision to go after what it is that you want.”

Mekuto said he had decided not to let his upbringing define his future. “I have come through the NSFAS [National Student Financial Aid Scheme] system. NSFAS paid for my BTech up to my PhD‚ so in my view no funding is no excuse‚” he said.

Mekuto obtained his BTech in 2011‚ followed by a postgraduate degree‚ a Master’s completed in 18 months and now his PhD‚ which took him three years. He tutors high school pupils in mathematics and physics over weekends.


PHOTO: Lukanyo Mekuto CPUT’s youngest PhD graduate.
Image: CPUT



Commuters wait in a bus queue at Table View, Cape Town. The points window is closed. (Jenni Evans, News24)

CAPE TOWN – Commuters in Cape Town and Pretoria have been affected by a taxi strike on Monday.

Buses in Cape Town have also been affected by the taxi strike, resulting in delays.

The strike is expected to last for a week.

Social media reports suggest a bus was torched in Delft, outside Cape Town.

Western Cape authorities couldn’t be immediately be reached for comment.

In Gauteng police were on standby to deal with possible violence as a result of the strike

Are you being affected by the taxi strike? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

“The police deployed since 02:00 in the morning in Pretoria,” Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele told News24.

In a statement, the Tshwane metro police indicated that a strike was planned for the area.

“The Tshwane metro police have received notices indicating a possible protest/strike by taxi drivers in Tshwane on Monday 18 September 2017 gathering from different areas in Tshwane such as, Soshanguve, Mabopane, Ga-Rankuwa, Atteridgeville, Mamelodi, Ekangala and Centurion then proceed to the Pretoria CBD.”

 N2 incoming onto Borchards Quarry road, GABS being stoned Photographer unknown, sent on Whatsapp  

However, following a meeting, taxi owners distanced themselves from the planned protest action, saying taxis in Tshwane would be operating as normal.

“The Tshwane Metro Police Department would like to assure the community that, should the planned action proceed, metro police officers and other law enforcement agencies are ready to deal with the protest action. The officers will be deployed to all areas that may be possibly affected, any unlawful activity will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly,” the statement read.

Cape Town –  Protest: N1 Inbound, ROAD CLOSED at Joostenberg – divert to R101

Makhubele said that the area was calm at the moment.

“There are no incidents now, but the police are monitoring the situation.”

Commuters have been advised to make alternative transport arrangements.

The strike has been planned by the Democratic Taxi Workers Union of South Africa union #taxistrike


PHOTO: Commuters wait in a bus queue at Table View, Cape Town. The points window is closed. (Jenni Evans, News24)