Director’s 2013 Review

I hope you are nearing the tail end of your work for 2013. I also trust that it is a time at which you can reflect on a successful year and down tools for a rewarding and peaceful end to the year.

In reviewing the MIDI work of 2013, I am delighted to report on excellent progress made. It has been just over two years since I took over the Directorship of MIDI. This year reflects the last year of ‘keeping a low profile’, as it were, in terms of getting the MIDI vision and work out to a wider set of role players and civic society.

Our governance structures are now in place, we have brought on board an excellent core staff, and the programmatic work of MIDI is underway. Our flagship work with Children and Youth has progressed with excitement and meaning and a selection of the children and youth with whom we have been working will be speaking to a full Council Meeting of the Msunduzi Municipality in January 2014 about their views and vision of our City. This anticipated audience with our City decision makers is simply one of many markers of the sound work the MIDI team and it partners have been able to undertake in the arena of children and youth.

We have produced a number of well-received reports this year.  To make the point, the Socio-Economic Impact of the KZN Winter Air Tour at Seven Regional Airports for Provincial Treasury  and the Development Framework for the Establishment of the Imbali Education Precinct, Msunduzi, KwaZulu-Natal for the National Department of Higher Education and Training, speak of our growing commitment to applied research that will contribute to innovation by government in the development of the aviation sector in the Province and new approaches to post school learning in the country. Requests and plans for building on this growing strength of MIDI will ensure an exciting program of work in 2014. We also won a prestigious Silver with Laurels Award for the MIDI and partners Urban Food Security Stand at the Sunday Tribune Garden Show. A successful workshop on the issue of Urban Agriculture followed with practical implementation projects underway by MIDI and its partners.

Finally, as a fitting conclusion to 2013, we have received permission to have 33 Alan Paton Avenue, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, the strategic home of MIDI, to be declared a place of learning (and no longer simply a residential property.) Work on remodelling the buildings and premises is now underway and we look forward to an iconic landmark from which we will ply our trade in future.

It remains for me to wish you the best for a rewarding and peaceful Festive Season. Thank you for the contributions you have made to helping establish the framework that will ensure the work of MIDI is sustained and relevant.

Best wishes,

Dr Robert Fincham
Professor and Director