Change the world


Marea Sing

Marea SingName:  Marea Sing

Position:  Assistant Economist, South African Reserve Bank

Degree:  BComHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2008.


  • NMMU Statistics Department set a high academic standard, ensuring excellence was only achieved through hard work!
  • Lecturers were friendly, helpful and informed. By postgrad level lecturers treated you like a peer, creating a constructive environment for you to grow academically.
  • The department often informed students of various available jobs and research opportunities (via the noticeboards) and gave me the chance to get involved in external projects.
  • The department kept us all readily informed about scholarship opportunities, as well as research grants.


Gerhard Mels

Name: Gerhard Mels

Position:  Senior Statistician, Scientific Software International, Inc.

Degree:  PhD (Mathematical Statistics), 2001.


My relationship with the Department of Mathematical Statistics at UPE (now NMMU) goes back to 1980 when I was enrolled for Statistical Methods 1. The very next year I was employed by the department as
a teaching assistant for practical and tutorial classes.  After I finished my BScHons in January 1984, I accepted a position as an assistant statistical advisor at the HSRC until December 1988 when I was appointed as a lecturer in the department.  This appointment was one of the highlights of my career.  I was promoted to a senior lecturer in 1996 and left the department in March 2000 to accept a position at SSI, Inc. in Chicago.  I have fond memories of the almost 16 years that I spent at the department. I can honestly guarantee that prospective students can expect to receive a solid foundation in statistical theory and methods from the department to equip them for a career in statistics or a related field.

Ardele Maseti

Ardele MasetiName: Ardele Maseti

Position: Absa Private Bank: Service Level Management and Business Interface

Degree:  MCom (Mathematical Statistics), 2003.


I remember my first day of university as if it was yesterday! Struggling to find my way to Building 35 for my first lecture! Wow, what a feeling! This was the start of my life! My career! This is where I would equip myself with all the tools that I required in order to be that successful business woman I had always dreamt of! I was going to conquer the business world! Then I wrote my first test and waited for the results. For the first time in my life, I failed the test! I was just devastated! Who gets 45% in a test? I remember having to pick up my self esteem off from the floor and promising myself that I would do better the next time! I had to work harder and smarter and I did! The life lesson that I learnt that day, and continue to remind myself about constantly, is that life is a journey. Sometimes the road is smooth and other times the road is bumpy, When you fall, pick yourself up and try again! You live and learn!

Cindy Bezuidenhout

Cindy BezuidenhoutName: Cindy Bezuidenhout

Position:  Property Statistician

Degree:  BScHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2001.

MPhil (Statistical Science) (Cambridge), 2003.


I have fond memories of my student life at UPE. I really took up statistics courses in my first year of study unsure of whether I would really enjoy the subject. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the lectures and guidance given by the lecturers. Statistics is such a diverse subject with many application areas that interest me. The undergraduate statistics subjects at UPE gave me a taste of some of these application areas which helped me determine which courses I enrolled for in my postgraduate studies. The Statistics Department encouraged me to apply for scholarships and bursaries which lead to me furthering my postgraduate studies in statistics at a leading international university on a fully paid scholarship. This was an eye-opening and fantastic opportunity and it would not have been possible without the solid foundation that my undergraduate course in statistics had given me.

Alex Brink

Alex BrinkName: Alex Brink

Position:  Senior Biostatistician

Degree:  BCom (Mathematical Statistics), 2002.


Being involved with the Department of Statistics at the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE, as it was known during the time I graduated) was certainly the highlight of my academic career. The department is fun, friendly and most importantly provides a sound base for further opportunities in statistics.  A degree in statistics opens up a number doors in a number of different fields, and the Department of Statistics at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) provides just the right mix of theoretical and practical knowledge to allow you to enter the real-world with confidence.

Melinda van Niekerk

Melinda van NiekerkName:  Melinda van Niekerk

Position:  Sales and Research Analyst – Coca-Cola Fortune

Degree:  BComHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2002.


All my lecturers in the statistics department were always very accommodating and spent time ensuring that all the students were grasping the concepts that were taught. It is very important in my job to be able to convey statistical results in layman’s terms and the department taught me the ‘So what?’ behind statistical findings. The statistics department also shows a keen interest in the career progress of the statistics students.

Stefan Janse van Rensburg

Stefan Janse van RensburgName: Stefan Janse van Rensburg

Position:  Lecturer, Department of Statistics, Rhodes University

Degree:  MCom (Mathematical Statistics), 2008.


In my opinion, the statistics programme at NMMU strikes an excellent balance between application and theory. This not only equipped me with the tools needed to perform standard analyses, but it also gave me a strong theoretical foundation from which I can continue my studies.





Koleka Mkukwana

Koleka MkukwanaName:  Koleka Mkukwana

Position:  Quantitative Analyst Nedbank

Degree:  BCom (Economic Statistics), 2006.


Making a career choice is often a challenging decision, striking a balance between passion and career goals takes courage. My choice of studies both at undergraduate and postgraduate level has been driven by my passion for numbers and statistical analysis.  The inspiration I obtained from projects I have been engaged with at work further entrenched my quest to extend the depth of my academic strength and broadened my confidence. Now I take on tasks without fear of limited capacity even on a high level pitch.



Lumka Ndzululeka

Lumka NdzululekaName:  Lumka Ndzululeka

Position:  Junior Quants, Nedbank.

Degree:  BScHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2009.


Throughout the years I was at NMMU, I had good and bad times.  In the bad times I learnt to look forward and to not give up.  This built my character. My best memories at NMMU were in the Department of Statistics, especially in my Honours year. You are made to feel special. You have a post graduate lab and are allowed access to it at all times. The unity the students had made a great impact in my studies. Lecturers were always welcoming and were available to answer questions, which ensured the success of those who were dedicated and determined to succeed.

Mark Lourens

Mark LourensName:  Mark Lourens

Position:  Demand Planning Manager – UTi (Division – SDi)

Degree:  MSc (Mathematical Statistics), 2008.


The lecturers are friendly and helpful; always eager to share their knowledge.  The range of topics covered in the course material, as well as the quality of education, prepared me well for work-life after my studies.  Not only do you acquire an understanding of the topics covered in the course material, you also gain other intuitive skills, such as much-needed problem-solving skills.  Overall, a very pleasant experience.




Warrick Erlank

Warrick ErlankName:  Warrick Erlank

Position: Investment Analyst, Element Investment Managers

Degree:  MSc (Mathematical Statistics), 2008.


NMMU is a place of many positives. What struck me the most was probably the relaxed learning atmosphere. The lecturers and professors enjoy their work and are dedicated to teaching students and helping them succeed. If one has done the required reading, the lecturers were often available in their offices for any questions I had and were happy to help.






Nicolene Benecke

Nicolene BeneckeName: Nicolene Benecke

Position:  Scoring Analyst, XDS (Pty) Ltd.

Degree:  BScHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2009.


During the completion of my studies at NMMU, I always experienced the department as friendly, helpful and professional. They were always available to give advice regarding which areas would be more suitable for my career plans, and also gave an unbiased opinion. Their enthusiasm for statistics and its applications were always so inspiring.

In our world today, statistics make out an essential part of our lives. Thus, it can be described as an ever-changing industry or science that provides you with the necessary enjoyable challenges every day. You won’t ever feel as if you are stagnating. Statistics applies to almost any field. This is what makes the study and practice of statistics so exciting. In one week, a practising statistician may help to design an experiment to evaluate the effects of a new treatment for a disease, analyse a set of data gathered by an ecologist, and help a freight carrier to study work processes to find ways of making the company more profitable. It can be applied in any area of interest, from farming to finance and investing. “Statistics ... the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art; the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organisation based upon experience, for it only gives the results of our experience." - Florence Nightingale (nurse, statistician and member of the Royal Statistical Society - first female member)

Hannah Gerber

Hannah GerberName: Hannah Gerber

Position:  Lecturer (UCT)

Degree:  MSc (Mathematical Statistics), 2005.


I enjoyed studying at UPE (now NMMU). It was both challenging and stimulating. The most valuable thing I took from my studies has not been content knowledge (even though I use it daily); but rather the skill of taking unknown material and being able to understand it without assistance. My studies at UPE (specifically my PG studies) prepared me very well for this and it is skill I try to impart in my teaching and supervision.




Limin Liu

Name:  Limin Liu

Position: IT Manager, Matestar Digital Device Limited, Hong Kong.

Degree:  MSc (Mathematical Statistics), 2005.


The lecturers in the Department of Statistics at the NMMU are dedicated, professional and hard working. They are passionate about what they do and enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience. This is what made this department so memorable to me, and has given me the motivation to face more challenges. I enjoyed my time in the department and will definitely visit everyone when next I am in  Port Elizabeth.

 Luthando Jojwana

Name: Luthando Jojwana

Position: Graduate in Training – Business Analyst; Transnet Freight Rail.

Degree: BcomHons (Mathematical Statistics), 2011.


I had apprehensions about taking Statistics, when people spoke about it they spoke of it as a difficult course and one that many students feared. I then did a bit more research and gained more understanding from senior students and lectures about what Statistics was all about. I developed a liking for the course and the support from lecturers and student assistants in the Statistics department in my opinion was world class. I also became a student assistant during the duration of my studies in the field of Statistics.

The opportunities which were afforded to me at NMMU were countless, all of which helped me to develop my abilities and gain more skills beyond the literature work. I was better positioned to get over the fear of public speaking, gained the ability for innovate thinking and to apply my knowledge to a wide variety of challenges as well as preparing me for the corporate world.

Dennis Chung

Marea SingName: Dennis Chung

Position: Assistant Manager, E.Sun Bank, Taiwan

Degree:  MSc (Mathematical Statistics), 2005.


Throughout my years at UPE (NMMU) I was fortunate to have the opportunity to study in such a pleasant environment. Statistics was always my favourite discipline, both at undergraduate and post-graduate level. The lecturers from the Department are all friendly, supportive and provide valuable career planning guidance. The statistics courses offered were applicable and useful for the working environment. During my study period I gained both academic knowledge and felt that I matured as a disciplined worker. I am a proud graduate of the Department and feel confident in their training.

Julia Keddie (Middleton)

Marea SingName: Julia Keddie (Middleton)

Position: Principal Analytics Consultant, BSG (Business Systems Group)

Degree:  PhD (Mathematical Statistics), 1999.


My career with NMMU started in the days of UPE and extended a period of 14 years from 1985 to 1999. I was privileged to have spent these years as a student as well as lecturer.

UPE Department of Statistics gave me an excellent foundation to my career in the areas of Academia, Inventory Management, Supply Chain Consulting, Business Intelligence and Analytics Consulting. The department has always been one of delivery excellence, academic achievement and always engaging in continuous improvement to ensure they stay up to date with industry trends and needs.

My special memories of UPE include many special friendships, many of which are still with me today. I also have fond memories of the friends made in the Mathematics Department resulting from the “coffee-room” interactions.

I would most certainly recommend NMMU Statistics Department to prospective Statisticians that aspire to a well-balanced academic and social experience. In my slightly biased view NMMU Statistics Department was, is and will always be the best …

Melissa Sangqu

 Melissa SangquName: Melissa Sangqu

Position:  Credit Risk Analyst, Barclays Group Limited

Degree:   BCom Hons (Mathematical Statistics), 2017.

Khanya Mkhonto

Khanya MkhontoName:Khanya Mkhonto

Position: Statistical Business Analyst, ABSA/Barclays Africa

Degree:  BSc Hons (Mathematical Statistics), Cum Laude, 2014.