The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology is building a number of new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college campuses as a means of tackling the country’s skills shortages.
Higher education minister, Blade Nzimande, said that his department is currently targeting 13 priority trades comprising skillsets in bricklaying, electrician, millwright, boilermaker and automotive mechanics, among others.
He said that construction has already begun on nine new TVET colleges campus sites scheduled for completion in 2020. These include:
- Sterkspruit (Eastern Cape);
- Aliwal North (Eastern Cape);
- Graaff Reinet (Eastern Cape);
- Ngungqushe (Eastern Cape);
- Umzimkhulu (KZN);
- Greytown (KZN);
- Msinga Msinga (KZN) ;
- Nongoma (KZN);
- Kwagqikazi (KZN).
Nzimande said that construction will also commence with a new campus site for Mitchells Plain (Western Cape) in 2020. He added that contracts will be awarded for a further four new campus sites in 2019/20 at sites including Balfour, Giyani, Nkandla B and Vryheid.
“We have developed the TVET college Turn-Around Strategy, including a significant increase in enrolments in the TVET Colleges to approximately 720,000 enrolments,” he said, speaking on his department’s achievements.
“We have approved massive infrastructure developments across the system of approximately R30 billion for universities since 2007, and more recently since 2018, with the introduction of an earmarked grant of R2.384 billion, with additional revenue of about R2.5billion from the National Skills fund to the total value of R4.8 billion.
“We have improved access, participation and throughput rates, with university enrolments rising to over one million students; significantly improved funding available for students from poor and working-class backgrounds. We reduced the dropout and improved throughput in the university system.”