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South Africa: Vhembe Skills Development Project Launched
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, June 09, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 09, 2014

Training for various cooperatives started in March and 2 188 beneficiaries are being trained in skills such as plant production level 1, animal production level 1, bricklaying and plastering level 2, finance management, the farm together programme, road construction, welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, mentorship, conflict resolution, communication and negotiations.
The project is implemented by the University of Venda in partnership with the Vhembe District Municipality.
“To date, my department has disbursed R10 million to this project from the R26.6 million committed by the NSF,” he said of the project which also offers skills programmes to cooperatives, artisan development, career guidance and skills infrastructure support to the Madzivhandila Agricultural College.
The project is having a huge impact on the socio-economic development in the area.
“The Vhembe Skills Development Project epitomises the vision of the Vhembe District Municipality of creating jobs and alleviating poverty through partnerships with relevant stakeholders.”
The project is expected to continue until the end of December 2015.
DHET investment
The department’s investment in the area was not only limited to the project as it has also invested R65 million in the Vhembe TVET College to support various interventions including learnerships and capacity building of college staff.
“All these mechanisms aim at tackling poverty and changing lives in Vhembe, ensuring that our youth become participants in a vibrant economy we can all be proud of.”
All of Limpopo’s seven TVET Colleges, including Vhembe, have greatly benefitted from the DHET’s initiatives. The NSFAS allocation for TVET colleges has grown exponentially from R318 million in 2010 to R2.1 billion in 2014, providing funding for 233 958 TVET college students in 2014.
The total bursary funding for seven Limpopo TVET colleges increased from R47 234 744 in 2009 to R193 212 725 million in 2014.
“In addition, my department has, in the current financial year, made available R2.5 billion from the NSF and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) towards the construction of 12 new campuses and refurbishment of two existing TVET campuses.”
Two of the new campuses, the Letaba TVET College in Giyani and Waterberg TVET College in Thabazimbi, are to be erected in the province.
The department was also in the process of unbundling the old Medunsa campus in Ga-Rankuwa in Gauteng from the University of Limpopo.
“It will become the new Health Science University offering a range of health science disciplines such as environmental health and clinical engineering,” he said.
Minister Nzimande added that this does mean that the University of Limpopo will be disempowered.
“Our plan is to empower the university more meaningfully. There will be a new Faculty of Health at the University of Limpopo which will offer, first, the MBChB and subsequently other health degrees. This new faculty will have a symbiotic relationship with the hospitals of Limpopo,” he said.
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