Sol Plaatje University pushes SA’s development agenda

Pretoria – Cabinet has welcomed moves to initiate the construction of the new Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

Construction of the university, which is the first to be launched in the country since 1994, is expected to start before the end of September 2013.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande conducted a sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the university last Thursday.

It is estimated that more than R6 billion will be spent on the project, and it is envisaged to be completed by 2015.

The university has been named after struggle stalwart Sol Plaatje, who resided in Kimberley. Plaatje, who was born in 1876 and died in 1932, was an activist and politician. He spent much of his life in the struggle for the enfranchisement and liberation of African people. He was an intellectual, journalist, linguist, translator and writer.

The university is expected to enrol about 5 000 students. About 150 students will be enrolled during the first intake at the beginning of 2014.

The university will have campuses throughout the Northern Cape in a bid to prevent a high number of students from migrating to study in other provinces.

The development of the new university has been identified and prioritised within the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP 14) by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC). A new university will also be constructed in Mpumalanga.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also expressed its gratitude to the private sector for partnering with government to implement the massive infrastructure development drive. It further appealed for further collaboration in fast-tracking efforts to create employment and transform the economy.

“Under President Jacob Zuma‘s leadership, government is rolling out the country’s multitrillion-rand public infrastructure programme aimed at unlocking job opportunities and bringing services to all South Africans.

“Through these programmes, government is delivering on its commitment to create more jobs. Since the adoption of the New Growth Path, employment has increased by 750 000, with just under half of these jobs, having been generated in the public service, especially amongst the ranks of health workers, teachers and the police” said Cabinet. –

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My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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