Higher Education invests R30 million in rural KZN skills

  • The Department of Higher Education and Training is overseeing the investment R30 million to develop the skills of young people in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Over 3 000 people from the kwaSwayimane Village and surround will reportedly benefit from a number of skills development initiatives to be launched.
  • This includes agricultural training, digital skills development and SME support.

Amid nationwide skills and development initiatives taking place, the Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande on Monday launched a number of training initiatives to benefit the local community of kwaSwayimane Village in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

In total, these sector education and training authority (SETA) interventions have a total value of R30.7 million and cover a multitude of sectors. The investments come after the local community has been requesting that either the government build a campus of the uMgungundlovu TVET College in the local areas, or that a skills development centre be set up in the KZN village.

The largest single investment is towards agriculture skills and is worth R5 million. This will go towards the skills development of 800 learners in crop production, livestock farming and setting up three skills centres in the area.

According to the department in a statement, further investments include R1.8 million towards learnerships for sewing, cabinet making and furniture making, R5.2 million towards programmes in digital training, skills, mobile device repair and technical support training, R12.8 million in artisan development, R3.4 million towards baking programmes and a further R2.5 million towards SME support through further digital skills initiatives.

The department says that over 2 000 community members in the mostly rural area will be able to take part in the skills initiative being rolled out.

“This contribution by our SETAs is their collective commitment to addressing unemployment, poverty, inequality and to improving the quality of life in the community of kwaSwayimane,” remarked Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande.

“We are particularly excited to be making this contribution in this community. As a Department, we believe that we need to make sustainable investments in our rural areas, with the view of making them economically viable.”

The minister is currently facing criticism for his role in the crisis at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has been placed under administration after years of mismanagement and squandered billions.

[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Flickr]


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