Minister Blade Nzimande On Establishment Of Tshwane University Of Technology Giyani Campus


(MENAFN- African Press Organization)
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The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Prof Blade
Nzimande has become aware of the circulation of information on various
social media platforms that is designed to create the false impression that
the Minister is blocking or deliberately delaying the finalisation of the
establishment of the Tshwane University of Technology, Giyani campus.

The impression being created is horriby false and designed to create
confusion, ferment chaos and distrupt the finalisation of this important
project. In the interest of transparancy and out of concern for the future of
the young people of Giyani and surrounding areas, the Minister wishes to
provide the necessary clarification.

The decision to establish the Giyani Campus of Tshwane University of
Technology was made by the Department of Higher Education and Traninig,under the leadership of Minister Nzimande.

This decision was informed by a number of strategic considerations,
including the need to extend access to higher education for the young people
of Giyani and surrounding areas.

It then becomes utterly ridiculous and mischievous to suggest that the
Minister is delaying or frustrating his very own initiative.

In line with this decision, in May 2023, the Department commenced with a feasibility study for the establishment of the TUT Giyani, campus, but it then
experienced a delay of more than 5 months from the side of the Limpopo
Department of Education. However, we have been working with the Limpopo
MEC for Education, Ms Lerule Ramakhanya, to address these problems and
obstacles.

An agreement on the way forward was reached on 16 October 2023.
Notwithstanding this delay, in September 2023, the Minister allocated
R31.916 million to TUT for the University to carry out refurbishments and
deferred maintenance on existing facilities upon the completion of the
feasibility study.

TUT will now commence with the refurbishment and deferred maintenance
in February this year (2024), which will enable the first intake of students
during the 2025 academic year.

Subject to the current budget allocations, more funding will be allocated from
2024/25 onwards and over an anticipated 6-year period. The funding to be
allocated during 2024/25 will enable TUT to start with the planning of the
major projects during the 2024 calendar year.

As this work was unfolding, the Departmental project team that was
appointed by the Minister and is responsible for the implementation of this
project has been engaging the relevant community, government and private
sector stakeholders in Giyani, regularly.

Additonally, these stakeholders were also provided with regular feedback
and together with the Departmental project team, they mutually agreed on a
mechanism to resolve any concerns that may arise in the process of the
implementing of this project.

It also in the public interest that we should also state that there was a group of individuals who actively prevented the appointed technical team from
carrying out its work. As stated, all this seems to be calculated to create
confusion, ferment chaos and block the finalisation of this important project.

Further more, it is the experience of the Department that this project has
regrettably attracted all many interest groups some of which seek to hijack the legitimate concerns of the community of Giyani and use these for their
narrow and malicious ends.

We also notice the malicious attempt to exploit the legitimate concerns of the
community of Giyani to further what seems to be an established campaign
to tarnish the name and reputation of the Minister, through lies and
misformation.

Notwisthanding some of the challenges we have encountered so far, theDepartment continues to enjoy the full support of Tshwane University of Technology, the Limpopo provincial government and in particular that of the MEC for Education, Ms Lerule Ramakhanya.

As the Department of Higher Education and Training, we remain committed
to completing the establishment of the Tshwane University of Technology campus in Giyani.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.

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