R386 million for ’Plain

Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor shakes the hand of False Bay College Mascot Mo.

The top 10 matriculants from Beacon Hill High School have been promised financial assistance for further study by Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor.

She hosted an information session about Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, community colleges and the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to encourage youth to take up study opportunities, at the Beacon Valley school, on Saturday April 6.

This engagement followed Ms Pandor’s commitment to build a TVET college in Mitchell’s Plain at a career and skills development expo hosted by the Mitchell’s Plain Skills Centre and the Mitchell’s Plain Education Forum at Rocklands civic centre last year (“Minister promises college”, Plainsman June 13, 2018).

At the weekend, Ms Pandor announced that the R386 million world-class facility, would serve Mitchell’s Plain and the surrounding communities and be built on the corner of Spine and Seafarer roads, Bayview, this year.

She called on the hundreds of youth, parents and teachers in the hall to help her ensure young people had access to opportunities.

“Opportunities for forming new enterprises for acquiring new skills lie in technical and vocational access,” she said.

“I believe establishing a new campus of False Bay College in Mitchell’s Plain is a national imperative that we in all of the spheres of government must cooperate on and we must not make it difficult for any of us,” she said.

Ms Pandor said Mitchell’s Plain’s large population necessitated a college in the area and challenged the SETAs to identify 1000 young people from Mitchell’s Plain, who would be given learnerships.

Ms Pandor also spoke about the National Skills Fund investing R180 million in the Swartklip Project, which is being run under the auspices of the False Bay TVET College.

The college has signed a 10-year lease agreement with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

The primary training will focus on engineering programmes such as welding, fabrication, electrical and a broad range of civil construction programmes.

“All these programmes are designed to cater to the scarce skills required by our economy,” she said.

The City of Cape Town has agreed in principle to make available a 6.5 hectare tract of vacant land for the new mega-campus which will be located on Spine Road, a major arterial road connecting Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and the Cape Flats community.

The new campus will provide programmes serving skills needs in the tourism, creative media, business, wholesale and retail, engineering and services sectors as well as early childhood development programmes, safe-
ty in society and paralegal programmes.

Acting principal Karin Hendricks said: “This campus will enable the college to address two major challenges in South Africa, namely providing access to high-quality training that addresses the scarce and critical skills needs in South Africa and addressing the challenge of youth unemployment.”

She said False Bay TVET College had been delivering education and training programmes in Mitchell’s Plain for the past 15 years, using leased premises in primary and high schools.

It is estimated that a further 5000 to 10000 Mitchell’s Plain students commute daily to educational facilities in other areas.

“The college has long argued that the Mitchell’s Plain and surrounding communities deserve a top-class campus that provides skills development and helps to address the chronic youth unemployment rates in the community and the country,” she said.

The new Mitchell’s Plain campus will complement the college’s existing facilities in Khayelitsha, Fish Hoek, Westlake and Muizenberg.

In addition, the newly established Swartklip campus along Swartklip Road, will become one of the largest artisan or engineering campuses in the Western Cape.

“With South Africa having set itself the ambitious goals of growing the economy by an average of 5.4% and cutting the unemployment rate to 6% by 2030, False Bay TVET College is extremely excited about expanding its contribution through the new development.

“We wish to thank the minister and her department and the City of Cape Town for this huge vote of confidence in the college,” she said.

Mayor Dan Plato said the college, which would have the capacity to cater to approximately 10000 students, will address a great need for the education and training of youth in the Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein areas and surrounds.

“It will serve as the first large-scale tertiary institution for the area,” he said.

He said the City had long supported the idea of granting False Bay College a piece of land to build a comprehensive tertiary facility to cater for the greater Mitchell’s Plain community and surrounds based on research done in 2005.

“We are pleased that, following a funding commitment from the national government, the building of this facility for higher learning can now get under way,” he said.