New university to help fight poverty

by Benice BurgerOctober 17, 2017

A proposed R5-billion university for Ekurhuleni is expected to help fight poverty and create jobs. So far, R600-million worth of bursaries have been set aside to benefit students from the metro, according to mayor Mzwandile Masina.

Duduzile Fakude, 20, who passed matric in 2015 and wants to be a teacher, said the university plan was exciting. “I had no means to pursue my studies and I was forced to stay at home, something that I do not wish for my siblings,” Fakude said.

“I tried looking for employment with no luck. I am excited about the university because in the near future we will see the decrease of unemployment in our area.”

Alice Lephakha, 20, was equally elated about the idea.

“We all want a better future, but not all of us can afford to go to university. Nothing will stop the youth from pursuing their studies if the university is in their area.”

The university will be part of the John Dube Village housing project recently launched  in Duduza. There will also be seven primary schools and three secondary schools built in the village. The project is expected to cost R30-billion over 10 years.

Masina said for the first year they had put aside R100-million for bursaries, which he hoped would increase to R300-million by the time he leaves office in 2021. “As the city we have been able to produce a feasibility study that points to the fact that there is a need for us to have a university here,” Masina said.

“We held our first university symposium last month where we invited different stakeholders, student organisations, private sector and academia to test this idea. It was clear that we need a multi-campus university.”

He said that land had been secured as campuses would be built in different areas.

“We want to be able to draw students from across the City of Ekurhuleni. This is the only time we will [be able to] deal decisively with poverty to ensure that the young ones are educated. That is why we focus on old problems that have always existed in our communities.”

Gauteng premier David Makhura said the government had also set aside R500-million for bursaries. The university will focus on science and technology.


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Benice Burger