By Gaby Ndongo (2 mins read)
The government will spend R64 billion on student accommodations in the upcoming years, said president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.
“We will leverage at least another R64 billion in private investment. These building projects are ready to start,” he said during this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the National Assembly in Cape Town.
Various student bodies staged protests during the first week of the academic year at the University of South Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal, North West University’s Mafikeng campus, and the University of the Western Cape.
They were demanding for the improvement of dire student accommodation and infrastructure, among other concerns such as the cancellation of historical debt.
Wits University Student Representative Council interrupted an executive management meeting early Monday morning, in protest for students who are not registered and those in need of accommodation.
“Last year, an overall of 720,000 students received state funding for TVET colleges and universities,” said president Ramaphosa.
In his third SONA speech, the president also spoke about the building of two new universities, nine TVET college campuses and bilateral student scholarships.
“To improve the quality of general and specialised SAPS investigations, we are establishing a Crime Detection University in Hammanskraal,” said the president.
A new University of Science and Innovation will be erected in Ekurhuleni. “This will enable young people in that metro to be trained in high-impact and cutting-edge technological innovation for current and future industries,” he explained.
The TVET college campuses will be at Sterkspruit, Aliwal North, Graaff Reinet and Ngungqushe in the Eastern Cape, and in Umzimkhulu, Greytown, Msinga, Nongoma and Kwagqikazi in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ramaphosa said they are helpful as the three-stream curriculum model is being implemented. A model that emphases on vocational and technical education, which should “improve the quality and the relevance of our educational outcomes”.
Regarding the bilateral student scholarships, the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Training Programme in Cuba has produced over 1,200 medical doctors. An overall of 640 students are expected to graduate in December 2020. TOJ
Reporting by Gaby Ndongo. Editing by Kupakwashe Kambasha. Feature image: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the 2020 State of the Nation Address, Thursday night, at the National Assembly in Cape Town. Image courtesy to Gaby Ndongo.