Higher Education remains committed to establish TUT Giyani campus
The Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation says it is pressing ahead with the completion of the establishment of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) campus in Giyani and opening the facility’s doors in 2025.
“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 statement read on Tuesday.
This impression, according to the department, has created a false impression and is “designed to create confusion, ferment chaos and disrupt the finalisation of this important project”.
“In the interest of transparency 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 department has since clarified the decision to establish the Giyani campus under Nzimande’s leadership.
“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,” the statement read.
According to the department, the team commenced a feasibility study for the establishment of the TUT Giyani campus in May last year when it hit delays of more than five months from the Limpopo Department of Education.
However, according to the department, it is now working with the Limpopo MEC for Education, Lerule Ramakhanya, to address these obstacles.
The department announced that an agreement was reached in October 2023 after the Minister allocated R31.916 million to the project the previous month.
The department said it will carry out renovations and address deferred maintenance once the feasibility study is completed, within the allocated budget.
“TUT will now commence with the refurbishment and deferred maintenance in February this year, which will enable the first intake of students during the 2025 academic year.”
Meanwhile, the department said more funding will be allocated from 2024/25 onwards and over an anticipated six-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.”
In addition, stakeholders have since been provided with regular feedback and together with the departmental project team agreed on a mechanism to resolve any concerns that may arise in the process of the implementation of this project.
“It is 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.
“Furthermore, it is the experience of the department that this project has regrettably attracted 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.”
The department said it had also noted a 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 misinformation.
The department said it continues to enjoy the full support of TUT, the Limpopo provincial government and 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.” – SAnews.gov.za
Tue, 02/13/2024 – 14:56