The Bapedi Kingdom and Tswane University of Technology (TUT) have announced plans to establish a campus in the Sekhukhune District, in Limpopo.
The royal house and TUT have identified the old Sekhukhune Teaching College as the site where the campus will be based. The college’s building was no longer being used as it closed down.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has also approved the plans for a TUT campus in Sekhukhune.
The Bapedi Kingdom and TUT have signed a memorandum of understanding, for the establishment of the Sekhukhune TUT Campus in the near future.
TUT says it is currently conducting a feasibility study, which is expected to take 18 months to be completed.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in Teaching, Learning and Technology, Professor Stanley Mukhola, says the Sekhukhune Campus will primarily focus on the fields of mining and agriculture.
“We are grateful to be accepted in the Sekhukhune area to start what I call, not a satellite, but a distant campus. So the idea is start a new campus here focusing mainly in mining and agriculture. We believe in taking education to the people. We realise that there is nothing dealing with mining, there is a very good infrastructure, the Sekhukhune training college, the old one, where we say now we can make use of that facility,” says Mukhola.
The Sekhukhune Royal House says before his passing at the age of 40 earlier this year, King Victor Thulare III, had envisioned establishing a university in Sekhukhune.
King Victor Thulare III also planned on harnessing the rich mineral resources of platinum metal groups, to help improve the livelihoods of the Bapedi people.
Spokesperson Ntoampe Mampuru says the acting Bapedi Queen, Manyaku Thulare, says this agreement between TUT and the Kingdom is part of realising the legacy of the late king.
“Our queen mother blessed this day, that we have to sign this memorandum of understanding and she was very happy that we continue looking at the visions of the late king Thulare and their programs, so they can continue,” says Mampuru.
Young people in the Sekhukhune District say the new campus will help improve access to education.
“I can say it is a good thing. These things are likely to come, but we are lucky to have Sekhukhune campus. I feel good because it will help us. Our parents are jobless and all the staff, so this university will help us.”
The date of the establishment of the university will be announced upon the conclusion of the feasibility study.