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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

SONA: Ramaphosa Announces New University of Science and Innovation for Ekurhuleni

Charles Molele

City of Ekurhuleni will finally build its own University of Science and Innovation, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his state of the nation address.

This will be the third new university to be built after the Sol Plaatjie University of Kimberley, Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga since the dawn of the new democracy.  

“We have decided to establish a new University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni,” said Ramaphosa.  

“This will enable young people in that metro to be trained in high-impact and cutting-edge technological innovation for current and future industries.”

The ANC’s Ekurhuleni regional secretary TK Nciza said the party welcomed Ramaphosa’s announcement on the establishment of the OR Tambo University of Science and Innovation.

“This is a historic breakthrough and a milestone of the collective Leadership led by the ANC Regional Chairperson and Executive Mayor Cde Mzwandile Masina. This achievement continues to demonstrate a committed and stable government that is able to discharge its constitutional mandate diligently,” said Nciza.

“The ANC wishes to underline the fact that the OR Tambo University of Science and Technology will be designed to directly respond to the economic structure of the City of Ekurhuleni. The primary curriculum of the university will be intended to deepen research on a number of spheres in the science field, and thus producing an output of academics who will accelerate and expand the already existing Industrial Economic structure of the City of Ekurhuleni.” 

During his previous state of the city address, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said the new university would cost between R5bn and R6bn, which was the national average based on the universities currently being built in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

Masina said they had considered the feasibility and budget of the project since Ekurhuleni contributes 23.1% to the economy of Gauteng and 8.1% to the national economy.

“We commissioned a feasibility study on the University of Ekurhuleni to focus in the areas of applied engineering, logistics, science, aviation, tourism and hospitality. That study gave us the understanding that indeed there is a need and immense potential for a University within the city,” he said.

Ekurhuleni is one of the only two metros in the country without a university.

Masina said they have already engaged with various stakeholders, including the private sector and government, to develop skills and training in the area.

Although a formal name had not been agreed upon yet, an interim name of Ekurhuleni Applied Sciences and Technology University was being used.

The curriculum design would focus on engineering, agriculture, logistics, aviation and aerospace studies, as well as design.

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