Giyani residents demand government fast-track the renovation of the abandoned and dysfunctional former College of Education building into TUT campus

EDUCATION LOCAL NEWS

By Mpho Modiba

GIYANI-Protesters in Giyani on Monday blocked roads demanding an expedited process in the establishment of the Tshwane University of Technology Giyani Campus that was promised to the Giyani people on 18 September 2022.

According to the announcement made by  Minister of the Department of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande and TUT Vice Chancellor Prof Tinyiko Maluleke the campus was supposed to be in operation in February 2024, to date nothing has happened.

Minister Nzimande said that R2.5 million had been set aside to investigate the feasibility of the project. In its response to protesters, the Greater Giyani Municipality stated in a statement that they will formally notify all stakeholders, businesses, and the community in general that the situation has been normalized, and for those who can still open their businesses, they can do so without fear.

The municipality said that the shutdown which occurred on Monday morning,  inconvenienced many people and businesses on all roads leading to Giyani CBD, a meeting between SAPS, shutdown organizers, and the municipality, led by Mayor Cllr Thandi Zitha, was convened. With immediate effect, the meeting and protesters resolved to discontinue the shutdown.

For two decades Giyani and surrounding communities have made representations to the Department of Higher Education requesting that a University campus be established in or near Giyani.

The Limpopo-based Katsani Educational initiative, the Rixaka Heritage Forum and Royal Leaders Unity (RUL) jointly approached TUT about establishing a distant campus on the premises of the former Giyani College of Education and using it as a site to establish the campus.

According to Percy Mthombeni, a member of the Giyani Concerned Residents group, more than 500 students completed school last year in Giyani but have yet to be admitted to any further education institution.

“The future looks bleak for most students as they have nowhere to go to study,” he said. 

The facilities have not been used for educational purposes since the closure of the college in 2003. The following programmes and Qualifications were proposed for the Giyani campus: BED Honours, Advanced Diploma in Technical and Vocational Teaching, Diploma in Animal Science, Diploma in Crop Production, Diploma in Geology, Diploma in Horticulture and Diploma in landscape technology.

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