By SIVE MADALA GUMENGE
Thanks to the IEC and everyone involved in delivering the local government elections quickly and in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic. This was an indication that South Africans are capable people when they want or need to be.
Perhaps the lesson of organizing a successful election will open our eyes to providing a successful local government and true service delivery to our people.
At the core of our struggles with service delivery is the absence of credible skills and complete comprehension of social and economic development.
Municipalities must begin to appreciate the skills revolution driven by the TVET sector in the Post Schooling System and align themselves with what is being done at TVET, together with small business development as a critical Stakeholder.
The TVET sector is, by nature, designed to respond to local economic development. Hence, the development of Integrated Development Plans must not exclude TVET Colleges in their surroundings.
For instance, where I am based, there are metro, district and local municipalities which must be obsessed with what is being offered in the TVET Colleges so that they can ask, “Do these programmes help us in the agenda of service delivery and local economic development?”
Then a discussion must start with all relevant stakeholders to align everything so that the municipality can function with hope and the TVET College can meet the municipality’s demands and be part of the local economy.
The municipality must make the infrastructure available to be accessible to the TVET College for it to meet its educational expectations and demands.
Some schools are no longer being utilized for educational purposes because they no longer have learners. These defunct schools should be converted into TVET education centres.
There is a case in point in Makana Municipality. Andrew Moyake Primary School, located in Fingo, is no longer used. The community of Makana, Department of Public Works, Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training should agree that it be transferred to Eastcape Midlands TVET College to pursue its skills revolution agenda.
Eastcape Cape Midlands TVET College, across its campuses and all academic cycles, enrols close to 9000 students. It will gladly appreciate an increase in infrastructure due to a massive demand of young people wanting to study there.
The motto of Eastcape Midlands TVET College is “creating new futures”, with a vision of “excelling in creating employability and life-long learning opportunities for all our students and community”.
The post-schooling system is targeting 1.5 million TVET College students following the NDP vision 2030, and everyone should be encouraged to see that target realized. This is for the benefit of the country and our local municipalities, most importantly.
Therefore, the available resources and infrastructure must be used to contribute to the safety of the people, such as teaching and learning, student accommodation, recreational centres, and not be the centres of human destruction.
Furthermore, the local business must equally be confronted to respond in availing themselves for experiential training of these TVET students and subsequently employ them.
Our cities have so much potential beyond the focus of municipal employment. Our towns have untapped industries that can change the face of the towns and the lives of people.
We must then all work hard to align education to our municipalities to produce capable skills that will change the meaning of service delivery.
Sive Madala Gumenge is currently Heading Student Support and Services at Eastcape Midlands TVET College, based in Kariega. He writes in his personal capacity.