Multi-million rand skills centre open

2016-08-03 06:00
Photo: supplied KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala, Sibaya Community Trust trustee Vivian Reddy, Albert Luthuli’s daughter Dr Albertina Luthuli and Reddy's wife Sorisha Naidoo officially open the Chief Albert Luthuli Skills Development Centre.     >> SEE STORY ON PAGE 4

Photo: supplied KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala, Sibaya Community Trust trustee Vivian Reddy, Albert Luthuli’s daughter Dr Albertina Luthuli and Reddy's wife Sorisha Naidoo officially open the Chief Albert Luthuli Skills Development Centre. >> SEE STORY ON PAGE 4

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Blurb - MEC urges youth to focus on education

KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala along with KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu, Sibaya Community Trust trustee Vivian Reddy and Albert Luthuli’s daughter Dr Albertinah Luthuli officially opened the Chief Albert Luthuli Skills Development Centre last Wednesday.

The R8 million centre was funded by the Sibaya Community Trust and the Vivian Reddy Foundation and will train approximately 500 unemployed youths every year.

Reddy, who represented both the trust and the foundation, said training will be provided from Grade 10 onwards across a range of courses including welding, bricklaying, electrical work and plumbing.
“Apart from catering for skills acquisition, we also hope to unlock linkages for our students,” he said.

Reddy said the facility includes three lecture rooms, a large workshop, administration block, reception and ablution facilities.

Speaking at the event, Zikalala urged young people to take their education seriously and take advantage of the centre to obtain skills that would assist them better their lives.

“This is a remarkable investment for the future of this region, the province and indeed the country as we desperately need adequately and correctly trained citizens that would contribute towards the country’s socio-economic advancements,” he said.

The MEC said the centre’s launch came at an opportune moment as the iLembe District is destined to focus on renewable energy such as wind and solar power, meaning influencing the centre’s curriculum to offer courses related to this sector would be necessary.

He further said since KwaDukuza is strategically positioned between Richards Bay and Durban, graduates from the centre stand to benefit from industrial growth witnessed in the North Coast.

“KwaDukuza is part of the strategic development node for the department as it is close to the Dube Trade Port which has been designated as a Special Economic Zone earmarked for intensive industrialisation through economic infrastructure development and foreign direct investment,” Zikalala said.

He said areas in and around KwaDukuza boasts successful agricultural and tourism businesses and are also experiencing considerable growth in the property sector.

He applauded the fact that the centre is within walking distance from the Shakaville township, saying this negates apartheid’s spatial planning as previously disadvantaged and oppressed people will easily access an institute of education.

Zikalala said it is important that the centre include maritime studies in its curriculum because the sector has the potential to significantly bolster the country’s coffers.

He said his department believes that the promotion of locally manufactured products would help grow the economy, adding that Mandeni was a textile production hub and his department is focused on reopening the industries in the area that were shut down during a violent protest earlier this year.

“We would like to urge the community of KwaDukuza to fiercely guard and protect this facility and treat it as an oasis for young people to quench their thirst for knowledge and skills. This centre should educate and train young people to be able to sustainably earn livelihoods either as skilled workers or entrepreneurs in their chosen careers and sectors respectively,” Zikalala said.

Dr Luthuli thanked the trust for naming the centre after her father in honour of legacy.

Mayor Mthembu said the project is welcomed in the area since it has such a high rate of unemployment.

“It is critical that the poor get opportunities to acquire skills and this project provides just this,” he said.


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