Make education fashionable - Nzimande

2011-10-27 19:12

Johannesburg - Black economic empowerment (BEE) regulations that led to "fronting" were not sustainable, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

Only education would address economic inequality, he told a Young Communist League conference on job creation in Midrand.

Nzimande said BEE regulations made it possible for history teachers to obtain engineering contracts which were then subcontracted out.

"This is fronting. It is not fashionable to have people owning mines who do not know how to operate mines."

He said investing in education was the key to addressing economic growth and job creation.

"Let's make education fashionable. It's cool to be educated."

Nzimande said the relationship between colleges and universities was skewed with three university students for each college student.

The ratio should be reversed with three college students for each university student, he said.

"We have a very serious shortage of mid-level personnel and expanding this must be our priority."

Nzimande said it was an anomaly that there was high unemployment while companies were struggling to find qualified people.

Job creation could not be a "populist or short term issue", he said.

"The struggle for jobs is the struggle of all of us.

"It's not a struggle that can be won by millionaires who, for reasons of their own, claim to represent the interests of the poor, and attempt to intimidate the democratic forces in order to exploit the very conditions of the poor to further enslave, and enrich themselves."

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