Mabuza defends university location

2012-04-26 07:45

Mpumalanga’s “growth trajectory and available infrastructure” were among the reasons why White River, 20 kilometres outside Nelspruit, was chosen to be the main host of the province’s first university, Premier David Mabuza has said.

Congress of the People (Cope) legislature member Zale Madonsela raised the concern that all development was being taken to Mbombela municipality, for example, the World Cup stadium, during a legislature sitting this week.

Mpumalanga has 21 municipalities.

Said Mabuza: “Campuses of the university will be spread throughout the province. We’re targeting the three regions (Gert Sibande, Nkangala and Ehlanzeni) and that will depend on the economic activities around them.”

The Mpumalanga university is set to cost about R6 billion.

President Jacob Zuma announced that R300 million had been allocated for preparatory work for universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

A forum in the gold-mining town of Barberton has threatened to challenge the government’s decision to build the university in White River as it had already put in a strong bid to host the main campus.

The forum is selling Barberton’s gold-mining activities, agriculture and its well-preserved fossil remains of the earth’s formation as foundations for the new university’s geology and science faculties.

Barberton’s serenity as a conducive environment for education, its proximity to both Mozambique and Swaziland and tourist attractions are also highlighted in the bid document.

The Umjindi municipality has donated a 135-hectare piece of land for the university.

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