Province puts R600 000 in skills investment

2010-07-06 21:21

The Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional

Affairs (Cogta) has awarded bursaries worth about R600 000 to 23 students.

The majority of these bursary recipients are pursuing studies in

scarce skills such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical

engineering, town and regional planning, maths and statistics, environmental

science, accounting and architectural technology.

Three of them are doing graphic design. On welcoming the students,

Mpumalanga Cogta MEC Norman Mokoena said South Africa had serious skill

shortages, but rural provinces such as Mpumalanga were the worst affected

because most professionals preferred to work in metropolitan areas such as

Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Mokoena said: “I remember a few years back, Sasol went on an

expansion programme but there were no skilled people and they had to look to

Asia for the required personnel.

“And, as a country we were forced to sign co-operation agreements

with other countries such as Cuba in order to have their doctors and engineers

working for us,” he added.

Mokoena said the students would sign contracts binding them to work

in Mpumalanga for the equal number of years they had been sponsored.

Boitumelo Phatlane, who is studying for a bachelor of science in

maths and statistics, said the students would not disappoint: “We have been

given a key to a bright future, so we will not disappoint. In a few years, we will

come here with the qualifications.”


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