Zuma: Sefako Makgatho university shows state’s commitment to education

2015-04-14 14:41

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President Jacob Zuma officially opened the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Garankuwa, Pretoria, today.

“I am delighted to form part of the launch of the third new university in South Africa,” Zuma said.

Last year the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga were opened. Both provinces did not previously have a university.

Zuma said the government remained committed to investing in education and skills and that the opening of this university was “another example of the fulfilment of that commitment”.

The university was also an indication that the government was determined to bring education to all the people, according to Zuma.

“We are making history today because this is the first stand-alone health sciences university to be established in the country,” he added.

The university would not only be training medical doctors, Zuma said, but would also produce other health professionals such as dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, medical technologists and radiographers.

Currently, 5034 students are enrolled at the university. Government hoped the number would increase to 7000 students by 2019, and 10 000 by 2023.

More than R298 million had been allocated in the form of a university subsidy for the 2015-2016 financial year, Zuma said.

“In addition, the government has also allocated R210 million to support the establishment of this new university.”

On the naming of the university, Zuma praised the former ANC president.

“President Sefako Makgatho dedicated his entire life to improving the human condition of the African masses in our country, in a noble, altruistic and gallant manner,” Zuma said.

“The university is named after a gallant son of the South African soil. It must promote the legacy of Sefako Makgatho by producing appropriately qualified, highly skilled and patriotic human resources for health.”

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