Mayor tours FET campuses to see what’s on offer for Msunduzi

2010-10-06 00:00

FOLLOWING the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Msunduzi Municipality and FET Colleges, mayor Mike Tarr accepted an invitation to tour the five campuses yesterday to get a first-hand insight of what the colleges have to offer.

The Korean government, which entered into a partnership with the colleges last year along with the Communication Department and various other bodies, successfully launched an information and community technology (ICT) project last year, which has gone on to benefit many municipal employees and city residents.

Project co-ordinator Dennis Memela said the project will go a long way in alleviating poverty in many communities.

“The project was started last year to ensure that we use ICT for community development and empowerment … [and] we want to show the value that ICT can bring in improving the value of people’s lives here,” Memela said.

He added that the city has benefited in numerous ways since the project was initiated, including:

• a R7 million project investment, of which R2 million was sponsored by the Korean government;

• the employment of hundreds of youths in and around the city on short-term and long-term contracts;

• the training of hundreds of unemployed graduates in various forms of technology; and

• interest and assistance from various international governments such as Finland, India, Singapore, Canada, Belgium and Malaysia.

Memela said they are expecting a delegation of five representatives of the Korean government and Communication Department to come to the city next week.

They are scheduled to meet the municipality to discuss “a big investment to facilitate service delivery in the city”.

He said that while the Edendale campus already has its ICT centre up and running, the other four centres are almost ready: all that needs to be done is the installation of PC cables.

Before proceeding on a walkabout of the FET campuses, where he spoke with lecturers and students, Tarr said he will look into the cabling and that they expect it to be sorted out by the end of the week.

During the tour, Tarr said the colleges are doing a great job in addressing the shortage of skills in the economy.

“I think that as the municipality, we should make far greater use of these colleges to empower our own staff.

“I’ll certainly make sure that more people come,” he said.

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