White River earmarked for university

2012-03-12 17:01

Johannesburg - Plans for a new university in White River in Mpumalanga have been expedited because of an overwhelming need, the provincial government said on Monday.

Provincial government spokesperson, Lebona Mosia, said the fatal stampede at the University of Johannesburg in January was a factor in accelerating the process.

Mosia said the Mpumalanga government was asked by the national department of higher education and training to identify parcels of land where a university could be built.

White River was deemed appropriate.

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza then announced that the new tertiary institution for the province would be built in the Lowveld town.

James Masango from the Democratic Alliance said he suspected the premier's announcement was premature.

"There was no public consultation process, nor any parliamentary portfolio committee meetings to discuss the university, its composition, or its location," he said.

He said a feasibility study was done but the findings were never made public.

"The DA also believes that the location should be subjected to a transparent bidding process, and that municipalities and interest groups be allowed to make their submissions and argue for the university campus to be located in their area."

He said he would write to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande and Mabuza for clarification.

The national higher education department has identified the need for tertiary education institutions closer to rural communities.

In January a mother died outside the University of Johannesburg when a crowd of desperate youths, hoping to register for university education, became impatient and tried to push their way into the campus.

Across the country universities are overwhelmed, every year, by applications by people wanting to study. A shortage of university places was blamed for the long queues and the fatal stampede.

  • Kolobe - 2012-03-12 17:27

    do these da people ever do anythind except for complaining and wasting precious time on building of infrastructure

      TSR01 - 2012-03-12 17:51

      Go away, troll, if you want a University in the middle of a small town, far away from potential students, where it will run at an annual loss of -R1,720,000 then good for you, but as for the rest of us with brain cells, we question suitable locations for high-maintenance, high cost infrastructure; something you will never comprehend.

      Kathleen - 2012-03-12 18:36

      The DA is a party which complains because the ANC can never follow the rule book.

      Ingi - 2012-03-12 19:59

      Don't be daft, White River can't even cope with the services it has at the moment without there being a University on it's door step too. All the students which would come to it are in Hazyview, Bushbuckridge, etc., etc. Why not build one where the students won't have to rely on public transport on those narrow roads to get to where the University is situated. Place it amongst the students who need it the most.

  • Kagiso Tlhakung - 2012-03-12 17:44

    white ppl always want the best services closest to them...wat is this nonsense the DA is fighting for? Its tym the best services to cum to black ppl too

      TSR01 - 2012-03-12 17:56

      Kagiso, that is a racist remark. Klap yourself for showing such an ugly behavioral pattern in public - you deserve it. Moving on to reply to your nonsensical remark, let us build a higher tertiary educational institution close to a primarily black low-income, low-economy area, and see how long that institution can afford to pay the costs to remain open without sufficient payment from enrolled students. The point is, its not about if its close to "whites" or "blacks", it needs to be close to developed infrastructure - public transport, malls, mini malls, retail food outlets, and safe + secure residential accommodation for students. Where in the middle of Mpumalanga is this "planned University" going to generate enough revenue to cover its operating costs, such as salaries, study materials, and maintenance? Nothing in life is free, there will always be an end cost attached, and in this case, the University will not run at a financial loss to give out an education to the handful of students who can afford to study there. Use your brain for once in your life, if that's not too much to ask.

  • Liza - 2012-03-12 18:34

    Kagiso - have you even been to White River?? - it is a small town which personally I don't think it will be able to cope with a university. It is 70 kms from Bushbuckridge, 40kms from Hazyview, 30 kms from kabokweni and is surrounded by informal settlements such as Phola and Emoyeni. So stop spewing your racism please about whites wanting services close to them. You will also notice I said surrounded by informal settlements so how are these students going to pay for their fancy schmancy university?

      Hugo - 2012-03-12 19:06

      how far is it from riverside mall,Neilspruit?

      Liza - 2012-03-13 12:32

      riverside mall is about 25kms from white river

  • bernardandrew.ndlovu - 2012-03-12 18:59

    So guys can you please suggest a suitable place for this university because all I hesrd is complains.

      Pharaoh Malope - 2012-03-12 20:34


  • Eric - 2012-03-12 19:11

    Waste of time - focus on getting primary school children literate and numerate before we build any more 'universities'.

      phathuchicos - 2012-03-12 20:35


  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-12 19:22

    Relax everyone. It will take another 17years to get the university built by which time no doubt there will be a massive toll-road all the way to it's doors :)

  • DikgosiThokoane - 2012-03-12 19:31

    I hope the politicians are not going to slow this process down by tangling it with trying to be right at all costs......... In my opinion, there should be a university or college in every little town we can think of. So come on people, its a start let's take it all the way soonest........

      TSR01 - 2012-03-13 09:39

      There is already a college just up the way from White River, but even then, how many students can afford to attend that college?

  • ben.konnek - 2012-03-12 20:11

    Great idea for the Lowveld - central and hopefully the roads to rural areas will be upgraded without any toll taxes

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