Date:17 December 2016 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Residents of Malamulele who waged a relentless fight to have an autonomous municipality outside Thulamela for years, citing one-sided service delivery favouring the people of Thohoyandou, scored yet another victory. Last Friday, the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande, reopened the defunct Shingwedzi College as a branch of the Vhembe TVET College.
The new campus comes after persistent calls by the local community to have their own tertiary institution that would be within close reach of the students in the area. Previously, students had to travel long distances to Thohoyandou and other far-flung areas, with others having to rent rooms near the college.
Members of the Malamulele Task Team, which had brought about the new municipality and new college, were also present.
After officially opening the new campus, Nzimande and his entourage moved to Malamulele Stadium where a large audience was waiting for them. On behalf of the community, the chairperson of the Vhembe House of Traditional Leaders, Hosi Busa Nxumalo said that they were happy that the government had heeded their call to have their own college closer to the community. "We are hereby making a call on the management of the college to impart the skills to our youth that will ease unemployment and poverty in this area,” Nxumalo said.
He also made a call that the campus “should empower local residents in terms of jobs. We will support this college and we will always be available for advice and we will not keep quiet if things do not run well," he said.
Officially opening the new campus, Nzimande said the government had embarked on a campaign to reopen colleges beyond teachers' training. "Access to services like water is on the decrease and we need skilled youths. We want to work with you to create opportunities.” According to him, Limpopo is losing many young people to other provinces as it cannot sustain them. “We have put aside millions for the development of skills, so please make use of them," he added.
Vhembe TVET council chairperson Dr John Mudau said the college was doing well, despite the meagre resources they had. He also said the little they had was well utilized and that could be affirmed by the fact that they had received van unqualified report.
The chairperson of the Vhembe House of Traditional Leaders, Hosi Busa Nxumalo (right ) receives a warm handshake from the Vhembe executive mayor, Cllr Florence Radzilani, after his speech. Next to him is Lim 345's mayor, Cllr Joyce Bila.
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.