Plans for N Cape varsity gain momentum

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pretoria - The Northern Cape Premier’s Inter-Governmental Forum has welcomed the progress report on the establishment of the new university in the province.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande on Tuesday led a high-level delegation of his senior officials to provide the Northern Cape Provincial Executive Committee with an overview of the progress made in establishing the new university in the Northern Cape.

Nzimande said the engagement was aimed at drawing the Provincial Executive Committee’s attention to the spatial framework for the new university in Kimberley, with specific reference to land owned by the province and Sol Plaatjie Municipality.

During the meeting, Nzimande addressed members of the provincial government’s executive council, led by the acting Premier Grizelda Cjiekella, heads of departments, mayors and municipal managers.

The meeting ended with the minister signing a Record of Intention with Cjikella and Sol Plaatjie Municipality Mayor Agnes Ntlangula. The signing of the Record of Intention will enable the publication of the Gazette establishing the new university as a juristic person.

 “This will enable further planning for construction to commence in September 2013, and for the first programmes to be offered in the 2014 academic year,” Nzimande said.

Construction is scheduled to commence in September 2013.

The development of the new universities -- one in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga -- has been identified and prioritised within the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP 14), which forms part of the country’s National Infrastructure Plan.

Nzimande said that comprehensive feasibility studies for both universities, in terms of infrastructure and operations, were completed and submitted to National Treasury in September last year.

“National Treasury endorsed the feasibility studies and allocated over R2 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period for 2013 to 2016, for the capital and operational expenditure on both universities,” said Nzimande.

Cjikella said that the Northern Cape provincial government and Sol Plaatjie Municipality had a key role to play in supporting the development of the new university in Kimberly.

“The provincial government sees the planning for the new university as fully integrated into the city urban planning framework, with both the provincial government and the Sol Plaatjie Municipality playing a key role in supporting the development of the new university, with the intention of committing government owned land in the Kimberly City Centre for the development of the university.” –