The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, officially launched Ekurhuleni West TVET College’s (EWC) newly built corporate centre (Lekgae House) and two new engineering training workshops recently.
Pandor was joined by the Gauteng and Free State acting regional manager Hellen Ntlatleng, the chairperson of the College Council Dr Mpho Mohlala, as well as other dignitaries from different sectors.
The corporate centre was built to consolidate all the functions and operations under one roof in order to build competent staff, ensure that shared services or pooled functions are available to improve the quality of service and to overall improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the institution.
The two engineering training workshops are for training motor mechanics, and fitting and turning students.
Both workshops are fully equipped with the latest technology.
Ford Motor Company SA donated four vehicles (Ford Rangers) and MAN Bus and Truck SA donated truck engines, gearboxes and other components for the students’ practical purposes.
The Ford Rangers are shared among the four campuses.
The event kicked off with the hoisting of flags in front of the corporate centre and proceeded inside the school hall for inaugural formalities before a tour of the new buildings got underway.
What was expected to be a ceremonious event was interrupted by a group of aggrieved students who sought to grab the minister’s attention and direct it to their issues with the institution.
The GCN sat with two representatives of the EWC Students Representative Council (SRC) who wished to remain anonymous claiming to be governed by SRC laws of the institution which do not allow them to speak to the media.
They alleged to have advised the students who demonstrated to request an application to march and hand over a memorandum on a specific date to the school.
Following the rejection of the application a week earlier, students then took to the campus in a demonstration.
“We advised them not to strike or to vandalise the school.
“However, due to trying to mediate between the school and the students we were summoned to a disciplinary hearing on August 28 for our alleged involvement in the protest,” said the SRC member.
Speaking to the GCN, David Muleele, marketing and communication manager at EWC, said “It should be noted that people who were protesting did not present or hand over a memorandum to the college representatives who were tasked to receive it since they wanted to hand it (the memorandum) to the minister.
“It is difficult for the college to determine what prompted those people to protest.”
The SRC representatives alleged that many students had previously complained about the late delivery of study material, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and their fund distribution agency S-Bux.
When the minister took to the podium she encouraged guests not to worry, as the disturbance would not hinder the day’s programme.
It was revealed in her speech that the former principal of the college, Ntlatleng, had done a great job in revamping it and that the real work would now resume.
“Back in 2004 when former president Thabo Mbeki elected me as the Minister of Education, I got into terrible trouble when I gave my first speech,” the minister joked.
“I said we had to throw out mediocrity and embrace excellence.”
The minister acknowledged the work done by EWC and urged the college to strive to be among the best as the age of digital revolution is upon us all.
She added that she needed the acting principal Ntombizodwa Dangazele and her campuses to join her in her passion for education.
“We were once led by powerful women and we continue to lead as powerful women,” said Pandor.
EWC also revealed their 2018 motto, Be accountable, regardless and vowed to live by this mantra where their finances and pass rates were concerned.
Have a story?
Remember to visit the Germiston City News on the following social media platforms:
Or add the GCN on WhatsApp 079 406 1181 or BBM (BBM Pin: 7F102137) today, to get all the latest news.