9 June 2016
The DA is concerned that Northern Cape youth, who are furthering their education at the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in De Aar, may quit their studies due to ongoing accommodation related challenges.
At least 66 students, who were awarded accommodation bursaries by the college, face the threat of being rendered homeless every month. This, as the college time and time again makes late payments to the private renters with whom the students are lodging.
As a direct result of the belated payments, students not only risk being kicked out of their abodes but they also struggle to find alternative accommodation in De Aar, as lodgers much prefer renting out to people working on the solar and wind panel projects in the region.
As a direct result of the accommodation issue, the De Aar campus increasingly experiences a high drop-out rate of students.
It is unacceptable that logistical issues, ultimately caused by the inept management of the tertiary sector, are discouraging young people from continuing with their studies.
While the DA welcomes the idea that the Premiers bursary fund and other organs of state offer bursaries to needy students, government needs to take steps to ensure that South Africa’s education and training institutions, particularly vocationally-orientated FET Colleges, are effectively managed and that structured interventions take place where managerial break-downs occur, so as to deliver the skills that our economy needs.
I will write to Premier Sylvia Lucas asking her, as the leader of the Northern Cape, to take this matter up with the relevant national institutions. I will also ask her to give attention to the matter that was highlighted by the DA earlier this week, whereby we exposed the non-payment by the provincial Health Department of bursaries for students studying in various medical fields at the University of the Free State. These students face the risk of being kicked out of the institution.
Next week, on 16 June, we are meant to be celebrating Youth Day. However, there is nothing much to celebrate considering that our young people continue to be denied the right to a quality education and in turn meaningful economic participation.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387