South Africa Government

12/05/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2023 00:53

Minister Blade Nzimande: Opening of the Southwest Gauteng TVET College welding Trade Test Centre

Programme Director Mr Mack Magoele;
DHET DDG for Skills Development, Mr Zukile Mvalo;
Mr Sabelo Buthelezi, DHET TVET Chief Director for Special projects;
Mr Zenzele Dlamini, South West Gauteng TVET College Council Chairperson;
South Africa Public College Principals representatives (SAPCO);
Mr Malose Monyamane, Principal South West Gauteng TVET College;
CEO's and officials of SETA's present;
My Advisors and the Ministry Staff;
South West Gauteng TVET College's former Principal - Mr Dan Lucas Nkosi;
Management of the South West Gauteng TVET College;
Mr Roy Maponya, CEO of Dr Richard Maponya Institute for Skills & Entrepreneurship Development;
Officials from all government spheres present;
Union Representatives;
SRC members of South West Gauteng TVET College;
Members of the media;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good Morning
I am honoured to be joining this occasion of the opening of the South-West Gauteng TVET College Welding Trade Test centre here at the Molapo Campus in Soweto. This is the 35th Trade Test Centre to be opened in south Africa. It is also historic centre as it is the first to be opened in Soweto.
This TVET college and the Trade Test centre is placed right at a township in order to provide access to education and training to the majority of our people in order to escape the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality that has affected many segments of society.
As South Africa continues to experience rapid urbanisation, the township economy has emerged as a critical engine of growth for many cities in our country, including here in Johannesburg.
However, for the township economy to realise its full potential, there is a pressing need to invest in skills development and training.
According to recent studies, the skills and knowledge deficit is a major barrier to growth and development in the township economy.
Many individuals in our communities lack the necessary education, training and mentorship to capitalise on economic opportunities and create sustainable enterprises.
As a result, unemployment and poverty remain significant challenges in many townships across our country.
This is the reason why this centre will be one of the building blocks towards revolutionarising skills development here in Molapo and in Soweto as a whole.
This centre together with many initiatives launched by our ANC led government will ensure that our people are capacitated to be self-sustainable and be able to generate the necessary income to support their families.
Death of Nelson Mandela
Today also marks the death of our iconic President Nelson Mandela who died on the 5th December 2023. He died at his home in Houghton Johannesburg surrounded by family.
South Africa observed a national mourning period of 10 days. During this time numerous memorial services were conducted across the country. Mandela's body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from 11 to 13 December 2013. A state funeral was held on 15 December 2013 in Qunu in the Eastern Cape where his body was buried.
Let us take this opportunity to pay homage to this memory and honour.
Celebration of Social Cohesion in the PSET
December month also marks our celebration of the Social Cohesion in the Post School Education and Training sector.
Since the end of apartheid now close to three decades ago, and despite numerous government interventions, South Africa has yet to emerge as a socially cohesive nation, and our society is still heavily carrying the burden of huge burden and inability of many families, households and communities being unable to make ends meet - what is sometimes referred to as the crisis of social reproduction.
Launch of the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training
We are also launching this trade test centre following the launch of the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training on 7 September 2023.
This plan signal our government's commitment towards achieving an improved, transformed, expanded, responsive, and articulated Post-School Education and Training (PSET).
The Plan has identified six (6) goals that are the drivers of our PSET system, which include amongst others:

  • An integrated, coordinated, and articulated PSET system;
  • Expanded access to post-school opportunities;
  • A responsive post-school system, with appropriate size and shape;
  • Improved relations between education and training institutions and the world of work;
  • Improved quality of post-school provision; and
  • Improved efficiency and success of the post-school system.

This Plan is also our roadmap for implementing the vision of the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (WP-PSET).
It will continue to guide us in implementing the National Development Plan (NDP), which foregrounds the national efforts to address the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality, and poverty.
As part of strengthening and developing the PSET sector, the department is investing in infrastructure to provide quality teaching, learning, research and innovation spaces.
About the Welding Trade Testing Centre
Ladies and gentlemen
Today we are here to witness the product of a collaboration between the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA), and the South West Gauteng TVET College.
The White Paper acknowledges that artisan trades and apprenticeships have traditionally been the pathway to trade qualifications.
However, the apprenticeship system has been allowed to deteriorate since the mid-1980s, resulting in a shortage of mid-level skills in the engineering and construction fields.
In order to address the shortage of these mid-level skills, as government we have committed to re-establish the artisan training system, targeting to produce 30,000 artisans a year by 2030.
South Africa is currently producing an average of 20 000 qualified artisans per year. We therefore need to ensure that the number increases significantly leading up to 2030 for the country to realise the NDP target.
We however do believe that we are well on track to attain this goal and even surpass it.
I am also delighted to indicate that in the third quarter of 2023, as we continue to train artisans, we experienced an increase in employment in occupations associated with artisan development.
This increase in employment is in areas such as Craft and Related Trades and Plant and Machine Operators occupations, contributing significantly to new employment created of about 400 000 new jobs between the first and the second quarter.
Here we are today opening this state-of-the-art Welding Trade Testing Centre as part of our response to the community of Soweto who requested us to build and upgrade our PSET infrastructure to respond to the skills needs of the communities in this area.
This Trade Test will test for knowledge, skills and competence in welding work. It involves theoretical and practical demonstration of knowledge and skill.
This will lead to a Trade Test Certificate awarded which is usually required by employers before they will employ or advance a trainee and allow him or her to do work at a certain level.
Let me take this time to express my gratitude to the Transport Education Training Authority CEO - Ms Maphefo Anno-Frempong and the entire Accounting Authority for collaborating with this College through the Infrastructure Support Grant.
This infrastructure will provide the Soweto community with much-needed resources that will positively contribute to the socio-economic development of our country at the time when youth unemployment is at its highest.
Establishing partnerships that works
Ladies and gentlemen
In many occasions, I have emphasised the need for partnerships and collaborations between the TVET Colleges and the Sector Education and Training Authorities.
I am pleased to see that my call for this collaboration is now yielding positive results with more and more of our Public Colleges entering into strategic relationships with our SETAs.
Our vision is to remain focused on providing an integrated, coordinated and highly articulated Post-School Education and Training System for improved economic participation, skills development and social development of our youth and the entire community in the country.
The vision and objective for our public TVET Colleges sector is to expand and strengthen the TVET sub-system to provide quality technical and vocational education and training to prepare students for the world of work (i.e., formal employment, self-employment and other forms of sustainable livelihoods).
While youth unemployment remains high, it fell by 1.9 percentage points in Q3 2023 to 43.4%, with the number of unemployed youths decreasing by 174,000 to 4.6 million and the number of employed youths increasing by 237,000 to 6.0 million.
As of November 2023, here in Soweto, the unemployment rate stood at 42%.
It goes without saying that the South West Gauteng TVET College is strategically located to reverse this unfortunate situation by ensuring that responsive programmes are offered, such as Occupational Skills Programmes and relevant trades.
However, we are constrained by skills 'mismatches,' real and perceived, towards our attainment of this objective, particularly in our ability to grow our economy.
In response to this mismatch, we have begun a process of crafting a one country and one skills plan - the Master Skills Plan, as an instrument to implement the reconceptualised Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa.
This process will promote a more efficient and effective mechanism for our country-wide skills planning.
Many of the occupations on the Master Skills Plans are associated with key areas and sectors identified as crucial for the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, such as the digital economy, energy, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, data scientist, web developer, computer network technician, electrical engineer, concentrated solar power process controller, mechatronic technician, toolmaker, gaming worker, crop produce analyst, agricultural scientist.
Centres of specialisation
Some of you may also recall that in 2019, we embarked on a campaign to launch 26 Centres of Specialisation located in 19 of our 50 TVET colleges, prioritising 13 occupational trades in high demand, to curb the shortage of trade and occupational skills while reducing unemployment and poverty in our country.
The 19 colleges were selected following a rigorous process undertaken by teams of education and industry experts, including the National Skills Fund, to identify trades that are in demand for the government's national infrastructure programme as well as other strategic programmes.
Further to this, these 26 centres were provided with resources to upgrade their workshops and equipment to deliver effectively these much-needed skills.
The partnership between the Sector Education and Training Authority and the TVET colleges will assist in ensuring that we shorten the Trade Testing period, increase the number of trade test centres closer to the training spaces, and also ensure that colleges are ready for participation in the Centres of Specialisation.
Placement of graduates
We have also committed to have 20,000 TVET college graduates placed for Workplace-Based Learning in the current financial year, as instructed by the President. Colleges must ensure that their partnership with industries benefits the graduates.
The government has already spent vast amounts of money to support our youth through the TVET system, and therefore we must assist them to transition to the workplace through appropriate placements.
We cannot achieve the rapid production of artisans without the active role of industry, including small and medium enterprises, especially to open their workplaces for workplace exposure of mainly our students, but also our TVET college lecturers.
As part of my service level agreement with all SETAs, they will incorporate government priorities in their training programmes and plans, especially aimed at addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, as captured in the National Development Plan in their Sector Skills Plans. Tackling youth unemployment is an absolute priority!
I am particularly pleased to see that there are existing relationships between the South West Gauteng TVET College, TETA, MICTSETA, WRSETA, FOODBEV SETA, CETA and many others.
I therefore encourage these TVET-SETA partnerships to be further deepened and strengthened.
Board members and CEOs of SETAs who do not forge partnership with our TVET Colleges do not belong to our SETA system.
Similarly, I have previously stated on numerous platforms that TVET college management, especially Principals, must know that they are not running TVET colleges unless they prioritise building partnerships with industry.
I gave a directive that all TVET college Principals should sign new Performance Agreements that include Industry Partnerships as one of their primary key performance indicators, as this will go a long way in meeting our SoNA target of placing 20 000 TVET students in Workplace-based Learning.
In conclusion
In conclusion, let me convey my sincere appreciation to the following organisations for their contribution to the South West TVET college success that we enjoy today:

  • Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) - Chief Executive Officer - Mrs Maphefo Anno-Frempong, your board members and the entire team.
  • Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) - Chief Executive Officer - Mr Matome Madibana and your Learning Programme Manager Mr Ernest Nemugavhini.
  • Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA) - Chief Executive Officer - Dr. Felleng Yende and the General Manager Mr Malema.
  • The Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority's (INSETA) - Mr Khongisa Mngoma and Ms Nhlanhla Siboto.
  • Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LG SETA) - Mr Fezile July - Acting Provincial Manager.
  • The Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (Chieta) - Ms Indira Mguye.
  • Food and Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FoodBev SETA) - Mr Magugu Maphiwa - Chief Financial Officer and Mr Collin Mshayisa.
  • Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) - Mr Vusimusi Mkhatshwa and Peter Moloi.
  • Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA).
  • The Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) - Provincial Manager - Mr Gerrard Francis, Mr Vuyani Mbonelwa and Mr Ngisana Mnguni.
  • Agriculture Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA) - Mr Mashilo Moroko.
  • Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) - Ms. Ntombi Mtshali and Mr. Dickson Kutsawa.

Gratitude also goes to the Principal, College Council and to the entire Executive Management Committee and Staff of the College and everybody who contributed towards the achievement of this event.
Let me also thank the students for their active and enthusiastic participation in these programmes!
Lastly, let me take this opportunity to wish you a safe festive season and a prosperous 2024.
I thank you