Stu­dents pur­sue stud­ies in Viet­nam

The New Age (Gauteng) - - FREE STATE NEWS - BECKER SEMELA beck­ers@the­newage.co.za

AS THE prov­ince tries to di­ver­sify its skills base, four young women from the Fezile Dabi district mu­nic­i­pal­ity, left the coun­try for Viet­nam to pur­sue their mar­itime stud­ies.

Mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Thomas Nopheche said they had ar­rived safely in Viet­nam after leav­ing on Mon­day.

He said the quar­tet made up of Mpho Mafethe­mane, Bulelwa Ndlela, Pa­tra­cia Nh­lapho and Keamo­getse Mokotedi, come from dif­fer­ent towns in Fezile Dabi.

“This ini­tia­tive was started by the for­mer mayor of Met­sima­holo lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Bru­tus Mahlaku, and speaker Sello Matena after vis­it­ing Viet­nam and agree­ing with the Viet­nam Mar­itime Univer­sity to send some stu­dents to pur­sue their stud­ies for four years,” Nopheche said.

“The stu­dents will come back home with hon­ours de­grees.

“This project was then aban­doned after the ANC lost con­trol of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity dur­ing last year’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.”

He said the new coali­tion gov­ern­ment un­der the DA and the EFF could not com­mit to the project.

“The district mu­nic­i­pal­ity had to in­ter­vene to save the project after the re­cent Met­sima­holo mayor, Sello Hlasa, ap­proached the district for as­sis­tance,” Nopeche said.

He said the district mayor, Ou­mix Oliphant, ac­cepted the re­quest to in­ter­vene and as­sist as the district.

Oliphant fur­ther said they were aware that this was a re­mark­able in­vest­ment in ed­u­ca­tion and the skills rev­o­lu­tion in their dis­tricts.

“South Africa through Op­er­a­tion Phak­isa has iden­ti­fied the ocean econ­omy as one sec­tor that has a ma­jor po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute to eco­nomic growth and cre­ate close to 1 mil­lion jobs by 2033,” she said.

Oliphant said it was clear to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity that they were ex­pected to cre­ate that pool of skills in the district which would be needed to con­trib­ute to the re­al­i­sa­tion of this goal.

“Be­cause we are a district mu­nic­i­pal­ity, we felt that we needed to take a wide ap­proach, hence these four stu­dents come from three mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties namely Mo­qhaka, Ng­wathe and Met­sima­holo.

“We will con­trib­ute to­wards their study al­lowances an­nu­ally, their flight tick­ets after every two years to visit their fam­ily’s home and study ma­te­rial such as com­put­ers and their tuition fee will be cov­ered by Viet­nam Mar­itime Univer­sity,” Oliphant said.

IN­VEST­MENT: Bulelwa Ndlela, Keamo­getse Moketedi and Monky Nh­lapo.

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