ANC Divided on University’s Location

James Masango MPL

DA Chief Whip, Mpumalanga Legislature

Confusion reigns in the ruling ANC as to where the proposed university is to be located, but at least seems to agree on the format it is supposed to take.

This follows after ANC Member of the Provincial Legislature, Mr VV Windvoël made a member’s statement to the house endorsing the premier, Mr David Mabuza’s announcement on a local radio station that the main university campus would indeed be located in White River. Windvoël further added that the campuses would be split into the respective district municipalities, with the education campus located in Nkangala and engineering and life sciences in Gert Sibande.

In her response to Windvoël’s statement, education MEC, MS Reginah Mhaule explained that a national task team was established by the minister for higher education and training, Mr Blade Nzimande last year, to study the feasibility of a university, its location and composition. MEC Mhaule continued that the team’s findings were put to minister Nzimande and national Cabinet, and that another task team would be established to implement the findings of that report.

According to MEC Mhaule, the second task team had its first meeting on Friday, March 09, and that it will still confirm the location and composition of the university.

Premier Mabuza has now been contradicted a second time on the location of the university, as both minister Nzimande and MEC Mhaule have made it clear that the location is still to be confirmed.

The DA can only surmise that premier Mabuza is using the university, and its location as a political bargaining tool for his re-election campaign for provincial chairperson of the ANC.

The DA has already stated that it will write to both the premier and minister Nzimande on the issue, and seek clarity on the university, its location and its composition, and will urge the minster to do so as a matter of urgency.

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