Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, is expected to mark the beginning of construction of the KwaMpumuza Skills Development Centre in Elandskop, Pietermaritzburg, with a sod turning ceremony on Friday.
The R105 million project is the first intra-SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) collaboration infrastructure project undertaken by the Construction Education & Training Authority (CETA) and Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA).
According to the department, the lack of training facilities to produce artisans in KwaZulu-Natal has been identified as a collaborative opportunity, which has resulted in the CETA collaborating with W&RSETA to build a skills development centre (SDC).
The project will benefit the community of Vulindlela and rural communities in the surrounding areas, particularly the youth.
“Construction of Phase 1 of the project is estimated to be completed in 2024 and about 175 jobs will be created during construction,” the department said.
The centre will be constructed on a 27 hectare piece of land and comprise an administration block; retail business hub; engineering and CETA-related trades workshops fully equipped for technical training (trade test centre); an agricultural hub for training, warehousing, farming, agro-processing and retail.
It will include three lecture rooms; two sick bays/rooms; a cooking/hospitality trades, hair and beauty workshop; storerooms; 150-seater multi-purpose hall; ablution facilities including a septic sanitation system; roads and storm water infrastructure; parking and landscaping as well as bulk services.
In terms of the sustainability of the project, the department said many amenities are planned around the site, including human settlements, a small dairy operation and a shopping centre.
“SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises) will be trained through the incubation programme and the farming and agro processing will be housed within the facilities of this SDC.
“Additionally, the college plans a multi-purpose centre, which will generate income for the centre. Students will receive practical training and graduates from uMgungundlovu Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College will be part of the staff complement,” the department said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube, uMgungundlovu District Mayor Mzi Zuma and Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla are also expected to attend the event.
Representatives from the CETA and W&RSETA Board will also be among the dignitaries.