MOHLALETSI – Before his passing at the age of 40 earlier this year, King Victor Thulare III had envisioned the establishment of a university in Sekhukhune district and also had plans to harness the rich mineral resources of platinum metal groups in the district to help improve the livelihoods of the Bapedi Nation.
On Thursday 20 May 20201, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Kingdom of Bapedi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the kingdom capital in Mohlaletse Village within the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality and announced plans to establish a campus in Sekhukhune district.
On behalf of Acting Bapedi Queen, Manyaku Thulare, Official Royal House Spokesperson, Ntoampe Mampuru, stated that the agreement between TUT and the Kingdom of Bapedi was part of realizing the legacy of the late King.
Mampuru said the Queen had blessed the occasion and looked forward to the many great things to come out of that initiative.
In their countless meetings, the royal house and the university were able to identify the old Sekhukhune Teaching College as a possible venue for the venture, dependent on approval by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
The university is currently conducting a feasibility study to establish interest and support by local mining houses, agricultural sector and the community at large.
Upon completion, the study will be submitted to the university and the DHET respectively for approval. After that process, the design of new programs in mining and agriculture will resume, which will take 18 months or more.
Professor Stanley Mukhola, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Teaching, Learning and Technology (TLT), indicated that the MoU was formulated to facilitate collaboration in the area of tertiary education between TUT and the Bapedi Kingdom.
Mukhola said they were grateful for the warm welcome in the Sekhukhune area to establish what he called, not a satellite but a distant campus.
The professor said the idea was to begin a new campus focusing mainly on mining and agriculture and that they believed in taking education to the people.
“That is mainly the reason we signed the MoU, which will assist us to embark on a fruitful journey that will benefit the university, Kingdom of Bapedi, the community of Sekhukhune and Limpopo at large,” concluded Mukhola.