Deputy Minister's Keynote Address

Friday, April 11, 2014

Programme Director

Honourable Mayor of Tshwane Municipality: Councillor Kgosientsho Ramakgopa

Deputy Director General, for Vocational and Continuing Education and Training Dr Maboreng Maharaswa

Governing Council of Tshwane North College

Acting Principal of Tshwane North College: Ms P Steyn

Business Representatives

SETA Chief Executive Officers

Principals of TVET Colleges

University of Technology representatives

Staff of Tshwane North College


Ladies and Gentleman

Good morning to everybody

Programme Director I must say that I consider this event a very significant one in the sense that it demonstrates the responsiveness of TVET Colleges to our call of an accelerated skills development generally, and artisan development in particular.  I am really encouraged, Mr Brink.  The Honourable Minister Dr Nzimande is a signatory to the National Skills Accord in which organized labour, business, community constituents and government, in partnership have made a strong commitment to expand the skills platform in the country in order to create 5 million new jobs by 2020.  Flowing from this commitment as a Department we have set guideline ratios of artisan training in the country in our strategic plan. These artisan ratios are also expressed in the National Growth Path (NGP) macroeconomic programme wherein we have expressed our goal of achieving an additional 50 000 artisans by 2015.  This target is a build-up towards achieving an annual output rate of 30 000 artisans by 2030, and is expressed in the National Development Plan.

Most important the NGP and National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III underscores the centrality of TVET colleges as a critical skills system in providing important middle level skills for young people, a fact that has been acted upon by us (as a Department) through increased enrollment and more bursary allocation for deserving learners at TVET colleges, using the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) facility.

In April last year at Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto a Youth Employment Accord was signed between various social partners wherein Honourable Minister Dr Nzimande stated, I quote, “We accept the responsibility of leading and providing the best possible environment for youth skills acquisition, education and training as part of developing our country.  This Youth Employment Accord emphasizes the fact that together, we can create more employment and turn every workplace into a training space. The timing of the Youth Employment Accord is perfect”, unquote.

Again to give effect to this undertaking by Minister Dr Nzimande we re-emphasised our strong commitment to increase TVET enrollments and the building of a stronger vocational and technical skills base at these institutions.

Between April 2011 and December 2013 the demand trades based on the number of registrations received from employers and SETAs in order of priority were Electrician, Fitter and Turner, Welder, Chef, Boilermaker, Motor mechanic, Diesel mechanic, Bricklayer, Panel beater and Millwright.  It is striking to note that all these trades have a readily available curriculum and programme offerings at TVET colleges.

We are working our fingers off as a Department, within our strategic infrastructure projects unit in mapping out a synergy between these TVET programmes and the qualification outcomes of trade related occupations, so that TVET graduates may easily adapt to workplace training, thereby proceed smoothly towards obtaining an artisan qualification. 

This work further empowers TVET lecturers as it is facilitated within the trade occupational teams, wherein engineering curriculum knowledge and practice are shared.

Programme Director, in 2013 we successfully launched and advocated a campaign dubbed “the year of the artisan” under the catchphrase “it’s cool to be an artisan”.  Indeed under this campaign we were able to reach all provinces with an estimated 20 000 attendance by various communities and students in particular.

The key message in these campaigns was sensitizing our local communities and students on the dire shortage and the desirability of artisanal skills in our country, at the same time dispel all the misconceptions on artisanship being seen as a career of last resort, and also TVET colleges being regarded as institutions of last resort only meant for learners with a lower intelligence quotient (IQ).  These are the enslaving stereotypes of the past which we realized that they needed confronting because they keep our communities in economic bondage.

Actually programme Director a lot of these engineering programmes leading to becoming an artisan cannot be done without one having Mathematics and doing Mathematics as a subject.  Now, how can that be regarded as less intelligent, it just boggles my mind.

The primary lesson we learnt from the “year of the artisan” campaign was that indeed our communities and students get empowered in terms of gaining social capital, that is, they become enabled to fully understand the world of vocational education and training and the advantages of artisanship as a career of choice.

To this end we have expanded the scope of this campaign and have dubbed it “the decade of the artisan” under the theme “it’s cool to be a 21st century artisan”.  This expanded campaign includes the participation of our colleagues in the Department of Basic Education, Provincial Education districts, local municipalities, schools, churches, community organisations, small and big business, SETAs and all other constituents in the community.  Under this campaign “the decade of the artisan” which stretches from 2014 to 2024 we have targeted to reach over 100 000 students and 30 communities across the country.  The key message we carry is that choosing an artisan directed career is cool and will drastically improve one’s chances of employment even entrepreneurship.

Programme Director in my opening remark I expressed my appreciation regarding this launch as indicative of the responsiveness of the TVET colleges regarding the promotion of artisanship as a career of choice. Your undertaking to train 30 artisans in Fitting and Turning, Electrical work and Boilermaking is indeed commended.  The fact that  you expressly and publicly commit to carry out this venture under the artisanal seven steps guideline to becoming an artisan further demonstrates your understanding of the new environment of artisan training. Also the fact that you plan to top up this training with the imparting of business skills to the selected learners is very exciting.

Your partnership with the City of Tshwane and Tshwane University of Technology regarding the practical component of this training and the workplace experience element is without doubt encouraging that we are indeed working together.  You deserve to be applauded.

If we were to use the ingredients of this artisan training programme as a baseline throughout our TVET college system in the country we would have this scenario:

*          50 National TVET colleges each of which has say 3 engineering campuses which trains 30 aspiring  artisans across the demand trades and finds workplaces for them;

*          This may translate into 4 500 artisan learners per year trained and placed at workplaces by TVET colleges; and

*          In 10 years’ time, the period in which the “Decade of the Artisan” runs, TVET colleges would contribute 45 000 qualified artisans.

This would be a ground breaking milestone indeed for TVET colleges.

I thank you

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Manana at the Artisan Development Programme Launch held at the Tshwane North College for FET on 11 April 2014.

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, flanked by aspiring artisans of TNC and staff.


Compiler:-David Kokie Mabusela

Director: INDLELA, Room 27

Tel: 011 206 1006

Cell: 071 885 3829


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