Captured shortly after cutting the ribbon are from left to right: Frans Ramonyatse (Department of Higher Education and Training Regional Manager in Limpopo), Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope, Dr Thiathu Ravhura (Vhembe Tvet College Council Chairperson) and Vhembe Tvet College Principal, Basani Hlekane.

“I’m here to confirm that the Vhembe Tvet College Musina Campus has met all the requirements to operate as an institution of higher learning. Therefore, we are giving full approval that the campus should start operating.” These were the words of Frans Ramonyatse, the Department of Higher Education and Training Regional Manager in Limpopo. He was addressing guests and prospective students who graced the official launch of Vhembe Tvet College Musina Campus.

The Musina campus is the seventh campus of the Vhembe Tvet College in Vhembe District while Vhembe Tvet College is the fourth biggest Tvet College in the country.  The Musina campus offers Electrical, Civil, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and classes commenced on Monday this week (09 September).

Ramonyatse said the Department of Education receives hundreds of applications from communities for the establishment of Tvet branches. “Some of the requests are turned down due to valid reasons but we are happy that the Musina application went through. We consider many factors when we establish a campus and the Musina campus has satisfied all those requirements.”

He said with the slow economic growth and youth unemployment which is at 50% in the country, it is clear that the Musina campus will play a role to deal with issues of illiteracy, underdevelopment, poverty and unemployment. “Interestingly, the Musina campus will offer fully funded ministerial programmes which will enable even the poor of the poorest to attend school. Bursaries will also be offered to those who qualify so that they can study without thinking about the burden of their poor financial backgrounds.”

Vhembe Tvet College Principal, Basani Hlekane said the campus was established through the strong partnership of the Department of Education, Musina Municipality, De Beers Venetia Mine and various community structures. “We are happy that the journey we started in 2015 has finally been concluded. The journey included the research on feasibility of campus establishment, site acquisition request, approvals from the Department of Education and approval by the college Council to establish a branch here in Musina. The support we receive from our stakeholders here in Musina was overwhelming. We have no doubt that Musina Campus will grow to be one of the biggest here in Vhembe District.”

Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope said the establishment of the campus is one of the flagship initiatives which the municipality has been longing for. She also announced that the municipality has donated 30acres of land to the college for future expansion. She thanked everyone who contributed towards the establishment of the campus. “Your contributions have come in many ways – through your wise advice, through financial resources, and through the energies of those who did the actual physical work. Everyone who has made a contribution will always be a part of this historic occasion. Now that the college is here, we urge our community members to guard against any damage or vandalism to the college property because everything that we see here today belongs to the community.  It is our joint responsibility to make sure that the college property is safe at all times.”

She said the campus has been established at the right time when Musina is growing. “Let me remind you that the provincial government has declared Musina a provincial growth point. We are also very fortunate to be awarded the status of a Special Economic Zone by the national government. The special economic zone will create more than 20 000 jobs. There is no doubt that the availability of this college will help to impart the much needed skills and educational boost for us to sustain the special economic zone without depending on other educational institutions outside our municipality.”