The KZN premier, honourable Sihle Zikalala has commissioned a special task team from the Provincial Public Service Training Academy (PPSTA), led by Fazal Safla to share areas of collaboration between the provincial government and institutions of higher learning in the province.
An inaugural visit was hosted by Prof Alfred Msomi, on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office on 25 October at MUT. The collaboration is in line with the provincial growth development plan and vision 2035 which calls for Vice-Chancellors and curriculum planners to seat on the same table with provincial policymakers to craft a way for universities to support the provincial government in implementation of policies as outlined in the national and provincial priorities 2019-2024 document.
Safla shared with the MUT team that the premier is in the process of constituting a Human Resource Development (HRD) Council and is inviting all university Vice-Chancellors in the province to take membership in the Council. A cooperation agreement between MUT and the government is being put together. The agreement will outline areas of collaboration and roles and responsibilities between the two partners. “Top in the agenda for this cooperation agreement is a joint economic and HRD Council colloquium tentatively scheduled for March 2020. The colloquium which will be co-hosted by universities in the province will discuss amongst issues the alignment of institutional programme mix with the skills needs of the province. As the premier’s office we see MUT playing a major role in the colloquium through facilitation of sessions, and paper and poster presentations,” said Safla.
He further said that the outcomes of the cooperation and partnership would include transformation of the academic profile of institutions within the province; representation of MUT and other universities in KZN provincial committees; skills planning and reporting; graduate tracking; and addressing the gaps and unfair distribution of internship and work opportunities across institutions in the province.
“We welcome the opportunity to be given a voice as MUT in the governance issues in our province. As Universities we have a lot of expertise that has remained untapped, this partnership will also enhance the MUT Anchor strategy as it touches on understanding social challenges within the province,” said Prof Msomi.
A series of follow up meetings are already in the pipeline with both parties preparing to contribute positively in the growth of the economy of KZN.