29 October 2021
The Deputy Minister of Higher Education,Science and Innovation, His Excellency Mr Buti Manamela and the High Commissioner of India to South Africa, His Excellency Mr Jaideep Sarkar, officially opened the Gandhi-Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills at the Tshwane South TVET College in Pretoria on 28 October 2021
The soft launch of the Centre took place in 2018. The Centre hosts State of the art artisan training facility with the aim to promote skills development. The Centre reflects the strong bilateral cooperation between India 🇮🇳 and South Africa 🇿🇦
Inspired by our leaders Mahatma & Madiba, as a true reflection of strong bilateral relations, India and South Africa agreed to set up Gandhi-Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills.
The Gandhi-Mandela Centre has been successful in imparting training and skills to mechanical fitters, boilermakers, electricians and millwright apprentices using the high-end equipment and machines provided by the Government of India.
This project serves as a rightful example on how countries can work together in achieving the dream of collective growth and development.
Under Gandhi-Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills, two batches have been successfully admitted for four artisan skills i.e. mechanical fitters, boilermakers, electricians and millwright.
A total of around R48 million worth of equipment and tools for four artisan skills (mechanical fitters, boilermakers, electricians and millwrights) was provided by the Government of India 🇮🇳 towards the establishment of the Gandhi Mandela Centre in Tshwane.
In his remarks His Excellency Mr Jaideep Sarkar said ” both Mandela and Gandhi understood that centuries of poverty, deprivation and under-development could not be reversed without better education; in fact, Mandela said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. “But education itself is not enough in today’s global economy. The modern economy cannot employ large numbers of people on the basis of basic literacy alone. To be employable today one needs to be educated but also skilled. Further, these skills need to be continuously updated to meet the needs of a rapidly changing global economy.
Most countries including India and South Africa have responded by making skills development a new policy vertical but eventually major changes may have to be made in the way we educate ourselves so that our education system supplies the economy with the skills it needs to transform and grow. Otherwise, our countries will continue to face a shortage of highly trained workers, and on the other a surplus of conventionally educated youth, who possess little or no job skills,” said High Commissioner of India.
In his remarks His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, His Excellency Mr Buti Manamela said ” South Africa values the partnership with the government and people of India, the aspiring mechanical fitters, boilermakers, electricians and millwrights, who are apprentices and employed by the industry, are benefiting from this investment and that India’s investment increased the number of Centres of Specialisation from the 26 initially planned to 30 and contributing to South Africa’s job creation and poverty alleviation goals.
The Deputy Minister said “the decision to name this Centre of Specialisation after such great men as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, should serve as inspiration and motivation to take responsibility of our own development”
Through their lived example, both Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi didn’t just dedicate their lives to the fight against injustice, but also sought to bring out the best qualities in each and every human being. It will therefore be a fitting tribute to these two giants if we use this Centre of Specialisation to empower our young people with the relevant skills to transform their lives and those of their communities, and to inculcate in them the spirit of service to humanity.”
In closing, the Deputy Minister said ” South Africa looked forward to many more collaborative projects that would help both countries address their national development goals.