Beloved Blade Nzimande, the Higher Education and Training Minister says the next big Nzimande thing in South Africa universities is the production of black academics.
Often times, the wailers of the “inequality syndrome” in South Africa do lament that there are very few black academicians in the nation’s higher institutions. Blade promised he’ll balance up the situation with this big initiative of his.
Minister Blade said the production of black academics is part of his department’s goals to speed-up the transformation of the higher education institutes in the country.
Presenting the Higher Education and Training budget vote in Parliament today, Blade disclosed that he’ll soon announce an Inter-Ministerial Task Team that will fish out ways to speed up the production of black academics.
“I will soon announce a task team to look into and propose solutions to the obstacles to the production of South African black academics,” he said.
But before that, the Minister relate that “the staffing of South Africa’s Universities Framework and its New Generation of Academics Program (nGAP) have to date filled 102 posts with black South Africans, 55 of them women.
A further 100 new nGAP academics will be appointed in the coming months. Although these numbers are good, they are not good enough,” Minister Blade argued.
Aside that, he promised to launch a Student Housing Infrastructure Program this year to address the challenges of student accommodation. He said it will be a long term sustainable program.
“In the meantime” he said, “we are working with the Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, to identify underutilized or unused government buildings suitable for conversion into affordable and comfortable student housing for both universities and TVET (technical and vocational education and training) colleges.”
Also, he revealed that R4.57 billion has been allocated to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for 2016/17.
That and other NSFAS funds according to the Minister, “will this year put 205 000 [students] through universities and another 200 000 through TVET colleges.
This is a total of 405 000 students receiving government support, a massive achievement by anybody’s standards,” Blade bragged.