Report from the Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguve Campus, where Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP addressed students (17 March 2009)

This afternoon UDM leader Bantu Holomisa addressed students of the Tshwane University of Technology at its Soshanguve Campus. Holomisa highlighted the importance education stating that one of the challenges which face South Africa has been the lack of qualified educators, adding that many have been teaching as volunteers without being empowered with the proper methods of teaching.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that some schools don’t have resources and materials like computers and laboratories to help prepare learners for tertiary level. Government, after elections, should spend more resources and energy on addressing those inequalities and disparities.

He said that South Africa should be in a position to produce students who are independent and are ready to start their own small businesses, or be ready to enter tertiary institutions with full confidence in themselves.

Mr Holomisa said that the service conditions of teachers and lecturers need to be reviewed. In some instances teachers did not want to teach in areas ‘outside of the cities’, he suggested that there needs to be incentives packages which include salaries and accommodation to attract teachers to neglected areas. Such an approach would contribute to raising teachers’ morale.

Mr Holomisa said that because of the level of competition in the global market it is essential that this Country invests in education. Holomisa suggested that, should it be discovered that our education system is less than ideal, the chances are that international companies will cease to invest in South Africa. He said that the UDM proposes that there be an “Education Indaba” where experts can come together to formulate a strategy to take the Country’s education forward into the next fifteen years.

In line with the UDM’s philosophy: “Government must do more”, Mr Holomisa said a UDM government will direct more resources towards the training of teachers, the improvement of education infrastructure, and to ensure that teaching materials arrive on time.

The UDM leader, facing an attentive crowd, said that discipline should be restored; that teachers should teach and students study.