Education hub vision

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education first: Representatives from the social development and education departments met this week.

Progress on the Greater Oudtshoorn becoming an educational hub in the Eden district

The Greater Oudtshoorn 2030 vision to become an educational hub in the Eden district has taken shape following discussions held with education MEC Debbie Schäfer this week.

The purpose of the meeting was to solicit the department’s support.

The meeting between the municipality and the Western Cape education department (WCED) and representatives from the department of social development was headed by mayor Colan Sylvester.

The Greater Oudtshoorn is already home to a number of national training and educational institutions such as the South African National Defence Force’s Infantry School, the South African Police Service training institute, Nursing College and South Cape College.

“The Department of Education owns a number of properties that are either underutilised or not utilised at all. These buildings could be of help to initiate either community development projects or education and training institutions,” Sylvester said.

“Last week we received two international visits from the US intending to establish an African Bible College and drug rehabilitation centre. This certainly inspires our dream even

further.”

In response, Schäfer told them what they were doing was very welcome and they could certainly rely on the WCED’s support.

The education MEC was also thrilled to see how the council was rejuvenating the town.

“We also welcomes the great initiatives the Oudtshoorn council has come up with. We’ll go back and consider the proposals and decide whether to relinquish some of our properties to the public works department or

not. Further discussions are necessary to take this matter further,” Schäfer said.

The discussions were preceded by site visits to some buildings in the town owned by the WCED and public works department. One of the sites visited was land which had already been allocated by the council for a building of a primary and high school in Rosevalley.

“Without being over optimistic, we regard our discussions with the MEC as being positive and we are looking forward to hearing the results,” Sylvester said.

-VINCENT CRUYWAGEN

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