The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) and the Matjhabeng Municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday last week at the Welkom campus.
CUT says it strives to be engaged in solutions and making a meaningful impact through social and technological innovation.
Matjhabeng Local Municipality mayor Nkosinjani Speelman and municipal manager Zingisa Tindleni are both CUT alumni.
“This partnership is going to help us on skills development, to strengthen the municipality. Our infrastructure is aging, but we don’t have skills. We need the new generation to tell us how we can deal with that issue, and we need the university to help us achieve this,” said Speelman.
CUT vice-chancellor and principal, Prof. Henk de Jager reiterated the importance of partnerships.
“As CUT we are a public university and we are here to serve the people. Our mandate is to produce graduates, research and to produce innovation outputs. But what is the real impact in society? Through empowerment. And that is why this university is partnering with the Matjhabeng Municipality in order to enhance and strengthen our impact in this society,” noted De Jager.
Through the support of the municipality, CUT expects to meet current on-campus student residence demands and expand its academic programmes by constructing new buildings and sports grounds.
Senior manager at Matjhabeng Municipality, Morakane Mothekhe noted the MoU marks an important milestone towards the development of the area.
“The community has been given a lot of promises and us not achieving or reaching out to them, and now the projects of this mature seek to address exactly that. People see open spaces just as open spaces without knowing how these can be used to revive the economy and help alleviate poverty. We are going to design plans and strategies of maximum utilisation of our public open spaces. We are saying come, let us do it together,” added Mothekhe.