Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the need for South Africans to become innovators, producers and manufacturers had never been greater.
Speaking at a meeting of the Human Resource Development Council this week, Ramaphosa said the country was desperate to rid itself of apartheid’s economic legacy, adding that the living standards of ordinary South Africans had not improved enough under the administration of the African National Congress (ANC).
“We cannot afford to be mere consumers of goods and services,” said Ramaphosa.
One project that has received particular attention during the past year is the Automotive Learning Centre at Rosslyn, Pretoria. The automotive industry in South African remains a key driver of the local economy.
Speaking at the centre this week, the Deputy President highlighted just how important the centre had become in government’s endeavour to advance some of its development goals.
“As a home of manufacturing, innovation and enterprise development, this centre offers a path to a new economy,” explained Ramaphosa.
“We applaud the Automotive Industry Development Centre for its efforts to keep our local automotive industry globally competitive.
“We also applaud the Gauteng Provincial Government and the South African automotive industry for demonstrating commitment and for working together to ensure that we build a successful industry that attracts investment, develops the capabilities of our youth, creates jobs and builds successful businesses,” added Ramaphosa.
The programme is being conducted in conjunction with the South African government’s TVET colleges, which is a success story in itself. However, Ramaphosa said the relationship with TVET colleges needed to be extended beyond this.
He said the Automotive Industry Development Centre was merely an example and foundation on which to build. The hard work starts now.
“There are many lessons to be drawn from the work that is done here, particularly in the technical and vocational education and training sector. We will leave here more determined that industry should provide experiential learning to learners in TVET colleges much earlier,” he said.
“We will leave here more determined that companies should get involved in our Adopt-a-TVET College initiative on a far larger scale.”