West Rand Academy launched
The first phase of the project will cost R25 million.
Martin Preece, Executive VIce President of Gold Fields said R20 million was invested in the project.
The West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) has partnered with Sibanye-Stillwater, Gold Fields South Deep Gold Mine and WestCol to launch the West Rand Academy on Monday 28 May.
The facility that will be built in Westonaria Borwa, will cost an estimated R60 million. It will be used to facilitated mining-related studies, tool manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
The WRDM intends to use the facility to strengthen its economy.
“The WRDM, with its other partners identified that an academic facility is required in Westonaria since there are no institutions of higher learning to provide skills that will support the vision of the region to be industrialised.
“To support the municipality’s integrated development plan, the construction of the West Rand Academy has been initiated in a phased approach. There will be different schools or faculties, with the School of Agriculture and the School of Engineering being part of the first phase,” WRDM said in a media statement.
Boyce Maneli, WRDM Executive Mayor said, “This project will help us position the West Rand from the adversity of declining gold mines in the area, to a level where we can use education and academic excellence as the way to identify itself.
When we create an institution like this one, it will help us produce skills that will respond to the economy,”
Thabisile Phumo, Senior Vice President of Stakeholder Relations said the project is a significant milestone as it marks a very strategic partnership between government, mines and the local municipality.
“The project is setting the scene for the re-establishment of the new economy within the mining the sector,” she said.
Principal of WestCol, Louis Coetzer said about 600 students will be moved to the new facility once it is completed.
“Ultimately we are looking at 5 000 students to be accommodated at this facility. We are going to work with relevant departments in government to ensure that we have sustainable courses,” he said.
Other partners of the project include Westonaria Community Trust and South Deep Education Trust.
The first phase of the project will start early next year.
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