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Minister Nzimande, MEC Lesufi praise City''s Matric rewrite programme

 

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi have endorsed the City of Johannesburg’s Vulindlel’ eJozi’s Matric Rewrite Programme.

The endorsement was announced by Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau during a site tour of the Vulindlel’ eJozi’s Orange Farm Massive Open Online Varsity (MOOV) facility.

The mayor said the rewrite initiative would be implemented in partnership with the Gauteng Education Department, the University of Johannesburg and Harambee Youth Empowerment Accelerator.

“The Vulindlel’ eJozi programme is fast breaking down barriers for youth to access economic opportunities through entry-level job training and placement, smart online education and entrepreneurial skills training,” he said.

These programmes would help the City address the high rate of youth unemployment which, according to Statistician-General Pali Lehohla’s most-recent report, stands at 57% nationally and between 60% and 70% in Johannesburg. The Matric Rewrite Programme is being offered through the City’s libraries, which double up as MOOV centres. The first intake began this month.

In welcoming the initiative, MEC Lesufi said: “We are committed to facilitating the rewrite registrations and streamlining a process that will enable those who have been out of school for longer than two years to complete their matric.”

Minister Nzimande said the rewrite programme could be used as a national blueprint.

“The Department of Higher Education is reviewing the MOOV concept as a leading pilot that could create new paths to free vocational and university education for excluded young people across South Africa,” he said.

 

Nzimande and Lesufi’s ringing endorsement came a day after Mayor Tau announced the ground-breaking R200-million partnership with Microsoft SA to train one million people in basic computer skills. Under the programme, which starts in September, 800 000 youths and 200 000 adults, will be trained over five years.

 

Police recover stolen vehicle

 

Johannesburg Central Police arrested a 27-year-old male for possession of a hi-jacked motor vehicle in Newtown, corner Gwigwi Mrwebi and Mirriam Makeba. 

 

While police were busy with their routine crime prevention duties, they saw a suspicious Toyota Etos vehicle, silver grey in colour parked next to the Choice Bar. Having verified to confirm its identity it came out positive that it was hi-jacked, a case was opened at Roodeport Police Station and further investigation on the matter revealed that the car was falsely registered after inquiring on the registration particulars of the vehicle. Warrant officer, Xoli Mbele revealed that investigation is under way and the suspect will appear soon in Court.

 

International NGO launches new youth art exhibition

New Acropolis South Africa, an international NGO, launched the “Art of Life” youth art exhibition as part of its 10th year anniversary celebration in Braamfontein recently. The launch which featured the exclusive works of six budding young Sowetan artists, forms part of New Acropolis’ mission to promote philosophy as a practical way of living, develop cultural programs and ultimately enhance social values. The show also showcased pieces by international artists, renowned photographer Pierre Poulain and painter Rinat Orell.

New Acropolis South Africa was established in Johannesburg in 2006 and focuses on youth development programs and volunteer projects with philosophical applications. From empowerment workshops to cultural education evenings, the organisation is committed to enriching the lives of communities.

In addition to a variety of activities such as movie nights, book clubs, self-defence training and meditation classes, the organisation also offers courses in philosophy and its practical application in every-day life, to promote the best aspirations of humanity.

“The practice of philosophy is an educational process. It helps us to know and improve ourselves,” says Guy Hazon, National Director of New Acropolis South Africa. 

“Through its practice and with the understanding of human values, it forms the basis for an active and participative culture. We strive to bring out the best qualities of each individual we meet, and broaden the horizons of mind and spirit.”

The “Art of Life” exhibition is the first of many showcases which will focus on the promotion of local youth art. The inaugural exhibition featured expressions of life in Soweto by Theo Kuvhutlu, Thina Dube, Sam Djedje, Dineo Molefe, Motheo Moiloa and Bolelang Leepila. Going forward, New Acropolis will host an art exhibition every month.

“In our dedication to community upliftment, we will continue to pilot activities which will promote the practice of philosophy, culture and volunteerism. We are committed the development of the communities’ natural expression of a spirit in union with life and humanity.” Concludes Hazon.

 

Revamped Bruma Lake to bring in major investment

The beautiful new park and river has given a major boost to business confidence in the area, with its striking, fully restored pedestrian bridge has already spurred a R15-million investment on its south side, on its north side, there’s an investment of well over R1-billion in a major new mixed-use development that’s poised to start unfolding.

Details on both of these emerged at its launch event recently, which marked the completion of an extensive, two-year rehabilitation project overseen by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) in collaboration with Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo. The redevelopment of Bruma and surrounding suburbs is directly linked to Joburg’s 2040 strategy, which aims to build a city that is liveable, sustainable and resilient. The benefits are far more extensive. Speaking at the official launch, Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau said the City’s investment in Bruma looked at the present and future needs of an area that was evolving, whose population was growing, and which formed an important nodal development point in the City’s Corridors of Freedom programme. Bruma, Cyrildene and other suburbs east of the CBD would soon be integrated into the Louis Botha Corridor of Freedom - whose main bus rapid transit (BRT) route will connect Parktown to Alexandra and Sandton - and through this to the Empire-Perth Corridor between the CBD and Soweto.

The City of Joburg is expected to grow by 3-million people over the next 24 years”, Mayor Tau said. It was therefore crucial to move away from a “mono-use” city in which residents were far removed from amenities and opportunities to a city of the future - one which was mixed-use, higher density, compact and polycentric. Bruma’s new-look river and park would become a “destination for people” with recreational, commercial and other uses, the Mayor said. It would also spur the growth and development of Cyrildene as “the Chinatown not just of Johannesburg but of South Africa and of Africa”.  Architect Ambrose Adebayo, the co-designer of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, outlined the plans for a major new mixed-use development for the north side of the park. This will include a 5-star hotel, a double-level shopping centre, an office block, high-rise apartments catering to a range of income levels, and extensive underground parking.

The development’s four new buildings would be designed in organic African style as a synthesis of modern and traditional forms, Adebayo said, and would relate “like a sculpture” to the river and the park.

 

 

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