Taking technology to township schools

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Taking technology to township schools

Anne Naidu

The Vaal University of Technology and the Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUT SGSTP) wishes to extend an invitation to you to join us in launching the I2P® Labs at Lebohang Secondary School and Thuto Lore Comprehensive School on 31 May 2017.

The I2P® Lab (abbreviated from Idea 2 Product Laboratory), is a facility that provides learners with the ability to conceptualise, design, develop, fabricate and test new and innovative ideas. Using entry-level Additive Manufacturing (AM) personal 3D printer platforms, the I2P Lab aims to provide access to AM for school learners.

The lab provides assistance to encourage more effective teaching and learning experiences. It offers skills development and training in areas of product development in the form of basic 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), modelling, as well as 3D printing to learners and educators. This initiative is a joint venture between the Science Park, VUT, The Gauteng Department of Education and MerSETA.

Achieving plans for Transformation, Modernisation and Industrialisation – following Gauteng Premier’s visit

“The modernisation of our economy has to do with new industries and innovation,” Premier David Makhura says the Gauteng Provincial government aims at strengthening partnerships with key sectors, VUT SGSTP being one of them.

Selina Rapulane & Anne Naidu

The VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (SGSTP) was a hive of activity on 18 May in great anticipation of the visit of the Honourable Premier of Gauteng: Mr David Makhura. He was accompanied by a high-profile delegation that included the MEC for Economic Development: Mr Lebohang Maile and MEC for Finance: Ms Barbara Creecy.

After a round trip to the Vaal, the Premier visited industries such as Arcelor Mittal South Africa, Div Foods; the Manufacturing Circle, DCD Plastics, and finally the VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park in Sebokeng.

Since 2014, the Gauteng Provincial Government has made it clear that in order to achieve their plan for Transformation, Modernisation and Reindustrialisation of the Gauteng City Region, they will have to strengthen partnerships with key sectors and, in particular, institutions of higher education as they are the key in producing the right kinds of skills needed to grow an inclusive economy.

Against this backdrop, the visit formed part of Ntirhisano, which is the Premier’s community outreach programme.

His visit to the Science Park began with a luncheon meet-and-greet session of the Premier, his delegation, outgoing VUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Irene Moutlana andVice-Chancellor-elect Professor Gordon Zide. Professor Moutlana delivered the official welcoming address, followed by a presentation about the SGSTP, the importance of its existence and its future expansion plans by Dr Joe Molete; Executive Director of the Science Park.

The briefing by Dr Biki Pitso: Project Manager explained the background of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  The Premier elaborated on the purpose of his visit and stressed the important role of the SGSTP in facilitating and building the economy in this part of the Gauteng Province.

He said: “The modernisation of our economy has to do with new industries and innovation. So a university and its Science and Technology Park are looked upon as the driver. Modernisation won’t happen unless it is driven by research and development,” he said. He further explained that the SGSTP is located in a region that requires industrialisation. The reindustrialisation of Sedibeng and the Vaal cannot happen unless VUT positions itself at the heart of it.

In regard to transformation, he said that VUT is the key driving force and needs new players like entrepreneurs and new business leaders to sustain and further develop the community, economy and country.

The Vaal University of Technology is the key driving force to ensure that transformation takes place: VUT SGSTP hosted Gauteng Premier David Makhura on his round trip to the Vaal.


Contact Info

Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark, 1900, South Africa

Phone: +27(0)16 950 9531

Fax: +27(0)16 950 9999

Web: VUT Research

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