Education is the real, slow-burning crisis facing the country — and the focal point of the deficiencies of the system are the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. SA requires about 1-million artisans, according to some estimates. The government’s stimulus packages and infrastructure programmes are dead in the water without skilled workers. "Unfortunately, there is no skills force of qualified artisans to complete these projects," says Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa skills development executive Melanie Mulholland. TVET colleges have been neglected severely in democratic SA, and students complain about outdated equipment, unskilled lecturers and having to wait for years after completing their studies for their certificates — condemning to unemployment people with the skills the country needs the most.

Representatives of the Indian government and higher education and training minister Naledi Pandor have been discussing t...

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