Historic moment: President of the Republic, His Excellency Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande unveil the statue of the late former President of the ANC Mr Sefako Mapogo Makgatho at the launch of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Garankuwa, Pretoria on the 14th of June 2015. The university is the first stand‐alone health sciences university in the country.\

President Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande officially launched the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Garankuwa, Pretoria on the 14th of April 2015. Sefako Makgato Health Sciences University opened its doors in January 2015 after a de‐merger from the University of Limpopo. The new university will go beyond training medical doctors. It will also produce other health professionals such as dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, medical technologists, radiographers and many more. Currently the university has enrolled 5034 students and the number of students enrolling is expected to increase to 7000 by 2019 and 10 000 by 2024.
President Zuma said that South Africa is faced with an extensive shortage and an inadequate distribution of health professionals. “The country has an undersupply of new and appropriately trained health science graduates. The establishment of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University therefore provides an excellent opportunity for the development and training of a new generation of health professionals who will make a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the many South Africans still marginalised by poverty and lack of access to health services” said Zuma.

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University is the third new university in South Africa. Last year the Sol Plaatje University in the Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga were opened. Both provinces previously did not have a university. In his State of the Nation Address on the 17th of June 2014, President Zuma indicated that education remains an apex priority of government. “Government will continue to invest in education and skills as the key to economic growth and development. Today’s event is another example of the fulfilment of that commitment” he said.

The university will recruit students from communities with the greatest health care needs, and provide innovative training programmes, including distance programmes which will provide students from all over the country with access to quality health care education. For the 2015/16 financial year an amount of more than R298m has been allocated in the form of a university subsidy to support the operations of the institution. In addition, government has also allocated R210 million to support the establishment of this new university.

Zuma encouraged learners to take up mathematics and science as more opportunities are now available for them to study; “We also encourage our learners to take up mathematics and science as more opportunities are now available for further study for them in this field. We are also investing in teacher training so that we can produce students for Sefako Makgatho from our high schools”.

President Zuma congratulated the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande for making the establishment of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University possible in such a short space of time.

Minister Nzimande joined president Zuma in unveiling the statue of Mr Sefako Mapogo Makgatho who is the former African National Congress President. “The university is named after a gallant son of the South African soil. It must promote the legacy of Sefako Makgatho by producing appropriately qualified, highly skilled, and patriotic Human Resources in the Health Sector, ” Zuma concluded.

To view the rest of the pictures visit the COMMUNICATION FOLDER on L –drive, (2015, Launch of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University)

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