4 years ago

Free State Business 2019 edition

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  • Sasol
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Free State Business is a unique guide to business and investment in the Free State Province of South Africa. The Free State has several investment and business opportunities. The official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone is a significant event for the economy of South Africa’s most centrally located province. Overviews on each of the key economic sectors provide up-to-date information on trends in the mining and tourism sectors, for example. Regular information about the size and nature of each sector is also included.

OVERVIEW Education and

OVERVIEW Education and training The University of the Free State is a research leader. That the University of the Free State (UFS) should have increased its research output since 2010 should not be a surprise, but the percentage by which it has upped its work-rate is an eye-opener – 221%. The UFS has 158 researchers rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF), two A-rated scientists and five tier-one SARChi research chairs. The university has 18 international research partnerships and produces an average of 240 postgraduate research degrees every year. Twelve new buildings have appeared on one of the university’s three campuses (or satellites) since 2012 and a further 157 have been renovated. The Faculty of Health Sciences building is pictured. Others include a high-performance gymnasium and new buildings for the Education and Health faculties. On the Qwaqwa campus, a new Physics and Geography complex has been constructed. A total of 40 000 students study under 2 521 permanent staff members in 114 departments in seven faculties. Central University of Technology (CUT) has a main campus in Bloemfontein and branches in Welkom and Kimberley. There are three faculties: Engineering and Information and Communication Technology, Health and Environmental Sciences, and Management Sciences. Researchers at units such as the Centre for Community, Environmental and Industrial Development tackle important regional issues. The Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM) does research into manufacturing processes. It specialises in Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing. CRPM works in the commercial field as well as doing research in Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, Rapid Tooling and Medical Product Development technologies. Manufacturers can make prototypes more easily (in sand, metal or plastic) with the support of the CRPM. Basic education and training statistics show that access to schooling and training has increased markedly in recent years. Enrolment in Grade R (reception year) is increasing rapidly. There are 663 public schools and 263 other community sites offering schooling in the Free State. The number of hostels has increased from 12 in 2009 to 33 in 2016. School transport is provided to more than 10 000 pupils. Mamello Secondary School in the Lejweleputswa Municipality received a maths laboratory in 2017 from Sibanye-Stillwater mining company. Education is central to many corporate social investment initiatives in the Free State. The school has more than 1 300 pupils. SECTOR INSIGHT Sasol needs 16 artisans for every engineer it employs. The lab is fitted with an electronic board and laptops (for teachers) and tablets have also been supplied. The Free State Provincial Government is implementing South Africa’s largest global skills development programme in support of implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). The free overseas training programme entails about 905 students studying in leading universities in China, India, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Turkey and Belarus. Fields of study range from all kinds of engineering, to computer science, medicine and pharmacy. India is hosting 32 students in the health sciences sector. Germany is hosting 68 students in sustainable mining and remediation, computer engineering, international trade economics, electrical chemicals engineering, molecular biology and genetics, and civil engineering. Belarus has 17 students in the field of informatics, applied chemistry and radio electronics. Turkey hosts 206 students. Russia is hosting 230 students in the fields of medicine, agriprocessing, veterinary medicine, agronomy and agriculture. Portugal is hosting 119 students in tourism FREE STATE BUSINESS 2019 42

OVERVIEW and hospitality management, civil engineering, medicine, veterinary science, agronomy and aeronautics, and 17 students are doing internships in information technology at Acin IT company in Portugal. Domestically, there are 8 232 students at tertiary institutions on provincial bursaries. Skills More practical training is being encouraged by the National Department of Higher Education and Training. South Africa currently produces about 13 000 skilled artisans every year. The aim is to increase this to 30 000. Sasol runs an annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career guidance exhibition which attracts 20 000 visitors from all over South Africa. Sasol Techno X 2018 featured a dedicated section on artisan training for tertiary level. Sasol needs 16 artisans for every engineer that it employs. A STEM Academy at Qelo School in Botshabelo is a joint undertaking of the Free State Department of Education and Central University of Technology. This pilot project is testing the idea of specialist skills schools. UFS, CUT and the Free State Provincial Government have launched ONLINE RESOURCES Central University of Technology: Council of Higher Education: Education Association of South Africa: Free State Department of Education: University of the Free State: AHA Bokamoso: Joining Minds for Skills Development. The main thrust of this project is to foreground skills development in information technology (IT). Key points are the establishment of a Regional Innovation Centre on the main campus in Bloemfontein (with an IT Hub on the Welkom campus), together with Saturday School (focussing on mathematics and science) and training programmes for Department of Education officials. The Free State has just over 14 000 students at four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, taught by 400 lecturers. The colleges have multiple sites. Maluti TVET College in Phuthaditjhaba, for example, offers classes at seven sites. Flavius Mareka TVET College has Kroonstad and Sasolburg venues. Motheo TVET College operates in Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu, while Goldfields TVET College is in Welkom. Technical schools are being upgraded by the provincial government with resources being allocated to the recapitalisation programme. A provincial internship programme gives graduates a chance to work in provincial government departments and municipalities. 43 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2019

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