The agreement aims to enhance growth, reconstruction and development beneficial to the broader Sol Plaatje community through mutual engagements.
Sol Plaatje Municipality Executive Mayor, Patrick Mabilo and the Vice Chancellor of Sol Plaatje University, Professor Andrew Crouch officially signed the town and gown collaboration agreement at the Sol Plaatje University library on Friday.
In a joint statement Sol Plaatje University (SPU) and Sol Plaatje Local Municipality (SPLM) stated that the agreement aimed to enhance growth, reconstruction and development beneficial to the broader Sol Plaatje community through mutual engagements.
The event was attended by a delegation of representatives from Sol Plaatje Municipality as well as senior management teams from both institutions.
“The establishment of a university in the city of Kimberley has resulted in significant economic and other derivative benefits for the citizens of Kimberley. In recognising this, it is appropriate that the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality recognises the importance of supporting the university while the university recognises the valuable role of SPLM in creating an environment in which SPU and all its stakeholders can thrive.”
The town and gown agreement contains the following undertakings
SPU will provide human resources capacity development opportunities to SPLM.
SPU and SPLM will enter into a shared agreement in respect of safety and security.
SPU wants to create opportunities through the Department of Tourism in respect of events arranged by SPU by involving SPLM and the city of Kimberley.
SPLM will ensure that processes associated with the current infrastructure projects at SPU are afforded the required attention to ensure that requests are processed speedily.
SPU wants to explore the opportunities for alignment to all future development in the City of Kimberley, specifically as it may relate to student entertainment.
Mabilo indicated that the partnership would generate future research to address municipal challenges.
“As the local authority we cannot win the battle alone and it is through these partnerships with academia, the private sector, business, civil society, provincial and national government that we are able to address systemic challenges in order to create a conducive environment for our people to live and thrive in.”
He stated that the public-partnership would enable academic research from the university and professionals from the municipality to support and develop innovations for the city and its surrounding areas.
“The municipality has engaged institutions that will look at training and developing youth in our city, to enhance the capacity of learners and graduates to positively contribute to their personal capacity and to develop our city.”
He indicated that the high unemployment rate in the city, in particular among the youth, needed to be addressed through entrepreneurship, research and information.
“As a municipality, we remain committed to rebuilding our city through strategic investments and economic opportunities and enhance efficiency and service delivery.”