“South Africa needs to quadruple the number of engineering graduates per year,” said the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, at the official opening of the UNESCO Africa Engineering Week at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), on Monday 1 September 2014. The opening ceremony was attended by over 200 children from schools in Soweto, who also visited the engineering professions exhibition.
Minister Pandor encouraged learners to make a decision to study mathematics and science, and to work hard at them. One of the learners who attended the event was Bayanda Madi, in grade 9 at Ncube High School in Mofolo North, Soweto. “By studying maths and science, young people will be able to help South Africa develop,” he stated.
“I have learned that engineering makes life easy; engineers build bridges and roads to improve movement and create a healthy environment in communities to reduce overcrowding which often brings diseases like TB for example,” said the aspiring mechanical engineer. In a passionate plea to the learners, Minister Pandor said: “Our desperate need is for you, as the future of this country, to take the decision from grade 10 right through to grade 12, to study maths and science at school, and to persevere with these subjects, right up to university. If you stick with this decision, in 20 years’ time our country will be transformed.”