Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has announced that a new Northern Cape university that is due for completion will be named after liberation icon, Sol Plaatje.
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (9 October 1876 – 19 June 1932) was South Africa’s most respected intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and astute writer. The Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, which includes the city of Kimberley, is named after this African liberation icon and intellectual.
A First For Northern Cape
The Sol Plaatje university will be a first for the youth of Northern Cape. The idea of establishing a University of the Northern Cape gained political endorsement in 2012, most notably in President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of 5 July 2012 that the seat and main campus for the university would be the inner city of Kimberley. It was believed that there was “potential to inject new life and purpose into this historic mining city”.
The idea achieved legal substance when a record of intention was signed by officials in Kimberley on 19 March 2013. Party to the agreement were national Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, the Northern Cape Province`s acting premier Grizelda Cjiekella, and the mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Agnes Ntlhangula.
In the Northern Cape, given the rich heritage of Kimberley and the province, it is envisaged that a niche specialisation will pivot around heritage studies, including interconnected academic fields such as museum management, archaeology, indigenous languages, and restoration architecture.The National Heritage Council of South Africa commends all the stakeholders who have contributed to the establishment of both the University of Mpumalanga and Sol Plaatjie University.
“Preservation of heritage towards economic development initiatives that contribute to the social upliftment of the general society especially the youth of South Africa is an imperative focus that is very close to our hearts at the NHC”, says Adv. Sonwabile Mancotwya.
Sol Plaatje is a leading, inspiring icon in South Africa’s liberation history. It is important to honour and recognise individuals who have contributed pervasively to the liberation struggle and importantly for the benefit of future generation of the Republic of South Africa,’ concludes Mancotwya. The NHC is also hosting a Public Lecture dedicated to Plaatje’s legacy on 30 July 2013 at the UNISA campus in Pretoria.
Source: NHC, Wikipedia, Bua News