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The University hosted the launch of Ongoye Capacity & Skills development centre on Tuesday, 4 December. This is resultant of a progressive partnership that has been formed with John Langalibalele Dube Institute which focus on land research and community development programmes which includes skills and capacity development.

The core business of JLD institute and what it will bring to UNIZULU is research and to capacitate unemployed women and youth with critical skills, knowledge, and resources to enter the employment industry, as well as to be established as emerging entrepreneurs.

The Centre carry a strong and bold legacy as it is named after John Langalibalele Dube who was the first president of the liberation movement and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The JL Dube Institute was formed with the aim of carrying forward his ideals, values and aspirations of this legendary statesman, Dr John Langalibalele Dube (1871-1946). Dube worked tirelessly for Africans to be recognised in major decision making structures in the country. His vision lives on.Honourable Dube established links with like-minded leaders and championed major issues that pertain to human rights including the following issues:

  • Unobstructed land ownership
  • Education
  • Parliamentary representation
  • Free trade
  • Freedom from enforced labour.

Therefore the Launch of the Ongoye Capacity & Skills Development Centre will prepare individuals for the world of work, providing them with skills related to specific industry, trade or occupation.  The training will be delivered in a variety of ways including through learnerships, skills, artisan as a skills centre based at UNIZULU. The ultimate result will be producing citizens who are fully active in the labour market, appropriately qualified with skills to innovate and contribute to the South African economy.

The University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mtose in her message of support mentioned “This initiative is a positive response to the call and voices of multi-stakeholders especially the Department of Higher Education and Government who encourage the launch of centres of excellence that earnestly talks to the heart of the community. I have always maintained that Community Education and Training is a sector that is unique and has potential to bring tangible transformation to the historically marginalised communities. Besides focusing on basic education as enshrined in Section 29 of our Constitution, the University has taken a position that there is a need to reach out to the out-of-school youth, adults especially women who find themselves trapped as a consequence of generational injustices”.

Dr Nzimande who is the Deputy Chairperson of the JLD Insitute alluded to the importance of possessing handy and practical skills that are essential survival toolkit ”I was once mandated by the former minister to accept the memorandum from the Community of this area and  the  question I was asked by the Community how can they work with university collaboratively. Therefore this partnership is a solution as it will impact the community positively as a whole, therefore we appeal for funding to those with financial muscles inorder to extend assistance to the community and advance them.

Thandi Ngcobo the Executive Director for the JLD Institute outlined the historical journey of where the Institute started “The Institute was formed at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, there were funding gaps however we pushed ahead, the support that was endeared to us was amazing the salaries were not the driving factor but the zeal and drive to make a difference was the motivator.

The Launch of the Ongoye Capacity & Skills Development Centre at the University of Zululand provides a perfect location for these developments as partnership with local corporates will be forged with an absolute aim of benefitting the surrounding communities in the King Cetshwayo District Municipality and all programmes offered at the Centre will be accredited by the Quality Council for Trade Occupations (QCTO).


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