Rural areas across the country are set to get their own Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, making further education more accessible to those who live there.
Construction of the colleges is currently underway and is expected to be finished by October.
According to the Department of Higher Education and Training, FETs are being built in four provinces.
In Limpopo, colleges are going up in Giyani and Thabazimbi, while Mpumalanga will get one in Balfour. The Eastern Cape colleges are being built in Graaff-Reinet, Lusikisiki, Sterkspruit and Aliwal North, while the KwaZulu-Natal colleges will be in Msinga, Greytown, Mzimkhulu and Bhambanana. Nkandla will get two skills centres.
Apart from building new FETs, the department is also refurbishing existing ones in Nongoma and Vryheid.
This infrastructure development will enable the colleges to provide an 18 000 extra lecture room seats.
The building and refurbishment of colleges is expected to create 17 500 permanent jobs. This will include academic and support staff as well as construction-related jobs.
The department has set aside R2.5 billion for the upgrade and construction of FETs to as it aims to increase access to FET colleges learning programmes and also to transform colleges into institutions of choice.
The money will go towards the construction of the new campuses, which will boast student accommodation facilities, modern teaching and learning lecture rooms, workshops, simulation rooms, resource and recreational centres.