The end of the year is a momentous time in any year. The end of a year which saw and gave birth to revolutionary changes becomes even more momentous. Many of us have kept memories of how momentous the end of 1994 was. Few will dispute the claim that in the vocational education sphere, the year 2007 momentously heralded a new era. A few years ago, we experienced and implemented the FET Act of 1998, and had reasons, as mortal beings, to think that was it and we were done! But the latest developments have reminded us that life is dynamic and will at all times negate stagnation. The Further Education and Training College Act stretched us, as Council even further than the previous Act did - and the previous Act was itself no ordinary ''walk in the park'' for councils. We are in no doubt that we are seeing in front of us the unfolding of new colleges, with far-reaching mandates.
So, it is that we are a new Council in what is, for all practical purposes, a new College. We however have the benefit of both old and new hands which should ensure that enough continuity is guaranteed whilst enough room is allowed for fresh ideas to ensure a marriage of pragmatism and dynamism. As the Chairperson of the newly elected college Council, I am excited by this. The rest of the Council is excited by this awesome challenge.
We understand the fears and uncertainties that accompany such times in the lives of organizations and many of us have lived and experienced such in our own organizations. We have empathy with those who feel uncertain and know that this is nothing but a natural human reaction to changing circumstances.
We have however, all of us, come to believe in this institution called South West Gauteng College. Some of us can remember, very vividly that the passing of the old Further Education and Training Act of 1998 evoked similar if not worse emotions and it is the people in the college, who out of the uncertainties and ashes of the time, built what is today a stronger, bigger and more forceful college. We have no reason to believe the current stakeholders of the college - management, staff, students and all - cannot rise to the occasion and join hands with us to build an even stronger, bigger and even more forceful college in the coming years!
The support to colleges from the government in the form of multi-million Rands worth of bursaries is a hitherto unknown phenomenon in our country''s education history. As Council, we are encouraged and stirred by this and believe that together with the other stakeholders of the college - students, staff and the surrounding communities - we will take this particular college to the next and higher level, where it will really become a reservoir of energy and solutions to the surrounding communities.
We wish to join hands with all who are associated with the college to hoist the flag of South West Gauteng College higher.
Chairperson - College Council