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Minister praises MUCPP initiative
2004-10-04

The Minister of Labour, Mr MMS Mdladlana, singled out the Mangaung University of the Free State Community Partnership Programme (MUCPP) for high praise during a conference at the MUCPP complex on 30 September 2004 .

“I am very pleased with what the partnership of different stakeholders can do and I thank all stakeholders for contributing to this initiative. This is the kind of energy that our country needs,” the minister told delegates to the conference.

He said the MUCPP was a very unusual and important partnership that is related directly to the mandate of government and supports two strategic objectives of government, namely halving poverty and halving unemployment.

The MUCPP was launched in 1991 as a partnership between the University of the Free State , the local community of Mangaung, local and provincial government and the private sector, in an effort to develop skills and contribute to fighting poverty.

Some of the existing projects of the MUCPP include:

  • Health centre (including a 24-hour maternity ward)
  • Dairy producing yoghurt and amasi
  • Sewing and knitting project
  • Indigenous food production (Tsa se tso)
  • Bakery
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation
  • Etsa phapang (a hydroponic facility growing various vegetables)
  • Welding project
  • Low cost housing project
  • Sport and recreation facilities and programmes

According to the Minister, hundreds of young people, adult learners and people with disabilities have benefited from training and skills development and have become involved in carpentry, welding, painting, cleaning services, gardening and HIV / AIDS awareness programmes.

Minister Mdladlana said he was pleased that through partnerships with several Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) which fall under the Department of Labour, the MUCPP could access hundreds of thousands of rands for such training and development.

“I can just salute those that have made it possible, and to encourage you to keep up the good work,” the minister said.

The MUCPP also provides a means for students of the UFS to render community service. The UFS was one of the first universities in South Africa to adopt a comprehensive community service policy in 2002. In terms of the policy, community service is integrated into curricula through service learning modules.

It is therefore of great importance that the UFS should support community sites such as the MUCPP where a holistic and integrated approach to mutual and reciprocal development of all partners is followed.

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