Every little helps: Solidarity

Sol-Tech campus. Image:supplied

Every little helps: Solidarity’s community-funded R200m tech campus operational in just 15 months

Its next major project is the construction of the Akademia campus where education will be offered through Afrikaans as the medium of instruction.

Every little helps: Solidarity

Sol-Tech campus. Image:supplied

Trade Union Solidarity says the realization of its Sol-Tech Occupational Training College campus in Gauteng is proof of the power when a community comes together “to make something big happen.”

Funded entirely by community investments, the campus is part of a R300 million project which consists of the education campus and a student residential complex, development of which is currently underway.

The college does not receive any government subsidies or corporate donations, said Solidarity chair Flip Buys.

Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said the “only way we can ensure a future is to build it ourselves.”

“In less than two years and a million bricks later we will have a campus here where young people will be equipped to stay in South Africa and to be free, safe and prosperous here.”

Community power

Speaking at the launch, Solidarity chief operations officer Dirk Hermann said the strength of Sol-Tech and of its new campus lies in the fact that it is being built by the community.

“What we see here is not the product of state money or major empowerment money, but of small contributions by the thousands adding up to make something big happen.”

The campus as a stand-alone development was a few million below R200 million in total, the trade union said.

It added that the construction period from ground breaking to occupation by Sol-Tech was approximately 15 months.

Solidarity said facilities previously used were leased and terminated with the move to the new Sol-Tech campus.

Every Solidarity member donates R10 to a Building Fund each month, said Hermann.

He added that thousands of members of the public donate smaller amounts each month to make the building of institutions such as Sol-Tech possible.

Expansion plans

Solidarity said Sol-Tech specializes in technical training and presently offers trades as registered on the Trades and Occupational Qualification sub-framework of the National Qualifications Framework:

  • Diesel mechanic
  • Electrician
  • Millwright
  • Fitter and Turner
  • Toolmaker
  • Welder
  • Tractor Mechanic

Solidarity said the new campus also provides opportunities for expansion of scope to include a number of qualifications specifically focussed on occupations outside the technical field.