Budget beater: Solidarity unveils R300m Afrikaans member-funded university

The trade union announced on Friday that it had inaugurated Sol-Tech after completing the project under budget in February 2021, just under three years after construction began.

Sol-Tech. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - A monthly donation of R10 from hundreds of thousands of members is what it took to fund Solidarity's private Afrikaans university and now it's ready to kick off learning soon.

The trade union announced on Friday that it had inaugurated Sol-Tech after completing the project under budget in February 2021, just under three years after construction began.

The construction of the university, however, faced opposition from government when Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi raised concerns, saying that the idea was started “out of anger” when universities across the country began changing their language policies to promote inclusivity.

“It’s very important to understand where we come from, that there was a certain language that was used to oppress people in this country,” Lesufi said.

The MEC defended himself against those who accused him of being anti-Afrikaans, saying that he believed that all languages should be treated equally.

"Sol-Tech is a living monument. It was built from the community by the community and was mainly funded by the monthly R10 contributions of our members. Everyone’s little bit put together has built a stronger future for our children," Dirk Hermann, Solidarity chief executive said.

"Training is by definition future-oriented. It looks ahead and prepares the youth to build a future for themselves and to build a future for our country. While others flee to greener pastures, we turn inward wanting to look only after their own well-being or may have given up completely, we are building an institution to empower the youth so that they can create wealth for themselves and for their community within South Africa. This monument declares that we are here to stay and to build."

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