Pretoria - Government funding to poor students in further education and training (FET) colleges will be increased this year, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.
He told students at the Tshwane South FET College in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, that government's allocation would rise to R2bn.
"A total of R1.7bn was allocated for FET college students in 2012. This amount will increase to R2bn in 2013."
He said FETs should be viewed as first choices, not colleges for those who were not accepted in universities.
"We are here to say loudly and clearly, that the time for FET colleges to be made to feel inferior to universities of technology and other colleges must come to an end.
"FET colleges offer training in careers that are in demand in the workplace. If you are an artisan you are as important to this economy as any other professional."
Zuma was accompanied by Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, and Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.
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