Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi addresses high school learners at Tshwane University of Technology. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Education and Youth Development Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday spent time at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) interacting with learners and teachers participating in the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) holiday classes.

Lesufi charged the learners across the province to pull up their socks and maintain the high pass rate in Gauteng. The MEC appealed to each matric student to avoid being "a Mabena" in the top performing province in South Africa.

The "Mabena" video clips have been doing rounds on social media in South Africa. The hilarious videos show a tall South African National Defence Force recruit struggling during a training session. The recruit, addressed in the video as Mabena, struggles dismally with basic military training routines, always coming last.

"I'm not here to produce somebody who will be a Mabena in Gauteng. I'm here to produce the brightest sparks of our time. That is why our investment of more than R240 million for you to be here...we want it to be an investment that all of us can be proud of. Every top three learners in Gauteng, from each and every school, as this government [department] that I am proud to lead, we give those students a four year bursary to study at an institution of their choice," said Lesufi to applause.

"I can't pay that amount of money for somebody who wants to be Jub Jub or "Uyajola 9/9". I don't have that time. Just imagine I've paid all this money and your only task you'll do is to ask somebody that if "uyajola na?" I want you to be creative, innovative, I want you to carry the economy of this province."

The Jub Jub-presented new reality show Uyajola 9/9, a South African version of Cheaters, has become an instant hit among South African viewers. The DSTV's Moja Love channel hunts down people cheating on their partners and exposes them on TV.

On Wednesday, Lesufi told the learners that they are the "gold" that many came looking for in Gauteng province.

"Ask everyone that is here. We came here looking for gold in the mines. That gold is gone. The future gold is you. You're the ones that are going to create jobs and you're the ones that are going to defend this province as the economics hub of our country. You can't be an economic hub of the country when you can't even calculate," said Lesufi.

The SSIP programme is the provincial department’s intervention program to support learners by offering free tuition classes, taught by expert tutors on Saturdays and during school holidays.

At the same occasion, TUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Stanley Mukhola encourage the matric students camping at his institution to consider joining the institute of higher education next year.

"Attending this school camp is a special opportunity for learners to be acquainted with TUT and a university environment. We trust that these learners will choose well to come study at TUT, which is one of the big players in higher education in South Africa. It is not only rated the number one university of technology in the country and on the African continent, it currently ranks number 9 among the ten top universities in the country," said Mukhola.

"At present, our undergraduate success rate is more than 77 percent and we aim to reach at least 80 percent by 2021. We care a great deal about our students’ academic success, which also contributes to these rankings. Therefore, we would like to empower them in every way possible to be successful. At this people’s university we empower people and together we would like to share every young person’s journey of empowerment."

African News Agency (ANA)