DURBAN – KwaZulu-Natal’s Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) will be placing strong emphasis on skills development and research on economic development.
Its intention is to create a knowledge repository hub for the province which would in theory act to support the initiatives of participants in the small, medium and micro-sized enterprise sector.
MKI board chairperson Dr Sakhile Ngcobo said the institute would co-ordinate and link small businesses and start-ups to relevant institutions responsible for funding, skills development funding and empowerment.
“MKI will conduct research to identify trends and stimuli that hinder economic development,” said Ngcobo.
MKI said it sought to be an internationally recognised quality research institution, driving economic development and innovation in KZN through science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives. It had appointed Siza Sibanda as the entity's new chief executive.
Dr Ngcobo said for an organisation such as theirs there were challenges that come from aligning operations with a radically changing society.
“Regrettably, in the absence of a full-time chief executive prior to now, we had some incidents where we experienced difficulty in aligning our operations with the overarching considerations that come from managing such an organisation and the costs associated therewith.”
MKI said the past low economic environment exacerbated challenges as they were forced to implement austerity and cost cutting measures and impacted their operations.
The chairperson said the appointment of the institute's new chief executive would help implement a new mandate geared towards skills development and research. Sibanda said the organisation intended to achieve more in the development of historically disadvantaged young people in KZN to enhance the economy.
“We will grow and implement mechanisms to enable MKI to become a unique and internationally recognised leading research organisation in the economic field to further position ourselves in the province to meet the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Sibanda.