This was the sentiment of municipal manager Moeketsi Mosola during yesterday's signing of a memorandum to formalise a strategic partnership between the two institutions at the university's Pretoria West campus.
Mosola cited the water problem facing the municipality as being among many service delivery issues that needed to be tackled head-on through collaborative efforts by both parties.
“There is no point in TUT finding solutions to water problems in Egypt while we are battling with water problems here,” he said.
He said the academic institution was in a better position to provide solutions to complex problems by virtue of having numerous specialists in a variety of disciplines.
“A significant number of our engineers come from TUT. We want students who come from the city to know there is a future here. The city has challenges and we believe that the institution is here to help us solve them.”
Mosola also apologised to the institution for the manner in which it had been treated by the City. “TUT has, in the past, not received its fair share of support,” Mosola said.
However, going forward, the municipality would make sure that it treated the university fairly and correctly.
He said the partnership was important to assist in the running of the City.
TUT was a critical stakeholder to such a course, Mosola said.
“It takes partnerships to run the city. It is impossible to run the city on our own.”
TUT vice-chancellor Professor Lourens van Staden said he appreciated the gesture, adding he recognised the institution's important role in the development of young people.
He also expressed the hope that the strategic and vibrant partnership would improve the lives of the university's students and the city at large.
“The city is a national asset and it belongs to the people of South Africa,” he said.