The Central University of Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Princess Gabo Foundation and partners with the intention of creating a SMART Village in Nogas Post, Thaba Nchu. This initiative is one of the many ways the institution works to improve societal challenges through bringing technological solutions to the community.

Princess Gabo Moroka is the traditional leader of this village, which is approximately 20KMS away from Thaba Nchu CBD. During a previous visit to CUT, Princess Gabo was highly impressed with the university’s innovative projects and CUT being involved in a Smart Campus initiative. Based on CUT having the skills and technology, Princess Gabo invited a delegation to Nogas Post to explore the possibilities of creating a SMART Village.

“Nogas Post is part of the 42 villages that we have in Thaba Nchu. A rural community that is very disadvantaged and forgotten, if one could say that; but this is also an opportunity for us to bring the change that we want to see.

Letting the people take ownership in bringing sustainable development to their areas. So, when we speak about this concept it’s really about all of us coming together and holding hands and trying to come up with a model that can be easily duplicated to other disadvantaged, rural communities,” said Princess Gabo Moroka-Motshabi.

Challenges faced by the community include among other things, no education facilities, health care systems, facilities for early childhood development, no shops, security issues and lack of infrastructure. Other issues include crime, stock theft, and lack of water supply.

Dr Patrick Manditereza, EWSeta Chair at CUT Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology, added that Nogas Post was selected as a community project regarding the use of renewable energy via water, wind, sunshine, or cow dung. As it is, renewable energy is a multidisciplinary field which means that participation is open to everyone from CUT.

Due to its capacity, expertise and being in the forefront of technology and innovation, CUT plays a pivotal role in creating a SMART Village. This includes offering the Nogas Post community skills development in renewable energy that would afford the candidates opportunities for employment and create a healthier environment.

“As a university one of the greatest pillars, what universities are for is about engaging our communities to try and deal with some of the challenges that our communities are facing. We should have a positive impact in our society, and that’s what CUT is here to actually do,” said Prof Mashele.

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