South Africa needs to improve teaching in science and maths in primary and secondary schools to thwart the skills shortage hampering the country's economic growth, Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto has said.
He said the shortage of skills would decide whether the government achieved the millennium development goal of halving unemployment and poverty by 2014.
Addressing graduates at the University of Venda on Friday, Moloto praised the institution for delivering on its mandate of producing qualified personnel.
He said the weakness in education was caused by the failure to integrate the levels of systems.
"Both universities and further education and training seem not to be having an interest in what is happening at primary and secondary schools. Maths and science must be improved at lower level," said Moloto
He said the Accelerated and the Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa would not be achieved if the shortage of skills was not addressed.
"Eradicating illiteracy cannot be left to government alone. Everyone must be involved, and institutions of higher learning should lead," he said.
"The province is experiencing the shortage of skilled people. As a result we depend more on skills from other provinces.
"We expect our local universities will be our suppliers as they have more information about the province," said Moloto
Azwifaneli Levy Maduse, business strategy and planning advisor at Eskom, said new graduates had a communication problem.
Moloto also said that little attention was given to literacy levels in the country, and it was left to government only.
He added that here too higher institutions of learning had to take the lead.
He said that research in areas such as mining, agriculture and tourism had to be conducted as that added value to the economic growth of the province.