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The Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) was initially established in 2007 as the South African National Liberation Institute of Technology, Philosophy and Political Science (SANLITPPS). In 2009, the MKI was formally registered as a Non-Profit company in terms of the Companies Act, 2008. Funded mainly by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government through the Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the MKI has been focused on providing financial support to learners and educators within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at both secondary and tertiary educational levels.

Over the last two years, the MKI became a vehicle for the implementation of training projects focused on vocationally oriented STEM apprenticeships, learnerships and artisan training with funding provided primarily by the Sector Education Training Authorities (SETA). More recently over the course of 2015-16, the MKI established the STEM Fund to provide for additional financial resources to invest in STEM related education and training resources.

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In 2018-19, the MKI will gradually shift its focus as part of its revised mandate. It will increasingly focus on two core areas related to research on the labour market and associated education and training systems and position itself to play a co-ordinating role between government and the education and training fraternity.