The Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) was 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. It is 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. It also became the 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).

In 2018/19, the Institute shifted its focus as part of its revised mandate. It revised its vision to align with the new mandate of research into diverse training and skills required to respond to the needs of the provincial economy, and to coordinate interaction between line functions or sector departments established or envisaged provincial government training institutions, tertiary institutions, and other external service providers.

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