Higher Education & Training Quarter 4 performance; Certificate backlog: SITA & Umalusi progress report

Higher Education, Science and Innovation

23 May 2018
Chairperson: Ms C September (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training met to receive reports from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on its 2017/18 fourth quarter performance. It was also briefed by the DHET, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the Umalusi quality council on the status of students’ certification.

The DHET provided details on the targets achieved by each of its branches, its budget performance, the major strategic and policy implications for each branch, and the reasons why certain targets had not been met. The Committee asked it about lecturer qualifications; the skills development levy; disruptions that had occurred in institutions due to the additional funding received from government; global collaborations to educate students; teacher education programmes; targets on research, postgraduate enrolment and the supervision of postgraduate students; qualification systems in the DHET; the assessment of certificates; the recruitment process in the Department; the labour force market intelligence programme and the status of the policy on higher education.

The status of the certification by the Department, SITA and Umalusi of the National Certificate (Vocational), the General Education and Training Certificate:Adult Basic Education and Training, the National Technical Education and National N Diploma, were highlighted. This included the partnership efforts with college managements to clear the outstanding certificates for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Community Education and Training (CET) colleges to improve overall examination processes. The DHET’s brief also outlined the number of certificates processed and issued; the e-Query information technology (IT) system piloted in seven colleges in Gauteng, and progress on the procurement of the new DHET exam Integrated Information Technology System.

The Committee commended the team for its progress on certification, and the fact that the DHET, SITA and Umalusi were now working together. It remarked that the phasing out of subject certificates was a good way to deal with historical IT challenges, and simplify the system. Issues raised included CET certification backlogs, certification of adults’ Senior Certificate examinations, and dealing with bogus private colleges.

Meeting report

Department of Higher Education and Training: Q4 performance


Mr Gwebinkundla Qonde, Director General (DG): Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) said the Department had achieved 52 out of its 57 targets in the fourth quarter. In the area of university education, targets had included the national plan for post-school education and training (PSET) and the policy framework on collaboration between professional bodies, government departments and quality council. The national PSET had been delayed due to a need to wait for the finalisation of the Fees Commission report, and government policy decisions related to its recommendations, while project management issues had led to the delays in formulating policy frameworks for DHET. He highlighted the major strategic and policy implications of the new funding allocated to support poor and working class students and the subsidies for university students.

Other significant achievements in the fourth quarter included the University Capacity Development Programme implemented from January 2018, the provision of monitoring and support for 32 scholarship recipients in Russia, 97 in China and 72 in Hungary, and publication of Trends in Teacher Education, Graduates and Enrolments for 2016. The three performance-based university system targets were all achieved..

Ms Gerda Magnus, acting Deputy Director General (DDG): Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, reported that all 17 TVET performance targets for the fourth quarter had been achieved. Significant achievements included the development and implementation of the policy on the audit and verification of TVET college enrolment and student registration, the verification of 2015 and 2016 student enrolment data, maintenance of fully constituted 50 TVET college councils, and the review and repair of the TVET management information system (TVETMIS). Others included the development of a strategy for lecturer development and a continuing professional development system for lecturers in TVET colleges, and the development of the new integrated information system for examinations. Seven of the nine performance-based TVET system targets had been achieved.

Mr Zukile Mvalo, acting DDG: Skills Development, DHET reported that all three targets of the skills development branch had been achieved, as well as five of the six performance-based skills development system targets. The one target not met was the National Artisan Learners Trade Test (NALTT) pass rate. The under-performance was because the DHET had not directly influenced the NALTT in the past ,but through National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB), it would increase the monitoring of artisan training centres to ensure that the training provided was up to acceptable standards.

Dr Bheki Mahlobo, acting DDG: Community Education & Training (CET), DHET said all three targets for CET in the fourth quarter had been achieved. However, both of the performance-based CET system targets had not been achieved. The head count enrolment performance-based target was not met due to inadequate advocacy for the community learning centres, the stigma associated with outstanding certificates, delays in the release of the examination results , limited infrastructure, recent centre evictions in some provinces, and limited programme diversity and responsiveness. The certification rate performance-based target was also not met due to inadequate lecturer qualifications, the departure of lecturers to better employment opportunities in the schooling system, inadequate Learning and Teaching Support Material, (LTSM), cultural practices, seasonal employment opportunities and inadequate specialist curriculum support to lecturers. He also highlighted the strategic and policy implications and other significant achievements during the quarter.

Dr Hersheela Narsee, ‎Director: Research Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation, DHET, said that all 12 targets for the quarter had been achieved. He also highlighted the strategic and policy implications and other significant achievements during the quarter.

Ms Lulama Mbobo, DDG: Corporate Services, DHET said that four of the targets in Programme One (Administration) had been achieved. The targets not achieved had been the processing of appointments within 180 days, resolution of disciplinary cases within 90 days, and the payment of invoices received from creditors within 30 days.

She outlined the reasons why the targets had not been met and the mitigation efforts to stop the trend. There had been an improvement in the turnaround days for processing appointments, as it had been 222 days in 2016/17, but now took an average of 188 days. The reason for the delay was the high volume of applications received and capacity constraints presently at the DHET. The Department had approved a plan to improve the process, and developed an integrated annual recruitment plan which involved implementing an e-recruitment system. It had therefore appointed an external service provider for the processing of applications and had approved overtime for processing them.

In the past, the previous year’s performance for resolving disciplinary cases within 90 days had been 22%. However, there had been an improvement, as 97% of disciplinary cases were resolved within 90 days. The reason the performance target was not met was because the cases were postponed due to a shortage of trained chairpersons. A labour relations Improvement plan had therefore been approved, four additional labour relation officers had been employed at regional offices, and college labour relations officers had been trained in initiating and chairing meetings on labour relations.

The processing of invoices was being delayed and rejected due to wrong banking details which had to be corrected through the system before the payments could again be processed. The DHET had developed and implemented an Invoice tracking system to stop this trend.

Mr Theuns Tredoux, Chief Financial Officer, DHET said the overall spending of the Department by the fourth quarter amounted to R68.6 billion, with an under-expenditure of R12.019 million. The under-expenditure had arisen from lower personnel expenditure due to vacancies at the year-end, amounting to R5.734 million, an amount of R5.632 million meant for operational activities, and an amount of R644 000 that was meant for transfer payments, which had remained unspent by 31 March. He informed the Committee that the Department and none of its programmes had overspent during the year.



Ms S Mchunu (ANC) commended the DHET for its overall performance in the fourth quarter. She asked which institutions had not received approval for TVET lecturer qualifications, and the reasons for this. Was the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) involved in programme assessment and accreditation? Would the universities offering qualifications for TVET college lecturers meet its target of 10 lecturers within the five year target period, when the present target was one lecturer per year? She observed that the skills development levy for 2017/18 had been reduced during the 2017 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) period, but the expenditure was higher, so she asked where the DHET had received the additional funds it expended on skills development. What steps would the CET branch take to procure on its own, instead of relying on the TVET college branch?

Dr B Bozzoli (DA) asked DHET how many disruptions had occurred due to the new funds received to assist students, because contrary to its briefing, there were newspaper reports that showed that some institutions had had disruptions as a result of the new money. The reports showed that 16 TVET colleges and Nelson Mandela University had been closed, and Maluti TVET college had been burnt down due to disruptions in Bethlehem on Friday 18 May. Therefore institutions had not had smooth operations when the new funding was received for students’ assistance, as claimed in the brief. She asked for the statistics on the disruptions, and an idea of what the DHET projeced the situation to be in a few months.

She commented that South African students were allowed to study in Russia, China and Hungary, which were not English-speaking countries, so they were forced to learn another language to study. Also, the universities in those countries were not better ranked than South Africa’s, so she asked if the DHET did not have the option of allowing students to study in English-speaking local institutions that were better ranked. She advised the DHET to allow students study in English-speaking institutions, as it was one of the lingua franca of the country, and also to study in institutions that would ensure that students received quality education.

She observed that the DHET did not have any targets for research, postgraduate enrolment or the supervision of postgraduate students, and asked if it was presently outsourcing to the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Was this a good or bad thing, because the budget of the DST was being reduced every year? What could it do to intervene? Why was the number of teacher education programmes approved lower than those not approved? She asked theDHET to comment on the report of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on the quality of teachers in the country. She advised the DHET to have a short and concise strategic plan for scarce skills in the country that would help it to target the areas that were needed.

Mr A van der Westhuizen (DA) expressed concerns that there were long term policy issues that the DHET was missing out on because it was focussing on presenting positive things during its quarterly reports. These were qualification systems, quality of teaching and learning research systems, and an assessment system based on its certificates. Although, the DHET had been trying to address the qualification system, the Department -- especially the Skills Development branch -- was still stuck in the outcome-based paradigm that the DBE had long ago decided was not an appropriate mode for South Africa. There had also been complaints about the quality of teaching, learning and research in the system, but it was because people with the right skills had not been employed.

Lastly, the process in the assessment of certificates was also flawed, and he expressed concern that the DHET had not addressed any of these issues in its brief to the Committee. For instance, the approval of a programme that registered lecturers to improve teaching, learning and research without the lecturers acquiring such skills, would not solve the challenge of improving the quality of teaching, learning and research in the system. He asked the DHET why it was not appointing the right people for the job. He suggested that it could be because applicants were not comfortable with waiting for 120 days before receiving an outcome on the results of a recruitment process, or having to wait for seven months to get the results of a promotion interview. He therefore asked for the status of the electronic recruitment system that had been proposed by the DHET.

The assessment system had challenges due to leaks in examination papers and delays in administering assessments due to certificates that had not been issued. The DHET was not addressing the compensation of lecturers, particularly lecturers in scarce skill areas, so these skills were being offered only in high level private institutions, and its approach in up-skilling people in scarce skill areas was unstructured. Had the number of registered students in Community Education and Training increased or decreased? He advised the DHET to show a comparison of targets over the years in its future briefs.

Ms J Kilian (ANC) agreed that a comparison of targets over the years would better assist the Committee to understand the trends, and commended the DG and his team on their performance. She observed, however, that some of the DHET branches were operating alone and were not carrying each other along. She commended DHET on the low percentage of its under-expenditure, but proceeded to identify areas where it was lacking in specific programmes. She expressed concern over why recruitment processes took so long and asked for an update on electronic recruitment. What were the proposed interventions on the unavailability of chairpersons that had continually affected the recruitment process? Why was the Department using the excuse of not having the banking details of service providers for not paying within 30 days?

She asked if the labour force market intelligence programme was still continuing, because matching skills with positions was important. The country could not afford to be left out of the rapid worldwide trends in career development. Who was responsible for ensuring that teacher training education qualifications and skills were in line with the standards of basic education? She asked about the status of the higher education policy being pursued in Parliament by the DHET, and if the policy was e enacted, whether it would be part of the national qualification framework and would recognise prior learning.

She observed that the CET branch had not met its performance targets for headcount enrolment in CET Colleges and certification in CET formal qualifications. She therefore expressed concern about the limited programme diversity and asked for the interventions of the CET branch to ensure that skills were developed in the community before the members of the community passed the age when the skills would be beneficial to them. She also asked the CET branch to state the interventions proposed when members of the community did not receive the qualification. She asked why the National Artisan Learners Trade Test (NALTT) pass rate was given as a target when the DHET did not have control over it. She asked if the branch was meeting standards in skills development in terms of corporate governance. She was worried about the infrastructure available for TVET colleges, and asked if the DHET could manage maintenance projects and be in charge of the roll out of TVET colleges due to the failure of the Department of Public Works (DPW) to manage projects. She asked the branch to state the implementation target of TVETMIS. She observed that the branch had a 58% achievement for TVET institutions evaluated on their implementation of proposed best practice policies and guidelines issued by the DHET, and asked why the branch had recorded such low achievements.

Mr R Mavunda (ANC) said that the DHET would not get political support for recruiting teachers and lecturers from the private sector, so it could not do so. He asked for the actions plans and time frames to mitigate the targets not achieved. One of the reasons for under-performance on the target of achieving a high certification rate had been challenges due to cultural practices, and he asked the CET branch to state the plans it would use to deal with this. He asked the DHET if it had the equipment needed to upgrade the quality of TVET colleges, and if it had a public awareness strategy to address the issue of illegal colleges.

The Chairperson asked DHET to give clarity on the status of the Higher Education Bill and its targets on PSET. The figures given by National Treasury had shown that the DHET had over-expenditure, while DHET’s brief had shown that it had not over-spent. She therefore asked for clarity on the funds spent by TVET colleges, and the DHET’s deviations and variances. Why had the information on TVET colleges addressed 2016 data rather than 2018? Banking details should be confirmed when invoices were received, and should not be an excuse for non-payment within 30 days. She asked why the DHET was sending students to study at Hungarian universities, even though South African university education was ranked higher. She asked DHET to explain why disruptions had taken place at Limpopo University, and also to comment on the reported death of a University of Zululand professor on 22 May.

DHET’s response


The DG said that DHET collaborated with other countries globally to educate students, based on scholarships given by these countries. It undertook a rigorous assessment programme on the students and the institutions before placement. 80% of students placed in these programmes got jobs almost immediately when they graduated. The standards of the programmes were high, The DHET took all measures to assess the relevance of each programme. It was an opportunity that should not be missed, since the DHET gave the students only transport stipends.

At the beginning of the session, the DHET had released a communiqué to institutions on registrations based on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which outlined payment modes based on stakeholder agreements, but the challenges were due to delays in the payment of allowances post-registration. Interventions included resolution between registration data of the institutions and that of NSFAS. Protests at the institutions were being resolved. They involved some matters outside of NSFAS. Disruptions were due to interest groups that had not being able to circumvent procurement laws -- for instance, the case of Maluti TVET College -- and these cases were being addressed.

The DHET had phased out the Research and Teaching Development grant and had introduced the University Development grant, which considered student support, staff development and the management and leadership development programmes which supported staff training for Master’s and Doctoral programmes and assisted people capable of academic prowess. It had developed macro-infrastructure plans and models to support institutions that did not have adequate infrastructure, especially TVET Colleges. The critical challenges were due to land transfers, where the land did not belong to the institution, but this was being fast tracked. Presently the University Capacity Development fund, a new program that assisted in developing lecturers of TVET colleges, was being offered at the University of the Western Cape. The DHET had not relaxed with accreditation that would lead to quality and assurance standards for its certifications, and was putting up programmes to address this.

Mr Mahlubi Mabizela, Chief Director: University Policy and Development, DHET, said no university had been declined the opportunity to offer qualifications to enhance TVET lecturers’ skills. They were going through the approval process, and presently five universities had been approved and seven were being assessed, and they would go through an accreditation process after being approved. The DHET was mindful of the 2019/20 target time frames on TVET lecturers’ skills, and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations was not involved in programme assessment and accreditation. He suggested that the Committee engage with the leadership of institutions on the ranking of universities, because it was highly controversial and affected students’ mobility.

The training of supervisors had not been outsourced to DST, so the ongoing University Capacity Development fund was being used to assist with training supervisors. The DHET was responsible for the development and training of teachers, but this was in collaboration with the DBE.

The data on illegal or bogus colleges was on the DHET website. The DHET reported bogus colleges to SAPS and followed up on the ones that were liable for prosecution to ensure they were prosecuted. It visited the bogus colleges to investigate what was happening when it discovered new ones.

Ms Magnus said there were four institutions that had had disruptions, but they were not necessarily linked to NSFAS or the new bursary programme, but she agreed to report back to the Committee with a comprehensive list that could be confirmed.

The TVET branch was working with the university branch on maintenance issues and would employ the lessons learnt in universities to develop the TVET system. The branch was presently training its officials on project management, and agreed that it needed to use project management principles in its maintenance plans.

TVET Colleges were being evaluated on best financial practice, so the branch had developed a set of financial policies for TVET colleges. Although all 50 colleges had been evaluated, not all had implemented the financial plans, and the branch had completed areas for enforcing compliance.

The data being presented had been from 2016 because it was difficult to verify information received in 2018, and the 2016 data had been verified. There were processes that needed to be concluded at the end of the financial year, but the timeframe had been too short so the DHET had preferred to report verified data, as it was a responsible thing to do.

The DG said that there was a lag in verification and auditing, as both did not happen during the academic year, so the information reported was post-dated. For instance, the university branch waited until the auditing was completed before reporting, so the reporting was not captured up to the present date.

The DG said the Bill mentioned by the Chairperson was in the Speaker’s office in Parliament.

Mr Tredoux said there was a difference between funds received, because the announced appropriation of the funds was an estimate by NT from levies collected by SARS but during the adjustment appropriation there was a review which could make the funds more or less and at the end of the financial year the funds collected were transferred to the DHET. In 2018, it had received more than what had been included in the appropriation.

The Department worked only with suppliers that were registered on the central supplier database, and it verified banking details when orders were placed. However, when invoices were received and payments were processed, the Reserve Bank system rejected some because within a short time the account had either been changed or the bank had been changed, and this had not been updated on the central supplier database. The DHET had now decided that when such a situation occurred, it would send the invoice back to the supplier and the supplier would need to provide the DHET with a new invoice, new date and correct details before payment was made, but this was difficult to deal with.

The difference between the data provided by NT and the information provided in the report was linked to the verified information by NT before 31 March, the shifting of funds within the DHET and the fixing of virements. He explained how NT data was recorded and the efforts of the finance branch to ensure that all the programmes carried out their expenditures in a correct manner.

Ms Mbobo said the DHET had been ready to start the procurement process on electronic recruitment as early as February 2018, but had been advised to put this on hold due to the new integrated financial management system (IFMS) that NT was working on.

Disciplinary cases had been delayed not only because of non-availability of chairpersons, but also the non-availability of officials. The DHET was using the pool from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), but this had challenges because state employees were not being released from their own jobs. To achieve 97% success, the DHET was training its officials to chair disciplinary meetings and use them across the colleges. The DHET was also training officials on a code of conduct as a pro-active strategy to prevent misconduct in the system.

Mr Mvalo said he agreed with Ms Kilian that the NALTT pass rate target should not have been increased. Good governance programmes had been piloted, but this was now being synchronised with government data to achieve good governance.

The Chairperson invited Ms Gerda Magnus to report on the certification status: NC(V), GETC:ABET, NATED and NND.

Certification status: DHET briefing NC(V), GETC:ABET, NATED and NND


Ms Magnus said the DHET had been working in partnership with the college management, State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Umalusi to clear the outstanding certificates for TVET and CET Colleges to improve overall examination processes. The overall November 2017-March 2018 result and certification processing, in comparison to previous years, had therefore improved. This was evident from the reduction of queries received from the colleges and students, and more effective collaboration between the DHET, colleges, SITA and Umalusi.

Since last year, the Department had managed to process and issue a total of 69 219 outstanding National Certificate Vocational (NC V) certificates, of which 31 444 had been withdrawn and a total of 37 772 certificates had been processed and released to colleges on weekly basis. An e-Query information technology (IT) system had been piloted at seven colleges in Gauteng from September 2017 and rolled out to all provinces from January 2018 to enable the candidates to log any examination queries on line. Currently a total of 1 309 queries had been logged, of which 779 had been resolved and 44 cancelled, but the bulk of the queries were related to National Technical Education (NATED) qualifications.

The initial focus had been to clear the NC(V) certification backlog. The overall system functionality had been improved and certification was under control, with the most recent November 2017-March 2018 examination cycles having been executed with minimal challenges. The NATED certification for the November 2017 examination cycle had been executed with minimal challenges. The historical IT system challenges experienced with the NATED consolidation had been addressed through bringing it in line with the NC(V). The consolidated certification remains work in progress, as there had been a few matters arising which were being addressed on an ongoing basis.

The N1, N2, N4-N6 consolidation certification up to the November 2016 had been executed, while the N3 consolidation had been executed up to August 2016. Consolidated certification was planned to be completed by the end of August 2018. Historical IT system challenges had resulted in the misalignment of the data, and checks to bring the data into line were now being made.

The General Education and Training Certificate (GETC):Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) (CET) resulting for the November 2017 examinations had been completed successfully in December 2017 with minimal challenges compared to previous examination cycles. Umalusi, in conjunction with the DHET and SITA, had introduced new requirements for resulting datasets around the processing after the bulk resulting processes. With the he changes made on the IT system, processing had commenced and it was planned that the resulting and certification would be concluded by end of June 2018.

Challenges had been experienced with the combined certification extraction programme for candidates who sat for examinations from November 2011 to November 2017 across different programmes, which were subsequently addressed as at the 18 May 2018. Challenges continued to be experienced with the combined certification extraction programme for candidates who sat for examinations prior to November 2010, and this was being addressed.

The NC (V) certificate backlog completeness test was ongoing. The completeness test process seeks to corroborate the completeness of certification of candidates, in preparation for the migration of data into the new IT system. To date, for example, 73 records had been identified with the same identity (ID) but with different sequence numbers. The Department had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to integrate the exam IT system with the DHA’s ID number information system to inhibit these challenges around personal details -- invalid date of birth, names and last names -- to ensure that the data was cleaned.

Ms Magnus also explained the status of NATED, CET and National N Diploma (NND) certification. Certificates had been dispatched to the examination centres, and colleges were expected to report any certification queries to the Department for any candidate who might not have received the certificate. DHET and Umalusi had put measures in place to process candidates’ records, where private colleges were in arrears in terms of certification fees. As at May 2018, a total of 7 310 candidates had sat for certification exams since last year, and the Department and Umalusi had managed to process and release 2 169 certificates belonging to private candidates after payment by the candidates. The private candidates whose certificates had been certified had been encouraged to pay for these certificates to facilitate their release. Many of the certification queries were due to subject certificates which had earlier burdened the system, and efforts were now being made to issue statements of results instead of subject certificates. She concluded by outlining the status of the new IT system for examination.


Mrs Kilian commented that the brief had been good, but had not reflected where the DHET was coming from. What was the nature of cases that needed to be resolved, and why had it taken so long for the cases to be resolved? She remarked that the phasing out of subject certificates was a good way to deal with historical IT challenges and simplify the system. She asked for the cut-off dates to engage with individual students for a re-write at no additional cost, so that students who had outstanding results could get their qualifications. If it was a subject qualification, special provisions could be made in favour of the students, but if it was a final qualification a thorough assessment should be administered. She observed that in the past students who were not qualified were allowed to write examinations, so she asked if the challenge had been corrected, as it overburdened the system.

She asked the team to state the interventions made concerning the CET certifications backlog when the DHET did not receive assistance from the provinces. Had this been discussed in the management meetings and sent to the Minister for further action? What had happened to the proposal of comparing academic to vocational qualifications, in seeking other exit points for these students? She was happy that concurrent testing would be used, instead of moving to a new system. The time had come for the DHET to pass regulations that would compel the private colleges to have a different approach, by compelling them to retain money for testing for certification. The Committee would not encourage situations where 7 310 candidates’ certificates were prepared while only 2 169 certificates were issued because private colleges had not paid Umalusi. These private colleges should be made to know that they risked losing their accreditation if they could not assist students to obtain certification, as these institutions were wasting the money of parents and students.

Mr Van der Westhuizen commended the DHET on the improvements made, but remarked that the registration at CET colleges had decreased because the learners did not receive certificates. This had tarnished the image of the DHET and the institutions because this had prevented people from getting jobs. He asked how it would be able to identify similar problems before they occurred in future. He asked if the electronic query system would be able to assist with other programmes, such as for the QCTO or early childhood education qualifications. He asked the team to assure the Committee that the certificates would be ready once the first set of adults wrote the senior certificate examinations, because the certificate design involved printing and use of software applications. He also asked about the progress on QCTO certificates.

Ms Mchunu supported the decision to stop the issuance of certificates for subject qualifications by issuing statements of results, because they had burdened the system.

The Chairperson asked the Department to give the Committee a list of the bogus private colleges that were still having certification problems, to enable the Committee to visit them. She said the Committee was happy with the report and appreciated the DG and his team, Umalusi and SITA for not giving up on certification status, because the Committee was dealing with young people and not so young people who required the certificates. She appreciated the great progress and the fact that the DHET, SITA and Umalusi were now working together.

Mr Qonde said the DHET appreciated the Committee’s encouragement.

SITA, Umalusi and DHET responses

Mr Andre Taylor, Senior Manager: SITA, elaborated on the top-up issues regarding categorisation. There were historical irregularities that had not being finalised and could not be updated. Also, the historical admission irregularities in the past, which allowed a candidate to start on the next qualification without fulfilling the conditions for the previous qualification, had led to certificates being withheld. Invalid candidates’ details were also a challenge that did not allow the candidates to continue with certification testing, but the use of DHA data had assisted in resolving this issue. There were also challenges with data, so SITA had worked with Umalusi to align the data. Pro-active measures included checking the validity of the candidate after enrolment and in the execution of the resulting process, SITA checked all the prerequisites before processing.

Mr John Vernon, Head of Department (HOD): Administration, SITA, said that when SITA did not receive assistance on the CET backlog from the provinces, efforts had been made to establ;sh controls in a similar way as the NC(V), by identifying what had been processed and what would be processed from a system perspective. SITA also trained provinces’ officials on how to go about resulting from a system perspective. The new system had been cloned from the NC(V) system which did not have a lot of controls, and SITA was leveraging on this experience for the CET system.

Ms Evan Surjee, Senior Manager: QCTO, Umalusi said that a list of the bogus colleges would be sent to the Committee in written form. The system was up and running, as certificates had now been issued to candidates that qualified. Umalusi also had the certification task team with the HODs that worked on operational issues to ensure that it improved process efficiency. She assured the Committee that requests for certification were processed and issued as quickly as possible.

Ms Magnus said that DHET was working on the proposal for different exit points, and this would be presented to the Committee after it had being presented to the Minister for discussion and approval. The main issues in the proposal were finances and the management of examinations. The electronic query system, in her opinion, was linked the NATED and NC(V) qualifications and not directly linked to the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. She promised to discuss the matter with Mr Mvula on skills development to ensure that both branches leveraged on the lessons learnt.

The Chairperson reminded the DG that together the team could do more. She advised the DHET, SITA and Umalusi to continue with their integration efforts, and said it was better that the team told the Committee about the problems to ensure that it could assist in resolving the problems.

The meeting was adjourned.

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