13 August 2020 - NW1754
Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology
Given that the Council on Higher Education (CHE) has for years been underfunded, (a) in what precise ways will the cut of R1,4 million affect CHE’s operations, (b) what will be cut and (c)(i) what necessary information and communications technology architecture mentioned in his department’s presentation to Parliament has been and/or will be purchased and (ii) at what cost?
The CHE has indicated the following:
(a) The cut of R1.4 million does not have any negative impact on the CHE operations because the cut is linked to information declared by entities for funded vacancies that could not yet be filled. In addition, an additional amount of R25 million was allocated to the CHE baseline for 2020/21 to address critical service delivery areas in the entity.
(b) The budget allocated for travel costs was shifted for the use of 3G cards and data usage due to the national lockdown and travel restrictions. Employees have continued to work remotely from home. All planned engagements, consultative processes, conferences, operational and governance committee meetings, site visits, training and development, recruitment and selection are conducted virtually.
(c) (i) The additional R25 million was mostly allocated to Information Communications and Technology (ICT) architecture. This includes the development of an ICT Business Continuity Plan to mitigate risks associated with any unforeseen disasters associated with working virtually, additional laptops for employees to work remotely from home, ICT licenses and the assessment of the current ICT infrastructure.
(ii) The cost related to this is estimated to be around R2 million.