Hansard: NCOP: Debate on Higher Education: “Finding a lasting solution for financial assistance for needy students in higher education”

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 17 Mar 2015


No summary available.




17 MARCH 2015

Page: 1










The House met at 14:01.


The House Chairperson (Mr A J Nyambi) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.














The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I would like to announce, in terms of Rule 233, that the Council has received a petition calling for Parliament’s intervention on alleged unpaid pensions, unpaid leave gratuity and nonpayment of pro rata bonuses by the Eastern Cape Department of Health.


Furthermore, hon members, I would like to draw your attention to what we have on the Order Paper so that, when we get to motions, we are not tempted to speak on things that are part of what is on the Order Paper. We are all aware of the sad passing on of the hon Minister of Public Service and Administration, the hon Collins Chabane. [Inaudible.]










Mr G MICHALAKIS: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the Council I shall move on behalf of the DA:


That the Council—


  1. debates the state of state-owned hospitals in South Africa;


  1. notes that 19-year-old Carina Visagie from Gariep Dam in the Free State was left for a month to wait for a spinal fracture to grow back, due to the lack of qualified surgeons at the Pelonomi Private Hospital in Bloemfontein, the only state hospital in the province accredited to perform such surgery;
  2. also notes that patients in the maternity ward of the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in the Northern Cape are forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor due to a lack of proper beds;
  3. further notes that during recent parliamentary oversight at various hospitals it was noted that hospitals such as the Dr Alan Blyth Hospital in Ladismith, Western Cape, can be compared to the best private hospitals available; and
  4. debates the failure of some provincial administrations to provide proper healthcare, whilst others flourish.








Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the Council I shall move on behalf of the DA:


That the Council debates the effectiveness of petitions as a measure to increase public recourse and review service delivery protest actions in South Africa.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr D L XIMBI: Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes that the courts have sent a warning to business and mall robbers that they can expect hefty sentences following the 15‑year imprisonment of two robbers in the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court last week;


  1. further notes that the convicted robbers, Thulani Limani and Siyabonga Mgontshwana, were found guilty of robbing two Somerset West businesses at gunpoint in 2012;


  1. congratulates the detective for the outstanding investigation ensuring a successful conviction; and


  1. hopes that the sentence will be a deterrent to criminals.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr B G NTHEBE: Chair, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes that the SA Police Service in the North West province has done well with regard to the arrest of a drug syndicate;


  1. further notes that the police seized cat, crystal meth, cocaine, mandrax and ecstasy worth hundreds of thousands of rands from seven Nigerian nationals in the North West province on 15 March 2015;


  1. congratulates the SA Police Service on a job well done, a successful operation that has resulted in the removal of harmful drugs from our streets and the apprehending of the culprits; and


  1. hopes that they will face the full might of the law.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr H B GROENEWALD: Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. offers, with great sadness, its condolences to the families of the four teachers from Mount Packard Junior Secondary School, who died on their way to work last week in the Eastern Cape province;


  1. notes that the four teachers from the Mount Packard Junior Secondary school died when the taxi they were travelling in collided with a bulldozer on the road to Coffee Bay;


  1. also notes that this is a tragedy for the community and for education; and


  1. finally notes that one death of a teacher is one too many.


Imagine the deaths of four from the same school! May their souls rest in peace.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Ms E PRINS: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes and welcomes the stability in power supply that is steadily beginning to be provided by Eskom;


  1. also notes that this improvement is occurring after lengthy periods of load shedding, which have been disturbing in business and in society at large;


  1. further notes that the improvement in the production of power at Eskom’s Medupi Power Station marks a promising beginning in so far as the electricity service is concerned; and


  1. appreciates the efforts of the power utility in its endeavour to create stability that will sustain economic development.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: House Chair, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes that the Mpumalanga Health Department, in partnership with Eskom, officially launched a bus known as a school health mobile unit at Kabenzwa Primary School on Friday, 13 March 2015;


  1. further notes that the beneficiaries of the health mobile unit will be pupils from primary and secondary schools in areas where people are struggling to access health services in the Nkangala District Municipality of Mpumalanga; and


  1. congratulates the Mpumalanga Health Department and Eskom for their commitment to uplifting the lives of less privileged people and taking care of future leaders’ education.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr A SINGH: House Chair, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes with concern the lack of water that has continued for 10 days at the Pietermaritzburg New Prison;


  1. also notes that inmates have been fed with brown bread and tea, because the staff are unable to cook or clean;


  1. further notes that lots of inmates have not been able to bath or even use the toilets; and


  1. calls on the Department of Justice and Correctional Services for a speedy intervention and an investigation of this matter, as it has the potential to be a health hazard.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Ms V KNOETZE: Hon Chair, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes that section 16 of the Rules and Guidelines for the Administration and Management of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Further Education and Training (FET) College Bursary Scheme states that:


“Students who reside within a radius of ten (10) kilometres from the College should not be considered for an award for travel allowance or accommodation allowance.”;


  1. further notes that many of the Technical Vocational Education and Training college campuses are situated in dangerous areas, such as the Vuselela TVET College Matlosana Campus, among countless others;


  1. also notes that thousands of students who are forced to walk within a 10 km radius to TVET college campuses have become easy prey for criminal activities; and


  1. calls on the Department of Higher Education and Training to heed the call of the tens of thousands of students, together with management, to repeal this portion of section 16, as it is in the best interests of the safety and security of our students.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.












(Draft Resolution)


Mr G MICHALAKIS: Hon House Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. extends its condolences to the family of the late William Engelbrecht from Navalsig, Bloemfontein who lost his life recently;


  1. Mr Engelbrecht suffered from severe asbestosis and was permanently connected to two oxygen machines;


  1. Mr Engelbrecht died as the machines failed during Eskom’s second session of load shedding that day;


  1. condemns the fact that at least one innocent citizen’s life was shortened due to the maladministration of this state-owned enterprise; and


  1. lastly, acknowledges that citizens and the quality of their lives should never be compromised through poor administration.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.










(Draft resolution)


Mr W F FABER: Chair, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. congratulates the Stellenbosch University Division of Urology on their performing the first penis transplant in the world;


  1. notes that the team of doctors at Tygerberg Hospital who carried out the world’s first successful penis transplant have been inundated with requests from men around the world who want to have this operation;


  1. also notes that several men have offered to be donors –


Not me! –


  1. further notes that Prof André van der Merwe, Head of the Division, said that they had not expected the overwhelming reaction of these people, and that on the waiting list were nine people that had had traditional circumcisions; and


  1. congratulates this division on helping these people out.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










(Draft Resolution)


Mr E R MAKUE: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:


That the Council—


  1. notes that seven people, including four men, two women and a child aged two, were killed and three others were critically wounded during a shooting at Chief Albert Luthuli informal settlement in Crystal Park in Benoni, on Saturday, 14 March 2015;


  1. further notes that a group of 15 people armed with pistols and rifles shot at a group of people standing at a spaza shop in the same area; and


  1. therefore implores the police to leave no stone unturned in making sure that the perpetrators of this violence against unarmed and defenceless people face the full might of the law.


Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.










Mr M I RAYI: Hon House Chair, hon members and special delegates, as Members of Parliament we are deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely death of an outstanding, competent, accomplished and dependable member of the Cabinet. Ultimately, the death of Minister Chabane is a huge loss to government and the country as a whole.


From the sadness we shared when we heard of his passing away, knowing that he was no longer amongst the living, we accepted that his memory would be our keepsake with which we would never part.


On Sunday morning, when it was announced that he had departed the land of the living, disbelief became our close companion. Anger followed in its wake as we answered the heroic question, “O death, where is thy sting?” with the words, “It is here in our hearts, minds and memories.”


Mr Chabane served as the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Administration, during the fourth administration. He was able to develop and build a new Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation within a short space of time, and was able to make the monitoring and evaluation function a crucial part of government.


The year 2015 has been declared the year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. It is a year of going the extra mile in building a united, democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa. The year 2015 is a year where we need a man of the calibre of Minister Chabane, an outstanding, competent, accomplished and dependable member of the Cabinet. The year 2015 is the year we have also set aside for the nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs.


Among some of the commitments Cabinet has made are the following: resolving the energy challenges; revitalising agriculture and the agroprocessing value chain; advancing beneficiation; and modernising workplace conflicts. For all the above to be achieved, we need a person of the calibre of Minister Chabane, an outstanding organic intellectual, a struggle giant, a humble revolutionary and a selfless warrior.


Your memory is our keepsake

With which we’ll never part.

God has you in His keeping.

We have you in our heart.


From our thoughts to our memories, and from our days to our nights, “Hamba kakuhle qabane” [Rest in peace, comrade].








Mr W F FABER: Chair, the DA would like to declare the following on the passing of Collins Chabane, Minister of Public Service and Administration.


Our sincerest condolences go to his family, friends, colleagues and all those who knew him. His passing is a great loss to the Department of Public Service and Administration, and South Africa at large.


He was, and will always remain, a gentle, kind man with a great sense of humour, who had a passion for music. Not only did he give himself to political life, both provincially and nationally, in various capacities, but he also contributed to our arts and culture as a recording musician. He released two CDs with his band Movement.


He also contributed much to South African politics and was an influential figure in the liberation struggle and the fight for the human rights of all South Africans.


We are also saddened by the passing of Sgt Lesiba Sekele and Sgt Lawrence Lentsoane, who spent their lives in the service of our country. We extend our condolences to their loved ones as well.


On behalf of the DA and all South Africans, I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends during this tragic time. I thank you.








Dr Y C VAWDA: Hon Chair and hon members, the EFF wishes to take this moment to express its sincere condolences to the families of Minister Chabane, Sgt Lentsoane and Sgt Sekele. We also want to express our condolences to the ANC, the political party of the Minister who, together with his body guards, sadly passed on in a car accident on Sunday morning.


Road accidents in South Africa have become a serious national problem which must be tackled head-on. According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013 of the World Health Organisation, 50% of death-related road accidents in South Africa involve alcohol. Research from the SA Medical Research Council reveals that in 50% of all road accidents alcohol is a contributing factor. Not only is alcohol linked to road fatalities in the country, but it is also responsible for breaking up families and contributing to many other social ills in our society.


The other disturbing factor is the treatment of truck drivers by the companies they work for. The research findings from the Brain Function Research Group at the University of the Witwatersrand has revealed that truck drivers sleep for less than four hours per day. According to this survey, three quarters of truck drivers reported being tired on the job due to long working hours. These revelations are a clear indication that the transport industry needs serious investigation.


Finally, we pray that the Almighty grants the deceased peace and that the Almighty also helps to ease the burden of sorrow on the families – not only that of the deceased, but also those of all who knew him and those who passed on with him – and on a nation in mourning. Thank you, Chair.








Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, Mphephethwa, and colleagues, on behalf of the President of the IFP, Prince Buthelezi, and the entire IFP family I wish to express our deep and sincere condolences to the Chabane family – to Minister Chabane’s mother, to his wife and their two children, and to his brothers and sisters. We want to say to them as a family that they indeed gave birth to and raised a very dear son of the soil.


We also wish to extend our condolences to Minister Chabane’s political home, the ANC, in which he dedicated himself to its service and for which he sacrificed his life. Minister Chabane’s passing away is not a loss just to the ANC, but to the entire country. He was the kind of person who was a genuine South African asset. Minister Chabane was a very humble, down-to-earth person.


My first personal encounter with him was in a lift in a hotel in Durban, when he was still a Minister in the Presidency. I was with Mrs Khawula, and we greeted him and spoke a little about this and that. When we came out of the lift, I said to Mrs Khawula, “That is a Minister in the Presidency.” Her reaction was: “Oh! But why is he walking alone?” That is the perception that people have of the people we have in government. So, his was a very different kind of approach to things.


During question time in the NCOP, hon Minister Chabane showed he was of the calibre of someone very knowledgeable about his portfolio. Whenever he was responding to follow-up questions, the spontaneous information he would give you would always be of as high a quality as prepared written information.


I occasionally hear people saying that dynamite comes in small packages. He was indeed big dynamite in that small package.


On behalf of the IFP, I want to say: “Rest in peace, Nyamazane.”








Mr L B GAEHLER: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members, our history has been marked by the achievements of individuals who have fought for a cause they believed in. The late Minister Chabane was one of those individuals. He was an inspiration among many of our leaders. His humble nature only made him more likeable. Excellence starts with leaders of good, strong character.


The late Minister Chabane was a gift to South Africa from the time he was imprisoned in 1984.


He served in various institutions of Parliament. In 1994 he served on the Constitutional Affairs, Defence and Intelligence committees.


In 1997 he was appointed to the Cabinet of the Limpopo government, and in 1998 he served as an MEC in public works, where he is credited as having established the province’s roads agency.


He also served as a Minister in the Presidency, where he made a positive contribution to meaningful change. He left us while serving as the Minister of Public Service and Administration. South Africa has lost one of its greatest sons.


On behalf of the UDM, I extend our sincerest condolences to his party and his family. As you comprehend this profound loss, let yourself cry, knowing each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens. I thank you.








Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Chair, hon Minister and hon members, let me say:


Friends, South Africans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to pay tribute to Collins Chabane, not to praise him.


I have begun my speech by paraphrasing the historic speech by Mark Antony during the funeral of Julius Caesar. I am doing so because Minister Chabane died on 15 March, which corresponds to the Ides of March in the old Roman calendar. It is the day on which Julius Caesar was killed. As South Africans, we will forever “beware the Ides of March”, 15 March, as the day on which we were robbed of one of the most selfless and self-sacrificing leaders that this country has ever produced.


Minister Chabane’s passing has brought grief – from those at his home at Xikundu Village in Limpopo to all South Africans in communities all around our beloved country.


The abundance of eulogies in the past few days from those who knew the Minister well – expressing their admiration, which is impossible to convey in words alone – is an indication of what kind of man Minister Chabane was. These accounts have come from Minister Chabane’s political contemporaries - both friend and foe – from present-day leaders, the media fraternity and Minister Chabane’s closest friends and family.


Some of the most enlightening and moving comments have come from those whose politics were not those of Chabane, which itself shows the reach of his grand stature and personality. It also shows that in death, as in life, this visionary leader has the power to move people and to inspire them.


All sides have praised his courage, his vision, his reforming instincts and his parliamentary style. In each of these qualities, Minister Chabane had very few peers. All this points to one thing, and that is that by all accounts the late Public Service and Administration Minister, Collins Chabane, was a person this country could not afford to lose.


Minister Chabane was a man of many talents but, in his own words, he was first and foremost a politician. So, in the ANC we are mourning the loss of a great politician and hero of the liberation movement.


This is the movement that he joined when he was only 17 years old, a time when he could have been enjoying being a normal teenager. But because of his nature of being self-sacrificing, he forewent the niceties of being a teenager and entered into the unknown and dangerous life of the liberation struggle.


That is why he was always on the run from the apartheid police and earned the nickname “Inyamazane” – “the animal”. Just like other fighters who were chased by the security branch, he was later arrested and caged, like an animal, for 10 years on Robben Island. All caged animals are always angry - when they come out of the cage they are angry. They will always fight for, and mark, their territories. This also happened to this “animal”, Collins Chabane.


His territory was not only politics. Minister Chabane was also a musician, music being at the forefront of his extramural activities and number one hobby. He taught himself to play the harmonica and guitar, and studied music theory while serving 10 years for terrorism on Robben Island. From then onwards he never looked back.


Later, the Zimbabwean musician, Thomas Mapfumo taught him to play the mbira or finger piano. He also formed the band, Movement. This band released albums that have songs on them such as Kgolinhlanhla, Limpopo, Xai-Xai and many more.


This shows the many talents that Minister Chabane had. It was just not surprising that in May 2010 he was honoured for his contribution to South African music when he was presented with a plaque by the SA Music Rights Organisation, Samro, to celebrate his musical journey. At least we will always hear his voice in these songs.


Fellow South Africans, Xikundu has lost a son, Limpopo has lost a father figure, and South Africa has lost a leader. The ANC has lost “the animal”, “Inyamazane”. In my language we say ...



 ... mokgapa o mogolo o wele, gomme dithaga di tla šala di lla mašogošogo. Re re robala ka khutšo mogale wa bagale.



Etlela hi ku rhula.



We also want to extend our deepest condolences to the families of Sgt Sekele and Sgt Lentsoane, his bodyguards, in their loss. May their souls rest in peace. I thank you.








The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, in celebrating the life of a father, a Minister, a leader and a comrade with a life well lived, allow me to remark that I am one of the people who can claim to have been assisted by Minister Chabane.


I was once given an opportunity to preside over a joint sitting. It was a tense situation and it was my first experience of doing this. I was very tense, because presiding in a joint sitting is entirely different from presiding in the NCOP.


A lady came to deliver a note to me that read: “Allow me to be the first woman to request you to come to supper tonight.” I smiled as I read the note, looking at all these people. I called the lady who had delivered the message, because there was no signature for this woman who was inviting me to supper. I asked the lady: “Who gave you this note?” She pointed at the late Minister Chabane, who was smiling as he looked towards the back. [Laughter.] So, he had a sense of humour in abundance and assisted me to relax and be comfortable in the Chair in the joint sitting.


Let us all rise and observe a moment of silence.


Debate concluded.


The Council observed a moment of silence in honour of the late hon O C Chabane.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! We now proceed to the Subject for Discussion. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr B E Nzimande, and invite him to take the podium.










(Subject for Discussion)


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: House Chair, hon Nyambi, and hon members of this august Chamber, the NCOP, let me start by associating my department and myself with the oration of condolences that we have just had, expressing condolences on the passing away of the hon Minister of Public Service and Administration, Collins Chabane – “Comrade Animal”, as was mentioned – together with his bodyguards.


Today’s subject for debate requires a comprehensive approach, rather than a narrow, silo-based approach. It requires us to really grasp the nature of the challenge we face. It’s a very important subject by the way.


The challenge facing us is twofold. Firstly, our education system has been almost exclusively academically oriented. Everybody is expected to do a largely, if not exclusively, academic matric and then proceed to university. If you don’t do that, it’s a cul-de-sac; it’s the end of your life. That is what we must change. This means that we don’t cater fully for a variety of education and training needs beyond just the narrow, academic pathway.


Therefore, to try to answer the subject of today’s debate from the standpoint of students in higher education only, would not properly address the question of the funding needs of poor youth as a whole. It would instead focus exclusively on only a section of them.


It is against this background that our department has come up with and developed an innovative concept of postschool education and training, the provision of which needs to be expanded and diversified in order to cater for the needs of both youths and adults. In other words the challenge is to cater for the education and training needs of the more than 20 million adult South Africans, young and old, who are no longer at school, or have never attended school. Our funding for postschool education and training must, therefore, attend to this entire spectrum in order to cater for the varied skills needs of our economy.


Our 2011 national census tells us that we have more than 3,3 million youths between the ages of 16 and 24 in our country who are neither in employment, in education, nor in training. Some of them, though a declining percentage, have either never been to school or have not attended beyond primary school. Others have gone beyond primary school, but dropped out before reaching matric. Still others have written matric, but cannot access university or get employment, thus remaining trapped in what we may call a postschool cul-de-sac. According to our own research, we also have about 17 million adults over 24 years of age who need adult education opportunities.


It is in this context that government adopted the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training in November 2013. This important policy document envisages a postschool system with three formal education institutional types: universities; colleges, especially your technical vocational education and training colleges, Tvet colleges; and a new institutional type called community colleges.


These are not in any order of ranking, by the way, because each serves a very particular purpose in addressing our educational and skills development needs in particular, and in building a vibrant and responsive postschool education and training system.


But these formal institutions – universities, colleges and community colleges – must have dynamic links to workplaces, both formal and informal workplaces, and public and private workplaces. This will ensure that work-integrated learning is central to our postschool system, as must be the availability of internships and learnerships that are dynamically linked to, and articulate with, the programmes in the formal educational institutions.


There is nothing that breaks my heart like going to a restaurant and finding young people there, some of whom are working as waiters, but others are there as temporary labour, who do not get paid and have to rely on tips. They are not registered with any college. Then you go outside into our townships and villages and find youth that have gone to Tvet colleges, but they are not in any workplace.


That is why it is important that this idea of linking college education and workplaces, as well as linking the unemployed with internship and learnership opportunities, becomes crucial. Our Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, the National Skills Fund and employers, in both the public and private sectors, have a crucial role to play in building a dynamic relationship between the education and training institutions and the workplaces. In other words, these young workers – I am talking about those in restaurants and hotels – should ideally be doing practical work as part of their studies in colleges.


Therefore, when we talk about the challenge of a lasting solution to the funding needs of needy students, we should focus on sustainable funding for the entire postschool system, so that it is expanded, diversified and able to respond to the needs of the entire population. It is against this background that the government has responded to this challenge in a manner I will now briefly outline.


In other words, much as funding is important, it is not only funding that is critical; it is also channelling our youth into different sites of opportunities and not only the academic pathway that I spoke about at the beginning. This is because you can put a lot of money into one pathway, but in the process you leave out numbers of young people who are not interested in that pathway, but are interested in pursuing other opportunities.


Let me talk about what this government’s initiatives to open the doors of learning in postschool education and training have been.


We as the ANC government remain committed to realising the vision as contained in the Freedom Charter, as we celebrate its 60th anniversary this year.


One of the goals of the Department of Higher Education and Training is to increase the number of skilled youth by expanding access to postschool education and training. In terms of the White Paper, the department is committed to increasing student enrolments to 2,5 million in technical vocational education and training colleges and 1,6 million in universities by 2030. In other words, we must invert this pyramid that we have now, of having more students at universities than at colleges. No other country in the world does that. We must have more students in colleges.


The trick is, if you have gone to a college, you must not then be prevented from proceeding to university in case you choose to do so. It must not be the case that your qualifications are not recognised. It’s articulation, so that you don’t feel that having gone to a college means you are stuck in a cul-de-sac.


Furthermore, we want a million students in community colleges by 2030.


In a bid to achieve this goal, the department has significantly increased the funds available for student loans and bursaries, particularly through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which we refer to as NSFAS for short.


Government has made significant progress in regard to increased access to higher education for students from the working class and poor students. Its inception was in 1991 as the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa. By the way, we as the ANC at the time imposed this even before 1994 on the then President, F W de Klerk, and we said we needed this fund. The fund awarded approximately R41,5 billion in loans and bursaries to about 1,4 million students between 1991 and 2014.


An important milestone over the past six years has been the expansion for the first time of NSFAS beyond universities into Tvet colleges. This year alone NSFAS will be assisting 205 000 first-time entering and continuing eligible students at our now 26 public universities and 200 000 students at 50 technical vocational education and training colleges, by providing student loans and bursaries totalling over R9,5 billion. In 2008, by the way, there was no such funding for Tvet colleges and in 2010 there was only R310 million for such bursaries. Today such bursaries for Tvet colleges total around R2,1 billion.


Our department’s NSFAS budget for 2015-16 now amounts to R6,4 billion and comprises R4 billion of university study loans and R2,2 billion for Tvet colleges.


Other notable donor funding sources include funds from NSFAS recoveries, in other words funds from those who, having been assisted, are paying money back, which will amount to R453 million this year.


There is also money from the Department of Basic Education for Funza Lushaka teaching bursaries, and the Department of Social Development for social work bursaries, as well as monies from the Setas.


NSFAS has earmarked R69,3 million in the 2015 academic year to provide financial aid to disabled students in universities, and this includes a component that enables students with disabilities to acquire assistive devices.



Mphephethwa, ungizwile. Nabangaboni njengawe ngane yakwethu siyabasiza ngoba akusho ukuthi uma ungaboni sekufanele ube umtshingo ubethwa ngubani. [Ihlombe.]



Certain categories of assistance are in the form of bursaries rather than loans and need not be repaid. Instead they can be repaid in service rather in cash. [Applause.]


NSFAS has also made a qualitative difference in the lives of students from poor families. Most of these students we support have been the first from their families ever to attend a university or a college.



Abokuqala ukuthi bagqoke amajazi emindenini abavela kuyona.



The majority have benefited greatly from the scheme, providing skills to the South African economy and benefiting both themselves and their families. Mr Khethelo Richman Xulu, a NSFAS beneficiary, recently said:


I completed my high school education at Philadelphia School for the physically challenged in Pretoria where I received my matric in 2005. I studied at Walter Sisulu University with assistance from NSFAS. My bursary paid all of my study costs. My graduation was truly a joyous day ... all thanks to NSFAS.




Nevertheless, we still face enormous challenges, as many students, despite our best efforts, cannot proceed with their studies due to a lack of financial resources. But this must not detract from the fact that government has given a lot of money, inadequate as it may be.


In addition, we have offered other opportunities, especially to young people who are out of school. For example, over the last two financial years we have provided 12-month learnerships to 179 143 learners and 12 to 18-month internships to 18 411 beneficiaries. Our research says 75% of interns actually end up getting employed.


To fully fund all qualifying NSFAS students and meet the goals of the National Development Plan, an amount of R36 billion for university and R15 billion for Tvet college students is required over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period.


We also have to pay attention to university fees, and this is something we have started doing. For instance, NSFAS has increased by 4,6%, but university fees have increased by an average of 9%, which is a challenge that we actually have to deal with, because higher fees imply fewer and fewer students that are supported by NSFAS.


Also, we wish to admit that the administration of NSFAS is often less than efficient. My department and the NSFAS Board are looking at ways to improve its functioning, cut unnecessary costs and eliminate delays in awarding loans.


One of the critical challenges we have is to recover funds. The R453 million we recover is not enough. We are improving on our system. We have even discovered that some of the younger people who are working for my own department were NSFAS beneficiaries but are not paying back the money. So, we want to work with the SA Revenue Service now in order to address this problem.


NSFAS has also been tasked with identifying and forging partnerships with private donors with the aim of increasing funding for poor and needy students.


Now, I have also requested NSFAS to explore ways to fund students who traditionally do not pass the means test for the current funding criteria, and who also do not qualify for funding from commercial institutions either. For instance, NSFAS says you must earn R122 000 or less as a total family income. But a family with a R150 000 income can’t afford university. So, we urgently need to find ways to provide for this group. And who are this group? They are often the children of teachers, nurses, artisans, clerical workers and many other civil servants.


So, we are currently engaging with some of the development finance institutions and other publicly held funds to find ways to address this challenge, so as to expand access to education for academically deserving students who come from families that are poor.


It has also been widely reported that the challenge of inadequate funding is exacerbated by gross mismanagement of the scheme, NSFAS, in colleges and universities. We are detecting that there is lots of corruption from officials in our institutions, and even from students. You find there are students who are actually benefiting from this, but who do not deserve to be benefiting.


Sometimes you find a NSFAS beneficiary with a flat screen TV in his or her room! That tells you something. By the way, I have spoken to and engaged with some SRC members, and they say, “No, Minister, we know about it.” And I say, “But why are you not telling us who these people are?” And they say, “No, Minister, you know, we can’t do that. This is our constituency,” and so on. So, we are doing a complete forensic investigation into this, so that this money benefits those who deserve it. [Applause.]


In conclusion, the Freedom Charter says, and I quote:


Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;


Indeed, this government, this ANC government, has done this despite the constraints and challenges we have and still face.



Ngakho-ke singakusho nje singahlonizi, singananazi ukuthi kulo hulumeni oholwa uMsholozi, siyaqhuba. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.]






Ms L L ZWANE: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Nzimande, hon members of the NCOP, hon delegates who are here with us this afternoon, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen, the President of the ANC in the statement of 8 January confirmed that education remains an apex priority for the ANC government. Similarly, the President of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, in the state of the nation address reiterated that education remains the apex priority of the present-day government.


He has always asserted that education is a societal issue, meaning that education is not the burden of government only, but that all of society should come together to ensure that we give the support that we need to give to education, and this could be financial or various other forms of support.


South Africa spends 5% of its GDP on education broadly, and 1,4% of the GDP on higher education alone. The budget that is allocated to the Department of Higher Education and Training gives expression to the prescripts of the Freedom Charter, which provides that, “The doors of learning and of culture shall be opened!”


The ANC is a leader of society and a party in government. Since 1994, during every general election its mandate has always been renewed overwhelmingly by the electorate in order to ensure that government policies and programmes are implemented and services are delivered to the people. One major service that the ANC government has delivered to the people is education.


The Minister has actually said that a lot of money has been invested in higher education by government. However, we want to acknowledge the fact that while a lot has been invested, we still have a lot of ground to cover in regard to ensuring that we reach out to many more students who deserve to be assisted.


During the past 21 years of our being in government we have had many good stories to tell.


To develop a sustainable economy and state infrastructure that will improve the quality of life of the people, the visionary government of the ANC realises the need for the labour force to become equipped with the knowledge and requisite skills that can be obtained through education and training. An educated citizenry provides the best hope for preserving democracy, thriving economic security and even promoting world peace.


It is regrettable that many young people still face barriers to higher education due to their family income. The Minister sighted the example of children that are born to different professionals. A level one professional cannot afford to send one child to university, let alone when they have two or three children to send to university. It is practically impossible.


I am happy that the Department of Higher Education and Training is beginning to look into that particular cohort of people, who are public servants but cannot send their children to university. This is a matter of grave concern and people are speaking about it and calling upon our government to look into it quite seriously. I am happy that something is beginning to happen.


Commitment to free public higher education is a great fiscal burden or commitment, and as a result we have to make sure that there are mechanisms in place to ensure that the students whom we enrol in either technical vocational education and training colleges or universities actually obtain their qualifications or degrees.


There is nothing more disappointing than if one sends students to Tvet colleges and universities, and they remain there for half a term or a couple of years and don’t finish their degrees and obtain their qualifications. It is then counterproductive. We don’t get any return on investment as a government. The reason we send them, in first instance, is for them to get a qualification, come back from there and make a meaningful contribution in the workplace and to the economy of the country. Now, if they don’t obtain their qualifications, then it is a waste.


So, there have to be programmes in Tvet colleges and universities that are meant to support those students who find they have difficulty with the content of the modules that they are taking. This is in order to reduce student attrition.


Higher education has never been so important but it has also never been so expensive. So, we must use the small amount of money that we have. We heard the Minister say that the budget for NSFAS, as we speak, is in the region of R6 billion, and that is no small amount of money. It was never there before but now it is available during the term of the ANC-led government. If Verwoerd were to wake up from the grave, I really think he would look for the nearest tree to hang himself on, because ...



... labo bantwana thina esibathumele emanyuvesi nasemakolishi yena wayezocabanga ukuthi bayogcina ngokukha amanzi, batheze izinkuni noma basebenzele ubasi.



So, we want to say thank you to the ANC government for being visionary, for lifting our poor children out of poverty and for sending them to educational institutions in order for them to be able to earn a decent living. [Applause.]


According to World Bank statistics, 54% of the labour force in Russia has been to a tertiary college or an institution of higher education. In South Africa we are still lagging far behind this percentage because of the atrocities of apartheid.


Access to higher education is not simply about a place for a student to study at a university, according to Prof Wally Morrow. Access is also about ways of knowing that sustain universities. Access allows students to participate fully and effectively in higher education.


Success is not merely about graduating from an academic programme; it also relates to the quality of the programmes, the teaching of those programmes, and the kinds of skills and attributes with which students leave the university or the Tvet college, including their preparedness for the world of work and their ability to enter employment as successful graduates.


The Minister also mentioned the fact that it is a really concerning factor that you find that students have graduated but they cannot be placed in the world of work. This is perhaps because they have not studied what is required by industry. So, the planning of what there needs to be and its formulation in modules and programmes in universities and Tvet colleges requires the participation of not only the Department of Higher Education and Training, but also industry and business. This is so that whatever we develop as programmes is relevant to the world of work, and so that our children are able to use their knowledge and skills in the workplace.


As a result of NSFAS, the number of students that have been enrolled in Tvet colleges has increased exponentially, from 360 000 in 2010 to 670 455 in 2013. This is a good story to tell. The plight of poor students has been addressed by increasing access to NSFAS.


Furthermore, we want to express our appreciation for the student-centred model that the department is introducing, that of funding students not only for the first year, but actually taking them through, from the first year until they complete their studies. I think that is actually commendable, because funding them only for part of the period is not assisting them. By the same token, we are looking forward to a situation where they show appreciation by focusing on their studies so that the studies yield positive results in return for the kind of support that they are getting from our government.


The other issue that is of grave concern, Minister, is the issue of student accommodation. I am happy that when I looked through the budget, I saw a sum of about R1,6 billion that the department is setting aside to ensure that in some universities and Tvet colleges student accommodation is being refurbished, while in other areas it is being built from scratch.


I say this because we have found that parents fall prey to the exploitation of people that charge them exorbitant amounts of money for student accommodation. If the department comes to the party to actually assist in this regard, we are going to save the parents from being exploited by these sharks.


We also want to express our appreciation of the fact that students in higher education are now entering into fields that we never thought they would venture into before. We now have students that are qualified in actuarial science – they are actuaries – although it is only 6% of qualified actuaries that are blacks. We still want to up that number and improve on it. However, we take pride in the fact that we never thought that we would have students qualified in that field as well. They are enjoying that because of the subsidy that is given to the universities.


We have students that are now geophysicists. I do want to particularly acknowledge a boy from KwaZulu-Natal who is a geophysicist, Musa Manzi. He has done us proud because he now has a PhD in Geophysics ... [Applause.] ... and he has collected awards locally and internationally because of the kind of work that he is doing, which is assisting in the area of gold mining.


We also appreciate programmes that are producing more doctors, veterinary scientists, engineers, and practitioners from all the other areas that blacks were previously scared to study in because of the manner in which the education of the black people was structured. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. It is in order for me to say the following, because government has made education a priority and I do not want to spoil this debate on education. Members that are still going to speak should do like the two that have done exceptionally well. The time is over there and you should look to your right to note it. I don’t want to spoil this debate on education because education is a priority of government. [Laughter.]








Ms K C FIHLANI (Eastern Cape): Hon Chair, hon Minister, permanent delegates, special delegates like me and guests, ...



 ... ezikhoyo kodwa ingathi zinqabile.



Firstly, let me express my appreciation of the opportunity of standing in this House. It is the first time, Chairperson, that I am standing here. [Applause.] It is actually the first time that I have entered the House. I know the Old Assembly Chamber. I am serious! I know the Old Assembly Chamber. I nearly went to that side, hon Minister, but I was told, no, it is this side.


It is an opportunity that has been afforded me by the ANC. There are so many who have not been afforded the opportunity to stand here. I think we can never just leave it like that. I think it is a big opportunity for us to do that.


The Freedom Charter directs that, “The doors of learning and of culture shall be opened!” This applies to all. As the ANC government we have heeded that call, because institutions of higher learning are full to capacity – to the extent that they have huge numbers that are on their waiting lists, as we speak.


A large number of students come from poor backgrounds and are faced with the societal challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty. To effect social redress, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, was established. As the hon Minister said here, it was even before the democratic breakthrough, hon Khawula. There are also other bursaries, though they are not enough, but they are at least making a mark in our society. It is clear that the money set aside for NSFAS is really not enough, and is unable to accommodate all the students who have heeded the call.


This call was made by our forebears when they were charting the way forward, giving us this way through the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter has been a guide and a compass to us, the ANC.


In the Eastern Cape there has been a qualitative improvement in the Grade 12 results.



Nangona siye sibe ngumkanja. Uye atsho uNobhala we-ANC ephondweni, athi singumkanja.



There is a qualitative improvement. It was worse in the class of 2014, where you could find learners who came from far-flung areas, and not from the former model C schools. I am talking about the far-flung areas like St James in Cofimvaba. Some learners still used candles to learn by, although in other areas one would find that there was electricity. But they even surpassed learners who were in the affluent areas. That is why I am saying that we have at least had a qualitative improvement over the years, even though we can be at the bottom, last.


We say that there are a majority that need financial assistance. Thousands of learners still seek financial assistance yearly, and the majority of them are helped, but some are not assisted because there are so many who have heeded that call.


The Office of the Premier has its own assistance programme to support needy students. In this regard, it has entered into an agreement with NSFAS to administer the fund on its behalf. Learners are taken to various institutions across the country, but 90% of the funds are for four institutions of higher learning.


There has to be a direct focus now on the technical vocational education and training colleges, as the hon Minister was saying, because that is the other area that we have not been focusing on for quite some time. We were focusing especially on the institutions of higher learning, which are the universities and former technikons. The most important sector is clearly the Tvet colleges. They are most important because they are focusing on the skills which are needed in our society and our day-to-day work.


Regarding progress so far, we say that about 13 446 students have been supported across the province, with a deliberate focus on Walter Sisulu University. Why that? Most of the learners seek admission at other universities, but when they are not accepted there, they return to the Walter Sisulu University. That is why I am saying that there is a deliberate focus is on the Walter Sisulu University, and a bigger slice will go there.


An amount of R173,436 million has been made available, with R154,79 million allocated to four institutions in the province and, as I have said, I will not speak on some of the issues. The most important area is that the Tvet colleges still have a lot of students who need support and some of them are excluded academically due to the challenges of finance.


We propose an increase in the base funding. NSFAS should at least increase its funding by 50% immediately, 75% later, and double over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, if you want to find short-term relief. That is still short-term relief. We also propose a provincial contribution, which could be about R100 million per year. Each and every province should make a contribution, and that fund could be administered separately from the NSFAS fund. We must also partner with the private sector.


The hon Minister talked about the issue of the management of the fee structures of universities. Let me call them institutions of higher learning. Pardon me, hon Minister, because we are still married to that word “universities”. These are the fee structures of the institutions of higher learning. As you have said, their fee structures have increased by 9% and yet, when we talk about NSFAS, we still find that it is 4% there. So I think the Department of Higher Education and Training must work with the institutions of higher learning to ensure affordability – without compromising the quality, of course.


We must also improve the administration process of NSFAS. We welcome the forensic investigation into maladministration there, because we suspect, although we cannot say for sure, that there is some maladministration, where some students cannot be assisted.


You split the available funding. Currently NSFAS is funding by way of a 60% loan and 40% bursary. Create a 100% loan category - I am sure this is what the hon Minister was talking about - which will assist those that do not fit the benchmarks of NSFAS. Then the loan could be underwritten by NSFAS with their own repayment terms.


We also welcome the role that has been played by the student representative councils of various institutions, including the University of the Witwatersrand and the Walter Sisulu University. I do not know which others, but I know that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, which used to be the University of Port Elizabeth, has some sort of funding that they are also collating to assist needy students.



Sithi ke ikhwelo lityala.



Working together we can achieve free education for all. Thank you.





Ms K C FIHLANI (Eastern Cape)



Mr H B GROENEWALD: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, members of the NCOP and guests, the hon Minister said a lot of good, positive things, but the department is failing to implement them, to put them into practice. When the DA is leading the national government, we will implement a policy that assures more students are financially assisted when they enter higher education. Nelson Mandela’s words are a stark reminder of the importance of education and I quote:


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, is an important tool to access education. As its vision prescribes, NSFAS is a model public entity that provides financial aid to public university students and to technical vocational education and training college students from poor and working class families.



Dit is waarna ons moet strewe en werk. Bereik ons dit? Ek is jammer om dit te sê, maar NSFAS toon agteruitgang en nie vooruitgang nie. Die DA kyk graag saam met u hoe ons volhoubare oplossings kan kry vir finansiële steun vir behoeftige studente in hoër onderwys.



Now where do we start? With only R9 billion being allocated to NSFAS – approximately 20% of our education budget – can we allow any of this money to go to waste?



As ons toelaat dat korrupsie voortduur, sal Suid-Afrika een van die swakste presteerders van hoër onderwys wees.



Considering recent corruption allegations, we welcome the Minister’s setting up a task team, a process the DA will follow closely.


One of the biggest obstacles to students seeking financial assistance is the lack of clear communication relating to NSFAS processes and policies. At the time when a student transitions from high school to higher education, we should not give false hope due to a lack of communication. Having timeous, open and honest communication with students could prevent the many student protests that flare up at the start of the academic year.


Every year the academic year starts with a fight between students and the universities because of a lack of funds. Students pay the price by not being able to enrol – because of no financial assistance with enrolment fees, class fees, study material and accommodation.



As ons kyk na die studente se betogings, moet die rooiligte vir ons aangaan. Ons moet herken dat daar groot probleme met NSFAS se finansiering is. Om maar een voorbeeld te noem, kyk na die gewelddadige aktiwiteite wat onlangs by Tshwane Universiteit vir Tegnologie plaasgevind het. Die studente het betoog oor ’n gebrek aan NSFAS se finansiering.



We need to contextualise the funding challenges facing universities in the short and medium term. We should consider calling on the private sector to make a contribution. Furthermore, we need to look into the social sector in regard to companies, the private sector and government to see what contributions they could make to education.


We should not only focus on funding, but also investigate the situations of a number of students who cannot be funded due to historic debt. In this regard, there was a misunderstanding that additional funds would be secured to settle their debts, but no additional funds were allocated. This will not happen under a DA government. The DA will ensure that students are only admitted when offers are confirmed.


While we focus on the most vulnerable and needy of our students, we must also not forget those from the middle class. The family income threshold for a student to qualify for financial support is too low. The amount of R180 000 per year shows that one has to be desperately poor to receive it.


This leaves out many academically talented children of teachers, nurses, the police and others, who have an income that is above what is needed to qualify for NSFAS, but whose income is too low for their being able to afford to pay university fees. This means you have to be desperately poor or extremely wealthy to afford higher education in South Africa.


The DA will change this by gradually increasing the NSFAS budget to R16 billion, so that no student is denied further education because they cannot afford it.



’n Mooi voorbeeld word gevind by die Wits-studente wat self hulle geld tekorte aangepak het. Die fonds het op 8 Maart 2015 op R2 miljoen gestaan. Die projek is verlede maand uit nood gebore. Honderde terugkerende studente kon nie registreer nie, omdat die staat se studenteleningskema, NSFAS, nie die beloofde geld aan Wits kon oorbetaal nie.


Meer gegoede studente het elkeen R100 geskenk. Radiostasies het die veldtog verder geneem en die publiek het R1 000 elk geskenk en groot skenkings is ontvang van die korporatiewe sektor. ’n Paar honderd studente kon gehelp word. Waar daar ’n wil is, is daar ’n weg.



In short, when the DA governs South Africa and manages NSFAS, we will do the following.


We will improve loan collections and replenish the funding scheme.


We will also include the business community and private sector, in order for them to make significant contributions to bolster the scheme’s coffers to develop a sustainable student financial aid programme.


We will, moreover, impose a graduate tax on those who have acquired higher education, in order to generate much needed financial resources to support financially needy students.


Then we will also look into financial institutions to find creative mechanisms for providing affordable student loans to children from the middle-income group.


We will further encourage the use of skills levy funding for both short course and long-term studies at universities and FET colleges.


Finally, we will support the use of preferential funding for the development of scarce skills.



Die belangrikste en u moet nou baie mooi luister, agb Voorsitter, van enige universiteit of instelling is dat die beleid van die universiteit of instelling nie onderskat moet word nie.


Dit is die basis waarvandaaan gewerk moet word. Sonder ’n werkbare, goed deurdagte beleid, stort alles in een, soos ons dit nou reeds ervaar.


Die DA is die enigste party, wat die visie van Nelson Mandela ernstig opneem. Ons kan NSFAS se huis in order kry. Soos oud-President Nelson Mandela ons herinner, en ek haal aan:



... together we can build an educated nation, and take the continent of Africa forward to claim its rightful place on the global stage.


I thank you. [Applause.]


Ms M F TLAKE: Chair, on a point of order: The member should desist from confusing the public in this august House by saying that the DA will ever be in power.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Tlake, unfortunately the speaker is confident.








Dr Y C VAWDA: Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members, I greet all of you with As-saalamu-alay-kum. [Peace be with you.]


The past 20 years have not yielded much significance for the people of South Africa and, although a few strides have been made here and there regarding education, still not much has changed. Our higher education continues to produce and reproduce class, racial, gender and other inequalities with regard to access to equal opportunities and education.


The Department of Higher Education and Training has aborted its responsibility of providing access to education for successful and sustainable economic development and growth, and has instead opted for being a slave breeder, which keeps our children undereducated and denies them access to quality education and sustainable economic opportunities. It continues to ensure that local corporates and employers and foreign multinational corporates have abundant cheap labour to exploit and discard at will, while the rest of our children have no option but to remain drawers of water and hewers of wood.


Higher education in South Africa is highly commercialised and is more of a privilege for the elite and for those who can afford it, than it is a basic human right. Why else are thousands of deserving learners turned away by higher learning institutions annually, simply because they have been disappointed by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, and cannot afford to pay tuition fees.


Almost 50% of the applications from the students who qualify for financial aid are declined, discouraging young people who don’t have any other option for furthering their studies and pushing them back into the generational poverty cycle, of which most South African families are unfortunately victims.


Although provision for NSFAS has quadrupled to over R9,5 billion in the past five years, this increase is unacceptable and cannot cater for the ever-increasing numbers of academically deserving and financially needy students in this country. Neither can this need be addressed by the injection of R1 billion by the hon Minister of Higher Education and Training at the beginning of this year.


NSFAS is just a loan scheme that is primarily depending on the money from beneficiaries defaulting on their student loans, and its main aim is to accrue profits, rather than to educate the nation. A more sustainable solution to the crisis at hand must be found.


Even if students want to pay back the money, most of them neither have the means to pay, nor do they have the proper qualifications to get stable jobs so that they can afford to pay the loan back. It takes some years before they get employed.


The picture shows that we have serious deep-rooted issues that need urgent attention from the government, besides funding, to ensure that our students graduate in numbers and are able to actively participate and contribute to our economy.


The Minister of Higher Education and Training, the hon Dr Blade Nzimande, conveniently mentioned the building of two universities in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape just before the national elections. These universities, hon Minister, will not be enough. Combined they can only take fewer than 500 students and it will take more than 10 years for them to take up to 20 000 students. Higher learning institutions currently only take up to 30% of learners who pass matric. What happens to the remaining 70%? How many learners will we have sitting at home with matric certificates and no universities to go to, 10 years from now?


South Africa is full of natural resources and other contributors to the national economy but, because of the neoliberal trade policies embraced by our government, all strategic sectors of the economy are in a vulnerable position for global markets to freely exploit, whereas our wealth should be reinvested in the country to ensure provision for our people’s needs, especially free education and building more higher learning institutions. Our trade policies need to be reviewed.


The EFF calls for education to be made free up to undergraduate level, and all pupils and students must be provided with adequate learning support. Scholarships must be funded by government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector in order to provide educational opportunities for all.


All student debts must be cancelled. NSFAS must be abolished. [Interjections.] Alternatively, NSFAS can be converted into a microloan scheme to assist the most needy students with lunch money, and money for clothes and other basic necessities. For the broader picture we need much greater intervention from the government.


It is futile for us to call for land expropriation without compensation and for the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic economic sectors under the ANC, which is plagued by corruption and led by leaders who would rather call on state forces to shoot and victimise our people – include parliamentarians in that – than account to them.


We have also noticed how billions of rands are redirected annually from the state to the self-enrichment of politicians, while ministerial handbooks and other forms of legislation have been imported from the apartheid past so that politicians can continue accumulating wealth and privileges. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda, please hold on. Hon Mthimunye?


Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Chair, I want to check if the member is prepared to take a question.


Dr Y C VAWDA: We will see later. Ministerial perks must be reviewed ... [Interjection.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda?


Dr Y C VAWDA: No sir. We’ll see later.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Are you prepared to take a question?


Dr Y C VAWDA: No sir. We’ll see later.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Okay.


Dr Y C VAWDA: Ministerial perks must be reviewed and funds redirected ... [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda, hold on. Hon Tlake?


Ms M F TLAKE: Hon Chair, the hon member is manipulating the facts. The Minister was here and he gave us all an overview and told us what the vision is, but the member is here manipulating what the Minister said. I think that is not good for the public. What the member is saying is actually not true, because he has heard the truth. He is manipulating the facts for himself, deliberately.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): That is a subject for debate. Continue, hon Vawda.


Dr Y C VAWDA: Ministerial perks must be reviewed and funds redirected to needy ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! Your time has expired.


Dr Y C VAWDA: Thank you. [Time expired.]



Mr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo)






Mnr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo) Agb Voorsitter, agb Minister en agb lede van die NRVP, goeiemiddag.



It is perhaps important to state at the outset that the unprecedented challenges that confront us in South Africa in matters of financial assistance to needy students are not unique to us. Globally, the world is experiencing an academic revolution wherein demand for access to higher education exceeds the supply of facilities and the concomitant funding thereof. In a manner of speaking, facilities at institutions and universities are literally bursting at the seams, and many needy students who may have accessed them are left stranded, hopeless and confused.


Ultimately, the global society is left with more questions than answers, as some of these so-called “dropouts” may swell the ranks of the lumpenproletariat, which may cause immense problems in the socioeconomic cum political situation in the future. Their despair will exacerbate the many social ills that exist and afflict our beloved country, even as we speak. This is the tragedy that we are now faced with, and we need to find answers, and find answers now, Minister.


In South Africa in particular we need to agree that this is a broader societal issue. The Department of Higher Education and Training cannot resolve it alone and in a silo. We need to learn from the experience of other developing economies, such as Brazil, wherein access to higher education was increased through the creation of public-private partnerships.


The World Bank published a paper wherein it held that:


... public and private sectors can join together to complement each other’s strengths in providing education services ...


And they can fast-track the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals. The details of this envisaged partnership may be addressed in another meeting elsewhere between government and the private sector.


International evidence at our disposal indicates that higher education in itself is a catalyst that is needed to increase development in a country. This realisation was corroborated by many utterances attributed to the former President, Mr Nelson Mandela.


It is also important to indicate that government’s funding of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, has increased from R441 million in 1999 to R9,2 billion in 2015. In the current year only R450 million is expected to be recovered, and this is not acceptable, Minister. However, the question we need to ask is whether this funding is adequate and sustainable. The answer surely cannot be in the affirmative.


We need to agree that certain things should happen first, before funds are disbursed to beneficiaries. We need to accept that nothing should happen until everything that I shall subsequently outline is done. This is simply called the return to basics. Minister, the following package is proposed for consideration.


Firstly, in the present setting, government should convert this funding to a repayable loan, the percentage of which should be worked out as a matter of urgency. My proposal is that we should not have a bursary but a loan.


Secondly, government should acknowledge that anything that is acquired freely will never be valued by any beneficiary. The principle of reciprocity holds that for any action that is taken there is a reaction. It also holds that if you receive, you should be expected to give; otherwise a dangerous and unsustainable entitlement will ensue on the part of the recipient. This is factual observation, Minister.


Thirdly, a socioeconomic profiling of Grade 12 students should be done at schools and this should be sent to the department. This information should be confirmed when a beneficiary receives funding.


Fourthly, a beneficiary’s details should immediately be sent to the SA Receiver of Revenue when a beneficiary is about to complete his or her studies, or drops out for a variety of reasons.


Fifthly, beneficiaries should be reminded that this intervention by government is a loan that is repayable.


Sixthly, beneficiaries’ progress at institutions should be closely monitored and reports should be submitted to the department periodically.


Seventhly, government should acknowledge that one cannot pay and not monitor the progress, or otherwise, of the beneficiary. He who pays the piper calls the tune. You can’t pay and not monitor.


Government may exchange notes with the Russian government on the funding and monitoring of students at higher education institutions. Their movements are strictly monitored and controlled. In Russia it is said that when a person has a master’s degree, he or she is not educated, which means that in any other setting in Russia, if you were to throw a stone up in the air, it might fall on the head of a person with a master’s or doctoral degree. I had the privilege of visiting the Patrice Lumumba University, where students’ movements in and out of the campus are strictly monitored, and when you ask Russians about this, they will tell you that you can’t pay, and not monitor and control.


Eighthly, the recovery of monies owed should be done through Sars, the criminal justice system and professional debt collectors.


Finally, the administration of NSFAS should be done by officials who have passed a probity test. All of them should be reminded of their fiduciary responsibilities. There should be constant and productive communication between the department, tertiary institutions and NSFAS officials.


On a broader sociocultural cum political level, government should impress upon the total populace in South Africa the importance and significance of nationalism, patriotism and love for one’s country.


Government and all organs of civil society should stand up and challenge the promotion of crass materialism, bling acculturation and individualism that the media, in particular TV and the SABC, are promoting in their programmes. Programmes that are prosocial and that promote social re-engineering and ubuntu should be flighted on TV and debated on radio.


Every person in South Africa who occupies any leadership position should be expected to promote the adoption of civic duties. Corruption and self-enrichment by any leader should not only be punishable, but should be seen to be punished. None of us should tolerate any deviant behaviour on the part of leaders in all spheres of life in South Africa.


Minister, government should, as a matter of urgency, have a meeting with the print media and impress upon them the importance of these discussions that you are having. Every day when you buy a newspaper, you will see that the front page has a picture on it of a woman half naked. We don’t need that in society. It destroys society and it destroys the thinking of our youth. It is incumbent upon government to have a meeting with the print media to promote what this society needs. [Interjections.] Social cohesion, as a man to my left is saying.


Minister, we need to study history and learn from it what brought about the decline of the Roman Empire, which lasted 50 years. We need to learn from the communist USSR and study what contributed to its decline. We need to study the economic hegemony of Western countries that used to prevail over us and learn why this hegemony has declined. We need to study the rise and fall of the 3000 years of civilisation in Egypt, and the blight that shapes the kaleidoscope of the socioeconomic picture of Africa as we presently know it.


Therein we will learn that a lack of civil duties, which include integrity, honesty, selflessness, and so forth, contributes immensely to the decadence that retards growth and development in any society in the world.


If we do not learn from history, Minister, nothing government does will help this fund become sustainable. Beneficiaries will never repay the money because we lack morality, we lack a love for our country, and we lack patriotism. Meetings and strategic planning sessions are important, but they are not adequate to address the problems inherent in humanity. Traction, enforcement of the implementation of plans, monitoring and evaluation are key to the success, or otherwise, of any human endeavour.


I would like to commend what I have said to this august House for consideration. Thank you very much. [Applause.]





Mr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo)



Mr D M STOCK: Hon House Chairperson, Minister of Higher Education and Training, hon Dr Blade Mphephethwa Nzimande, special delegates, members of the NCOP, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen, let me start by taking this opportunity to clarify a few sound bites that we have heard from this podium.


I think it is important for us always to make a distinction between populism and a principle. As hon members of this Council we sometimes occupy the podium, play to the gallery and create the perception that everything that we are saying is the truth.


I must demystify the perception, or rather disagree with the hon member Vawda from the EFF, who came to the podium and said that the EFF is proposing that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, should be scrapped. That proposal is hypocritical and we must demystify it. What the hon member is not telling the House is that one of their fellow members who is also a Member of Parliament, in the NA, the hon Mngxitama, is also a direct beneficiary of the scheme. The hon member is not telling us the truth in that regard.


Then there is the hon member from the DA, hon Groenewald. In actual fact I wanted to address the hon member in Afrikaans, because I could follow everything that the hon member said when he was at this podium. I think it’s misleading the House to create the impression that Nelson Mandela belonged to the DA. Nelson Mandela was a product of the ANC. [Applause.] So, every time we make reference to Nelson Mandela, I think we must tell the truth as it is and emphasise that, no matter how painful it is. We must always tell the truth as it is.


Since the establishment of the Department of Higher Education and Training, the department has been developing and supporting postschool education and training sectors, and it has been doing well in promoting access to education – vocational education and skills development and training opportunities. However, there has been a growing need for advanced learning through tertiary education institutions in the country.


The South African postschool landscape is comprised of, amongst its educational institutions, about 50 public vocational and continuing education and training colleges, VCET colleges, and 399 private VCET colleges in the country, as reported in the March statistics.


The target growth of the postschool system to 2,5 million in 2030, as per the National Development Plan, and the continued increase in the matric pass rate ring alarm bells in regard to the dire need for educational institutions. For instance, looking at the fact that the VCET head count enrolments in 2014-15 financial year reached a total of 657 690 students demonstrates that there is a demand for education and training opportunities just by the South African youth population.


The yearly target set by the department and the VCET funding norms or models, the lack of space in tertiary institutions, and the distances between these institutions make an unintended contribution to the establishment of bogus institutions around our country. The department has adopted a multidisciplinary approach in response to these bogus institutions in each province. It uses different forms of media communication, like radio, television campaigns and the SA Police Service, as a tactic to inform members of the communities about these colleges. This is part of the initiatives that the department is embarking on to inform the communities about these bogus colleges throughout the country.


In addition to that, it is the sole responsibility of every community member to think through the following facts prior to registration at any tertiary institution. It is important for each member of the community to check if the college is registered with the department or if it is accredited by the relevant authorities.


The following is the progress that has been made by the ANC-led government since 2009 in regard to the transformation of our education sector. Student head count enrolments at universities have increased by 12% from 837 779 to 937 455. The second achievement is that first-time enrolments at universities have increased by 9% from 164 528 to 179 101. The third achievement is that the number of graduates from universities has increased by 11% to 160 299. The fourth achievement is that the number of graduates in engineering sciences has increased by 9% from 8 424 to 9 193. The fifth achievement is that the number of graduates in the human health and animal health sciences has increased by 10% from 7 341 to 8 049. Siyaqhuba singu Khongolose! [We are moving forward as the ANC.] The sixth achievement is that the number of research master’s graduates increased by 26% from 4 179 to 5 281. The number of doctoral graduates increased by 15% from 1 373 to 1 576.


In line with the resolutions of the 53rd National Conference of the ANC held at Mangaung, the party said that academically capable students from poor families should not be expected to pay fees upfront in order to access higher education. NSFAS has since allocated a budget for this and this has minimised student protests at institutions of higher education and training in the years 2014 and 2015.


According to the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training, universities, and especially comprehensive institutions and universities of technology, will be encouraged to expand distance higher education for vocationally oriented diploma programmes. Expanding the higher education sector will basically contribute to rising incomes, higher productivity and the shift to more of a knowledge economy. This is so because higher education in our country, under the leadership of Minister Nzimande, is the major driver of information and knowledge systems that contribute to economic development.


It is, however, worrying to note that even today South Africans are still being robbed by these fly-by-night institutions in our country. In addition to that is the fact that the department is unable to confirm the actual total number of these colleges, which are continuing to rob our people on daily basis. Worst of all is that these colleges are targeting the poorest of the poor, who normally cannot afford better quality education. It is also worth observing that these illegal colleges are prominent in Johannesburg in the Gauteng province and also in Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province, as compared to other provinces.


Lastly, we need to acknowledge the work done by the SRC of Wits University in trying to meet our government halfway. I am raising this because earlier on the Minister also indicated that the responsibility to provide quality education to our people and communities must not be the sole responsibility of government. We must try to look at other initiatives also. The SRC at Wits, through its fund-raising programmes, managed to raise over R1 million for poor students who couldn’t get funding from NSFAS. They have shown leadership and that solutions to student challenges are not the sole responsibility of government.



Abafundi bayancedana! [Students help one another.]



Together we are moving South Africa forward.



Kunjalo! [That’s a fact!]


The SRC of Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape province followed suit but, because of the location of the Walter Sisulu University, it was going to be impossible to raise the R1 million that students at Wits University had managed to raise. The leadership of Walter Sisulu University, the SRC, took an unprecedented bold decision and allocated R900 000 of its annual budget to fund poor students who come from the former Transkei. These are initiatives from our young leaders that we need to acknowledge as hon members.



Siyaqhuba! Siyasebenza! [We are moving forward! We are working very hard!]



Re dira go tlala seatla. [We are doing enough.]



I thank you, hon Chair. [Applause.]







Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, finding a lasting solution to assisting needy students in their plight lies in a variety of activities.


The National Student Financial Aid Scheme needs to be improved. We need to emphasise the idea of doing more with less. The allocated resources need to be spent wisely and with care. As a country we are still stuck in a situation where our needs far surpass the resources we have, and therefore our spending requires that we take this into consideration. We have to stretch our rand to the limit.


This will happen if we stop corruption, if we stick to the objectives of our programmes and our budget, and if we hold the transgressors accountable. Tens of thousands of genuinely needy students end up not getting the financial assistance that is due to them. This is partly because of people who do not qualify but are able to corrupt the system and end up benefiting irregularly. Those who do this must be made to pay the price for their actions.


The record of the past years of the recovery rate from those who are supposed to pay back the money due to NSFAS is very poor. In order for this to happen effectively, the Minister must set up recovery rate targets for NSFAS officials. Mphephethwa, such targets must be part of their KPAs and KPIs in their performance agreements. The monitoring and evaluation of the performances of the responsible officials must take into consideration these KPIs in the assessment at the end of the financial year. Failure to meet the targets needs to result in bonuses being withheld or withdrawn.


NSFAS revenue cannot rely solely upon government funding. The private sector also needs to come to the party in some kind of a regulated framework. This cannot just be voluntary or optional; it must be regulated. If we maintain that our youth are the future of our country and that that future lies in proper education and proper skilling, actions need to speak louder than words. Mintiro ya bula-bula. [Actions speak louder than words.]


There is a lot of financial assistance that is offered at provincial and local government level which ends up being politicised at times. Of course, as a federalist, I maintain that such assistance needs to remain located at those levels, but it must be properly co-ordinated somehow. This co-ordination will help to eliminate the irregular practices of double, triple or quadruple benefit. Someone who has benefited from the local government level, for example, must not go on to also squeeze NSFAS for further assistance. Therefore, the issue of co-ordination is important.


Hon Fihlani, Wits University students recently proved that as a collective we can resolve the funding crisis. They raised over R1 million, as my colleague said, to help pay for student fees for their colleagues who were unable to pay registration fees.


The NSFAS annual report for the financial year 2013-14 states that Programme 1 was able to achieve 62,5% of the planned targets. Programme 2 was able to achieve 57% of the planned targets. Surely this is not good enough. Those responsible for the management of the fund must ensure maximum compliance.


There must also be co-operation amongst the different government departments to ensure credibility of information in the consideration of the means test. Therefore, NSFAS or Higher Education must link and co-operate with the data at Home Affairs, Social Development and other relevant stakeholders. This will help ensure that the information provided in the application forms agrees with the personal data that these departments possess on each individual citizen, where possible.


I thank you, Chairperson.



Mr B D KIVEDO (Western Cape)





Mr B D KIVEDO (Western Cape): Hon Chair, hon Minister Blade Nzimande, hon members, hon special delegates, and members of the media, I am latching onto what my fellow member, hon Fihlani from the Eastern Cape, said. It’s a wonderful privilege for me to enter this House, to be part of this family and to address this crowd. It is a wonderful opportunity. I really appreciate it.


Then I also want to apologise. I suffer from shyness. I had ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Kivedo, please wait. Hon Dlamini? The mike is on.


Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, I am being intimidated! I just want to check if it is parliamentary to call us a “crowd” – “to address this crowd”. I am just checking. Is it parliamentary? Are we a “crowd”?


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): To call us a “crowd” is unparliamentary, but I will have to check Hansard to see whether that was said.


Mr B D KIVEDO (Western Cape): I said, “the House”. That was the word I used. I said, “to address the House”.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Kivedo, you can go on.


Mr B D KIVEDO (Western Cape): Thank you so much. It is your democratic right to ask.


I think what really inspired me was when the Minister spoke. I listened attentively to his speech and he never used the word “problem”; he used the word “challenges”. I think that we as South Africans should focus more on solving challenges than on becoming negative and depressed, and sinking down into a bottomless pit. I think we should not become negative and think we have no outcome.


A delicate balance for me, when it comes to sustainable funding, is in relation to the needy student. We need to find a balance between needy students and academically strong students based on merit. That is the first and foremost issue.


The other aspect is the strong thrust towards higher education, where on an annual basis we have increasing numbers of young, prospective students becoming eligible for higher education and training. That places a major burden on the fiscal budget of government and also of the communities.


We also have a competitive labour market, a driver of which is actually to become educated, skilled and trained in order to secure a job. However, it is not only about securing jobs; it is also about job retention, accelerated learning, in-house training, and what the Minister referred to, learning by doing, and I think that is important. It is more on the pragmatic level.


Finally, I think that in terms of this scenario one has to take cognisance of the urban-rural bias as well, where the spaces in the rural areas become a little more compacted and closed as far as access and opportunities are concerned, so that people are sort of marginalised out of the educational sector. We have to pay particular attention to our rural brothers and sisters out there, so that they can also get a slice of the cake.


I am one of those South Africans who believe that the solutions to most of our social pathologies and problems lie in education. They are not solely in education – there may be other imperatives as well – but education is key.


There are also factors that militate against education, that keep people away from education and sideline them, relegate them to the outskirts. I just want to mention a few. They are: poverty; unemployment, especially of parents; cash-strapped families; dysfunctional families; being disadvantaged; imbalance and discrepancy between structure and agency, where there is an imbalance between the structure and agencies, especially infrastructure and the agency, being the human as well as social capital on the other hand; and maladministration and misappropriation of funds.


There are financial aid schemes, and we have heard a lot about NSFAS. There are others as well that can play a pivotal role in funding and also capacitating our students and relieving us of student protest and the violent behaviour of students, especially at the beginning of the year, when it comes to registration and they become frustrated and go on the warpath.


If we can address those issues and spend the money on what it was intended for, not waste it on niceties and luxuries, and what have you, it will help. I think then we are bound to pick up problems.


I also think that if we bring the Setas into play, they will play a major role, especially in placing students in internships. Now internship is like volunteerism. From volunteerism one can move towards sustainable employment. I believe firmly, because I believe that God is on the throne, that it is possible that volunteerism can lead to sustainable job creation.


As we have already heard, and I am not going to elaborate much on this, it is not the government’s issue and responsibility alone. We have a three-tier government and our local, provincial and national governments have to start identifying deserving students and communities members. They also have to open up avenues for learning, then assess them and give them chances to learn.


Perhaps we can also have a look at providing a larger portion to the education Vote in terms of the budget. We can, too, forge partnerships with the private sector, with business and people of goodwill. I like this word, “goodwill”. Yes, it is possible. There are lots of people with goodwill. We as South Africans have goodwill.


I think a concerted effort should be made to align structure with agency. Then we can go far out and say, “Listen students or prospective students, it is not about handouts. Go out there and get it. You will deserve it more, if you really make an effort to get there.”


Building and expanding the economy are, I think, our big dream in South Africa. Building our economy means giving it a thrust, giving it an injection, and taking it forward for all of us, so that we can all become proud South Africans regarding what we are building and what we are doing.


Funding models should also be revisited and reconsidered.


NSFAS should be investigated, as the Minister said. Thanks for that and thanks for taking proactive action in that regard.


And then, let me put the record straight. We are not here to punish and to kick people. It’s about sanction, and things have to be rectified and balanced – the credits and the debits have to be balanced. I think that is what it is all about.


I am now beginning to conclude. I would also say in regard to university training that we should branch out. Let’s look again at our trade schools, our vocational training, our schools of skills, where Grade 9 is an exit point in the General Education and Training Certificate band, the GETC band. This is where people can go and do artisan work, what they call “ambagte” in Afrikaans. I am old enough still to remember Olifantsfontein, where they wrote their trade tests in former years, but that was perhaps before your time. [Interjections.] Where you there? Okay.


It will also help if we become more pragmatic in regard to vocational training so that we can implement the NDP much better. This is in regard to the implementation and the execution of our NDP.


And then I would like to refer to our Abet students. I like the idea of deschooling society so to speak in terms of the Paulo Freierian method or model, in order to give adults the opportunity to learn too. There is the principle of “Each one teach one”. We can then all learn and we will become a learning nation.


In conclusion, my dear colleagues, I just want to say that transformation is not only about numbers, but is a key to nation-building.


And, finally, may I say that I like the DA slogan. I am very fond of our slogan of “an open opportunity society for all”. That is for all of us. It is for all South Africans.


Thank you so much, Mr Chair.





Mr B D KIVEDO (Western Cape)



Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you, House Chair. I really like the notion that the hon Minister has of having a “postschool education department”, as opposed to a “higher education department”. We must just make sure that we don’t confuse “postschool” with “old school”, because I think the Minister is still very relevant.


Hon Minister, not all students qualify to study at university. Those that qualify and want to go, but are needy, should all get funds. All the others are trapped in a situation where it has to be determined where else you can send them, but we don’t have enough students going to universities. How can we say, “Don’t go there. Go elsewhere.” Those that can go, should go.


House Chair, hon Stock had a sound bite earlier, and here’s a useful sound bite for him too. [Laughter.] You know, regarding the legacy of the hon Nelson Mandela, if you cannot learn from a great leader, you are doomed to fail. I think that, of all times, the ANC need now more than ever to learn from that great man. We can all learn as South Africans. [Applause.]


The biggest issue for NSFAS is not only the lack of funds allocated to this scheme, but also how the funding is determined and to whom it is given. The DA wants an increase in the threshold of household income in determining needy students’ eligibility for NSFAS funding. It has really taken the Minister a very long time to realise the threshold of R122 000 is a challenge. The DA has fought for this for a very long time and now we have a great deal to show for it. [Interjections.] I commend you, Minister, for listening to the DA after all.


Apart from this threshold, Chair, we are overlooking aspects of the means test, at our universities especially. We don’t look at the issue of the number of dependants in a family – household sizes impact heavily on disposable income of families and it is expensive to have a child at university. Divorced parent or single parent-headed households, with other dependants, need a different approach. There are other complexities in a student’s background and they should also be considered, because they have an impact on their financial ability.


I think that the proposal that NSFAS will execute its mandate and disburse funds by itself, by getting offices in higher education institutions, is a waste of time, money and effort. The money could be better spent on actual bursaries awarded to students. We must learn to trust administrative processes put together by higher education institutions to manage NSFAS.


I have a few students that have not been able to get bursaries through the years. They work, but they have not been able to qualify to get bursaries all through these years, and I don’t have time, Minister, to engage in that regard. I would rather send in a question and then maybe we can engage in that way. There are Nicole Dickens and Adrianne van As – I can call all of them. They do not get bursaries and I have worked for years on end with them.


We also need more creative ways, Minister, to collect debts from previous beneficiaries, and I really welcome the involvement of Sars here, but to me it is a little too late. We actually are depriving our students, the first-year students, of the opportunity of a lifetime, in our lifetime. We need a concerted effort to recover the debts.


Last week the Minister was not personally available to accept the memorandum from students protesting against NSFAS operations. This is understood, Minister. However, while you cannot be everywhere all the time, and I understand that, I also need to say that you should please pay more attention to select committees, and to attending the meetings of the select committees. It seems you are more engaged in SACP activities than those related to education. [Interjections.]


Also, Minister, I understand you couldn’t make it, but then your spokesperson reportedly told the students who were marching that ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius.


Mr J W W JULIUS: ... that ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius.


Mr J W W JULIUS: I still have time, Chair.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius.


Mr J W W JULIUS: Oh, sorry.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Fenyane.




The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you.


Mr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo): It is such a pity. Okay.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius, are you prepared to take a question?


Mr J W W JULIUS: No, no, no. Sorry. Sorry, House Chair. I actually said I cannot. I respectfully ask the Minister to investigate the allegations that your spokesperson said they should go and march to the JSE ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius.


Mr J W W JULIUS: ... to get funding from there.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Julius. Hon Julius.


Mr J W W JULIUS: Oh! I thought there was a point of order, Chair. [Laughter.] Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! I call upon the hon Dlamini.








Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Dlamini, sorry. I see the hon Fenyane.


Mr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo): Hon House Chair, the previous speaker did not want to take a question, but I am just baffled by this situation. Are people allowed to make insinuations in this House without having evidence, as the previous speaker has done? [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon members. It is posing a question.


Mr S L E FENYANE (Limpopo): Because he has said ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Let me assist you. You are in order, hon Fenyane. Take your seat. If the hon member at the podium is misleading the House, whether deliberately or not, you have every right as a member to stand up and raise a point of order. It is your democratic right to do so and it is parliamentary, but not to ask whether he can take a question. That is something totally different. But we will drill the Rules as we go on, and we will master them. Hon Dlamini, you may continue.


Ms L C DLAMINI: Chairperson, my greetings to the hon Minister, and hon members in the House. I thank you very much for the opportunity.


Hon Minister, I could not have agreed with you more when you said that education should be linked to the work environment. I fully agreed with you in that regard, because education prepares our students for the outside world. There is no way that anyone can compete in a capitalist society nowadays without proper education.


It also assists us to transmit our cultures, because we do not have time to go through them with our children and transmit our cultures to them. Therefore, it is very relevant to prepare our children for the outside world.


Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.


Those are the words of our great leader that we are all claiming today, who was a card-carrying member of the ANC, Dr Nelson Mandela. [Interjections.] They arrested him and kept him in prison for 27 years; now they are claiming him. We must not mislead the country and we must not think that our people don’t know. They know very well and they are very clear about that. [Interjections.]


Earlier this year some of our institutions of higher learning were hit by protests as students expressed dissatisfaction over a shortage of funds from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, better known as NSFAS. We acknowledge that we have challenges in financing all the needy students in our country and that there are administrative challenges facing NSFAS, but we can never take away from the success stories of our National Student Financial Aid Scheme.


To date NSFAS has given a lot of financial opportunities to children from very poor communities. Through NSFAS, we can proudly say as the ANC-led government, we have doctors, engineers and teachers who are from the poorest communities of our country.


I said earlier, hon Minister, that with the ANC forcing hon De Klerk to act at the time, I became one of the beneficiaries. That is why I’m standing here today as a proud member of this Parliament. [Applause.]


We note the R9,5 billion budget for 2015 of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. We really appreciate that, hon Minister. We are saying on behalf of the ANC: Keep up the good work of considering our people, without considering the colours. [Applause.]


We also acknowledge that NSFAS has been allocated over R562,9 million for bursaries for scarce and critical skills for the current financial year. Therefore, ...



angibati–ke labakhuluma ngekutsi ... [I do not know those who say ...]



... where we are sending money is not addressing the scarce and critical skills. I am talking about R562,9 million that has been allocated.


We also note that in 2014 NSFAS provided student loans and bursaries totalling R8,3 billion, which excludes the once-off allocation of R1 billion for servicing the 2013 shortfall.



Ngifuna kusho ngeSiswati lokwekutsi ... [I want to say in Siswati that ...]



... history gives the best experience.



Ngiyabeva-ke, ... [I can hear you, ...]



... hon Groenewald, that the DA will do this and do that.



Ningakhohlwa kutsi besikhona itolo. Siyanati kutsi nibuya kuphi njenge-DA.



As the DA you were there during the apartheid regime. Let me give you the figures that were allocated by the apartheid government from which they come.


In 1952 the ... [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Dlamini, please hold on. Hon Smit? Hon member, take your seat.


Mr C F BEYERS SMIT: Chair, I rise on a point of order: Hon Dlamini is deliberately misleading this House by saying that the DA comes from the apartheid government. The very organisation that she belongs to absorbed the National Party, which was the then apartheid government.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, that is not a point of order. Continue, hon Dlamini.


Ms L C DLAMINI: Chair, let me say this.



Angiyibeke ngaleny’indlela ngitsi i-DA ... [Let me put it this way and say the DA ...]



... is an alliance of the Democratic Party and the National Party. It still means the same thing.



Banguloko, angeke sikuntjintje loko. Besikhona itolo.



Listen to what they did and why ...



... bantfu bakitsi bangeke bayitsembe i-DA because of that. [ngenca yaloko.]



In 1952 spending on education by the then government amounted to R874 582 for white people, R99 706 for coloureds, R27 319 for Indians, and R144 385 for black people, including the former Bantustan areas. Twenty-five years later ... [Interjection.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Dlamini, please hold on. Hon Faber?


Mr W F FABER: Chair, on a point of clarity: I would like to know if hon Dlamini is talking about the old National Party which hon De Beer, who is not here, belonged to, ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber! Hon Faber! Hon Faber!


Mr W F FABER: ... because she is not talking about the DA. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber! Hon Faber!


Mr W F FABER: It’s just on a point of clarity, hon Chair.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No! Take your seat. You know better than I do that if you want to pose a question, you must ask whether she is ready to take a question. You can’t just stand up and direct a question to her.


Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, then, on a point of clarity, can I ask you a question?


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you ask who?


Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, through you then on a point of clarity: I would like to know, seeing the hon De Beer was from the old National Party, if it was the National Party that she was talking about. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber, take your seat.


Mr W F FABER: I’m just speaking on a point of clarity.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber, take your seat. [Interjection.] Can you take your seat? Hon Dlamini, please continue.


Ms L C DLAMINI: Chair, 25 years later the following was the case. They talk about the 20 years under the ANC. Listen what happened 25 years later. In 1977, for the white people R3 181 656 was spent on education, for the coloured people it was R523 088, for the Indian people R220 598 and for the black people R640 000. That was 25 years later.


Therefore, to come here and say ...



... kubantfu bakitsi bala e-South Africa ...



... and when you take over again you’ll make this government better. There are no better policies than the ANC policies, whether you like them or not. You will never have better policies than that. [Applause.]


To the EFF member, I’m glad you are back because I have a message for you. I agree with you. All that you were saying was that you were not there, and the party was not there, but I’m quite sure that you as an hon member were there. You can’t come here from Mpumalanga and say that the ANC used the two universities and the Northern Cape for elections, knowing very well that the two provinces were forgotten by the apartheid government. Now you come and politicise that good project. It is not fair to the two provinces and the communities in those provinces. Maybe you benefited from the tricameral government. We did not benefit. [Interjections.] You can’t say that, and ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda.



Ms L C DLAMINI: ... kufuna ukhumbule [you have to remember] ...



The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Dlamini, hold on. Hon Vawda?


Dr Y C VAWDA: No, Chair, I don’t take kindly to this. On a point of order: She is now making inferences about my past and she has no right to do that. She is accusing me of being someone who benefited from something that I did not benefit from. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members! I am missing the point of order! What is the point of order all about?


Dr Y C VAWDA: [Inaudible.] ... when she makes this kind of inferences about the Tricameral Parliament.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): That ... [Interjections.] The unfortunate part is that I am missing the inferences you are talking about. Continue, hon Dlamini.


Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much, Chair. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): Hold on, hon Dlamini. Hon Faber?


Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, I would like to know if hon Dlamini will take a question about Disneyland. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (Mr A J Nyambi): No, don’t assist, hon members! It is entirely up to hon Dlamini. Don’t assist her. Don’t assist me. Hon Dlamini, are you prepared to take a question?


Mr W F FABER: On Disneyland.


Ms L C DLAMINI: All those who want to ask me questions can queue up outside. I will find them there.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): She is not prepared to do so. Take a seat. Continue, hon Dlamini.


Mr W F FABER: Thank you, Chair.


Ms L C DLAMINI: I want to say to all the students of this country who are benefiting from NSFAS and who are listening that ...



...i-EFF itsi, we must scrap [siyisuse] i-NSFAS. Asiyiyekele, singayivumeli futsi singasayenti.



They must know that this is the kind of a party that is saying it is going to represent them and I don’t think it is fair to those people.


Thank you very much, hon Kivedo, for the suggestions. We need more people like you from the DA because at least you are positive. Where you see challenges, you come up with suggestions. I wish we could have many of you, so that you can take over from those people who are very negative about what the government is doing.


Then, I want to conclude, hon Minister, by saying that we want to thank the ANC government very much for taking care of each and every child of South Africa, regardless of their colour and background. These finances that we are providing accommodate everyone, without considering their colour and their background. Thank you very much, hon Chair. [Applause.]








The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chair, I would like to thank all who participated. Let me start by thanking the chairperson of the select committee, the hon Zwane, together with the other hon members – Fihlani, Fenyane, Stock and Dlamini – for all their outlining of the achievements that we have had, but at the same time without running away from stating the challenges. It is only the ANC that understands the challenges. That is why it has the kinds of policies that it has. We are also going to take seriously the suggestions that you have made.


Mr W F FABER: Hon Chair, I would really like to know if the Minister will take an intelligent question. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon members!


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: If there is time left afterwards.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): If there is time left, ...

[Interjections.] ... he will entertain your question. Take your seat. Continue, hon Minister.


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: We appreciate that and we will look very seriously at the suggestions made.


Let me add in regard to hon Kivedo, that I agree with the hon Dlamini that the hon Kivedo was very productive. We hope your future is secure in the DA ... [Laughter.] ... because the DA doesn’t know how to be. [Interjections.]


Hon Groenewald, I want to say I wish I could believe what the DA is saying about increasing the contribution of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, and all of that. You know, the Western Cape is the only province in this country that does not send students to study to be doctors to Cuba. [Interjections.] That’s an opportunity for poor students from Khayelitsha, Worcester and everywhere else there. They could be sent to study medicine in Cuba. This province is not doing that.


Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, I would like to know if the hon Minister will take a quick question on the Cuban doctors.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, he has already indicated that if he has time, he will entertain questions.


Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: [Inaudible.] ... statement that I would like ...


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Take your seat, hon Labuschagne. Continue, hon Minister.


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: In fact, together with Minister Motsoaledi, we are seriously considering assisting the students from the Western Cape and designing a programme outside of the DA government to take them to study in Cuba. [Interjections.] [Applause.]


Hon Vawda, we must put our money where our mouths are. [Interjections.] If we must increase NSFAS, an hon leader that you know very well must pay the SA Revenue Service his taxes, because the taxes that are owed ...


Dr Y C VAWDA: Chairperson, on a point of order: The hon Minister is now being personal. I think we should leave personalities out of this. We are discussing issues. Let the hon Minister respond to the issues on the table. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Order, members! Hon Vawda, that is not a point of order.


Dr Y C VAWDA: It’s unparliamentary!


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): That is not a point of order. Take your seat!


Dr Y C VAWDA: The hon Minister should respond to the issues. Leave personalities out!


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Vawda, take your seat. That is not a point of order. Continue, hon Minister.


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson and hon members, R16 million could support possibly around 500 NSFAS students. [Interjections.] By the way, we agree with you on the issue of distance education for vocational education. It is something that we are seriously exploring.


Now, hon Khawula, do you see that federalism doesn’t work? That’s why we are now saying we must have an overall, co-ordinated bursary and loan strategy. I agree with you there. You are absolutely right. That is why I don’t believe in federalism, because often it doesn’t work.


An HON MEMBER: Yes! [Laughter.]


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: I now wish to reply to the hon Julius. I was tempted to ask: Julius who? [Laughter.]


I don’t know what you are talking about because I meet with stakeholders all the time, every day – students, academics, vice chancellors, workers, and a whole range of others. These include, by the way, the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation, Daso, your own student organisation. They will tell you that I meet with them and I consult with them. The fact that on a particular day I wasn’t able to fetch a memorandum does not mean that I have disrespect for students who are marching or that I do not want to meet with stakeholders.


I also want to remind you that all student representative councils are fundraising. When you say we must not look at a student-centred system, all that the system ...


Mr W F FABER: Chairperson, I would just like to know if it’s the same Minister that did not attend meetings of the select committee last year.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber! Hon Faber!


Mr W F FABER: It’s a question I want you to answer please. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Faber! Hon Faber! Hon Faber!


Mr W F FABER: I put the question to you, hon Chair.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you take your seat? [Interjections.] Hon Faber! Hon Faber! Don’t abuse the opportunity and rise on a point of order and make a statement. I’m not ... [Interjections.] Don’t even respond. Take your seat. Can you take your seat? I’m saying, never ever again abuse a point of order opportunity and just make a statement. Continue, hon Minister.


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Chairperson, I was saying to the hon Julius – who, by the way? - that the reason we are piloting a new scheme is that we want NSFAS to have a direct relationship with the students and not have institutions to mediate between them. That is what we are piloting and we believe that it will work better.


Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, on a point of order: I have a name and surname like every other South African. I am not “Who?” I mean, “Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo?” [Laughter.]




Mr J W W JULIUS: An owl goes, “Whoo-whoo!”. I am the hon Jacques Julius. If the Minister doesn’t know, the Minister can kindly ask. It is not “Julius Who?”


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): There is nothing unparliamentary there. The Minister is saying he asked himself, “The hon Julius who?” He was not aware that it is a surname. That is what he is making. [Interjections.]


Mr J W W JULIUS: I suggest you check the Hansard, House Chair. It wasn’t suggested like that. It was, “Whoo-whoo-whoo.”


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Can you take your seat? Can you take your seat? Hon members, it is not every day that we will go and check the Hansard. There are things that are said in the House, and I’m listening and following. I can make a ruling here and now. I am making a ruling now that there is nothing unparliamentary that was said by the Minister. Hon Minister, continue.


The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Chair, I have one last quick point. The point that was raised by the hon Zwane about dropouts is a very important one, because it underlines what all the ANC members here were saying. It is not government alone. If we give money for NSFAS, we expect the students to work hard and to know that they must make full use of their opportunities. We do, however, put money into teaching, grants and inputs to try to improve the pass rate in our institutions.


Apart from that, thank you very much for the debate and for giving me the honour of being part of this House this afternoon. Siyabonga. [Thank you.] [Applause.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. On behalf of the leadership of the NCOP, let me take this opportunity to thank the special delegates from the Western Cape, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.


Hon Minister, the Fifth Parliament has been declared “business unusual”. Some are saying you can’t praise a fish for swimming, but allow the leadership of the NCOP to give credit where it is due. We commend the fact that you, in your capacity as Minister of Higher Education and Training, make yourself avail to participate in the debate whenever something serious like the issue of challenges facing needy students has been raised by the NCOP.


Hon members, let me also say on behalf of the leadership of the NCOP that what is good is that for the whole of last week, part of what was happening as part of the training, was dealing with the matter of the Rules, as well as the issue of lifelong learning and education. If you attend the sessions that are being organised, your conduct will definitely show that you are getting there. However, if you miss out on this, that will also be exposed. I am convinced that all of us still have a conscience and do introspection. In order to do justice to doing your oversight, acquainting yourselves with the Rules, and subjecting yourselves to everything being organised by the leadership, you will see that it is something that is a matter of “must”.


Debate concluded.


The Council adjourned at 16:44.




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