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30 June 2020 - NW1269

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Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(a) What are the reasons that none of the 27 students who enrolled for a three year National Certificate Hairdressing programme, conducted by Delcom Training Institute in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape that commenced in April 2019, have not been paid their stipend for November 2019, (b) what is the name of each learner who has not been paid any stipend from 1 April 2019 to date, (c) what enforcement mechanism will his department utilise to ensure that payments are effected where owing, (d) what are the time frames stipulated by his department between (i) completion of a level by a learner; (ii) moderation of the work by the service provider and (iii) commencement of the next level, (e) has the service provider been paid for the period of the lockdown and (f) where the programme has been stalled by the service provider, (i) will the duration of the programme be extended by the same time frame and (ii) will the students be paid stipends for the additional time?

Reply:

(a)     Based on the Services SETA records, the stipend for the month of November 2019 was paid to all learners whose attendance could be confirmed through attendance registers. Ten out of the forty learners were not paid due to non-attendance.

(b)    The names of ten learners who were not paid stipends for November 2019 and December 2019 due to non-attendance are:

- Jonathan Mahosi

- Winstar Mdlalose

- Zanele Kubheka

- Millecent Tsotetsi

- Veronica Maseko

- Nokuthula Muriel Ndaba

- Prisca Kunene

- Nomthandazo Mazibuko

- Germina Letsoalo

- Kwanda Ndebele

(c)     The enforcement mechanism that is utilised to ensure that payments are effected where owing is through a Training Agreement signed between the SETA and the training provider stipulating the conditions for the payment, which include amongst others, a confirmation report that training has occurred and proof of attendance of learners.

On receipt of the report from the training provider, the SETA verifies the information in accordance with the Training Agreement and allows the training provider to confirm the correctness of information and if some gaps are identified, the training provider is allowed to correct information in order to effect the payment.

(d)     The timeframes stipulated between:

(i)     Completion of a level by a learner is in accordance with the learnership agreement signed with the learner. A learner is expected to complete the level within twelve months.

(ii)   Moderation of the work by the provider is determined by the size of the moderation sample involved. Two summative assessment moderations take place, i.e. an internal moderation conducted by the training provider and an external moderation conducted by the SETA. The external moderation by the SETA is triggered by the submission of the summative assessment and internal moderation reports from the training provider. On average, it takes the Services SETA two weeks to conduct an external moderation, depending on the availability of resources.

(iii) Commencement of the next level is dependent on the outcome of the external moderation report. In the event that the external moderation upholds the assessment decision and there is no remediation required, the next level can commence. It usually takes a week for the external moderation to be quality assured and issued. Customarily, the next level can commence within one month.

(e)     According to the SETA records, the training provider did not submit attendance registers for all learners before the lockdown period. An attendance register was received for only 8 out of the 40 learners, and payment was effected for the 8 learners who are deemed compliant with the Training Agreement.

(f)     Where the programme has been stalled by the training provider:

 (i)    The duration of the programme will be extended by the same period subject to the training provider submitting an implementation plan to complete the project.

(ii)    According to the SETA, learners will not be paid additional stipends for the additional period where the training provider stalled the programme. Procedurally, stipends are paid to learners once the programme has resumed and on receipt of attendance registers confirming the training.

30 June 2020 - NW1286

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

With reference to the proposed establishment of a university for crime detection in Hammanskraal, (a) what are the relevant details of what is meant by a university for crime detection, (b) on what statutory and other grounds would an institution with such a narrow mandate qualify as a university, (c) what disciplines would be taught and assessed by such an institution, (d) what degrees and other qualifications would such an institution offer and (e) what are the details of the (i) timelines or time frames and (ii) budget for the establishment of such an institution?

Reply:

(a)    In the 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President announced that “to improve the quality of general and specialised SAPS investigations, we are establishing a Crime Detection University in Hammanskraal”. This was understood as a directive to work towards the establishment of a specialised public higher education institution that would offer qualifications on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework in fields linked to crime detection. 

(b)    In terms of the Higher Education Act (Act 101 of 1997, as amended), the proposed institution for crime detection in Hammanskraal cannot be established immediately as a university. The Act allows for new institutions to be established as either Higher Education Colleges or University Colleges.  The decision on whether this institution will be established as a university college or a higher education college will be dependent on the outcome of a feasibility study that must be undertaken. 

A higher education college is an institution that is established by the Minister, as an independent institution, to offer a scope and range of qualifications that is defined as relatively narrow, possibly in a specific field, e.g. Crime Detection, or a small range of fields, e.g. Crime Detection, Safety and Security, and Military Studies. It is likely to have a relatively small student population, e.g. less than 5 000 students when it is fully operational. It will offer a range of qualifications and skills programmes. The qualifications would include higher certificates, advanced certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate diplomas accredited through the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The institution could also offer short skills programmes or occupational programmes accredited through the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). Once the college is fully established and it shows potential to grow further and expand, it could then be declared as a university college, under the governance structure of an established university.

A university college is an institution established by the Minister, under the governance of an existing university, with the intention to grow its student numbers and programmes to cover a scope and range of activities that would enable it over time to be recognised as a fully-fledged university. While the institution would initially start with a small number of programmes in a limited number of fields, e.g. Crime Detection and Safety and Security, it would be planned to grow over time to cover a wider range of related fields and programmes in higher education including undergraduate, honours, Masters and Doctoral degree programmes. It may also offer a limited number of programmes accredited by the QCTO. A university college may be declared to be established as a fully-fledged university when it meets the requirements to be established as such, i.e. when it has grown and developed to such an extent that it has the scope and range of operations that allows it to be defined as a university.

(c)    The disciplines taught at such an institution will be determined by a feasibility study and could include a range of disciplines within policing and security studies that will develop professional and occupational knowledge and skills required to bolster capacity in policing, crime detection and prevention capabilities, and will involve an investigative capacity, including the use of forensic methodical approaches and technology, data analytics, criminal and evidentiary law, and investigative practice. The feasibility study should provide guidance on how this public higher education institution would be differentiated based its mandate and mission. 

(d)    Through the feasibility study a determination will be made on the institutional type, i.e. whether it will be a higher education college or a university college to start with and what the Programme Qualification Mix of the public higher education institution should be.

(e)   (i) A project plan has been developed for Ministerial approval to set out the process and deliverables towards the production of a feasibility study for the two new higher education institution mentioned in the 2020 SONA. The feasibility study must aim to address a number of critical issues including, the size and shape of the new institution; its site(s) of establishment, land assembly and spatial framework; supply and sustainability of required engineering services; environmental sustainability; socio-economic impact analysis; and the digital technology requirements for a contemporary higher education institution.  A project management team will be set up to manage the process. The feasibility study will be undertaken in the current financial year and will determine the time lines for the establishment and development of the institution in line with a costed plan.

 (ii) Funding for the new public higher education institution, in line with the findings of the feasibility study and plan, must be secured from the Vote. In terms of the Higher Education Act, a new institution can only be established once funding is appropriated for that purpose, as this is required before the institution can be legally established.

24 June 2020 - NW1201

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has entered into an agreement with the SA Revenue Service to obtain data on the tax status of students and/or their families; if not, (2) whether NSFAS is planning on entering into such an agreement; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, at what stage are the plans; (3) on what legal provisions will NSFAS rely when seeking to obtain knowledge of the tax status of a third party

Reply:

(1) The National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the SA Revenue Service (SARS) concluded an agreement on 5 December 2019. The agreement did not seek to govern the provision of personal tax status information by SARS to NSFAS. The primary purpose of the agreement was to permit NSFAS to obtain additional information from SARS relating to the gross annual income of NSFAS applicants, or their parents and/or guardians by enhancing the scope of section 70(2)(b) of the Tax Administration Act, Act No. 28 of 2011 and section 24 of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme Act No. 56 of 1999, which governs the provision of SARS information to NSFAS. Prior to the conclusion of the agreement, NSFAS could only request and SARS was only obliged to provide NSFAS with information, which related to the name and address of the employer of a person to whom a loan or bursary has been granted under that scheme.

(2) Not Applicable.

(3) Not Applicable.

24 June 2020 - NW1144

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)With reference to his reply to question 927 on 2 June 2020, what (a) is the name of each company from which the specified goods and/or services were purchased, (b) is the amount of each transaction and (c) was the service and/or product that each company rendered; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the specified transactions; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what were the reasons that the goods and/or services were purchased from the specified companies; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Attached is the response in respect of PQ 1144.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION:

1.

(a) the name of the company from which the specified goods and/or service were purchased

(b) the amount of each transaction

(c) the service and/or product that each company rendered

 

1

XL Nexus Travel

R42 500,00

Shuttle Services

 

2

Dischem

R949,50

Surgical Gloves

 

3

Dischem

R61,90

Sanitizer

 

4

Lynnwood Road Pharmacy

R398,00

Surgical Gloves

 

5

Lynnwood Road Pharmacy

R1 561,00

Face Masks

 

6

Serene Pharmacy

R699,90

Surgical Gloves

 

7

Serene Pharmacy

R629,80

Sanitizer

 

8

Pharma Value Pharmacy

R2 638,68

Face Masks

 

9

Barclay Square Pharmacy

R1 881,30

Sanitizer

 

10

Masana Hygiene

R20 412,50

25 Sanitizer Dispensers

 

11

Masana Hygiene

R20 829,38

Sanitizer refill for dispensers (3 Months)

 

12

Maanda Nes Investment

R67 212,60

Once-Off spray deep cleaning of offices

 

13

Us-pects Trading Enterprise

R40 500,00

Face Mask

 

14

Us-pects Trading Enterprise

R8 450,00

Surgical Gloves

 

15

Supra Healthcare

R4 312,50

Face Masks

 

16

Supra Healthcare

R5 637,30

Surgical Gloves

 

17

Maanda Nes Investment

R63 000,00

Once-Off Decontamination Spray

     

R281 674,36

 

2(a) There was one deviation from normal supply chain management process for the appointment of Masana Hygiene to provide sanitiser dispensers and sanitiser refills for a period of three months at an amount of R41 241,88.

The deviation was sought and approved in accordance with the provisions of National Treasury Instruction No. 05 of 2020/21, which permits emergency procurement in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Covid-19 has been classified as a global threat to human life. Thus, eminent steps had to be taken to proactively minimise its spread in the Departmental premises. The immediate procurement of sanitisers enabled the Department to ensure that the risk of infection is minimised.

2(b)

The name of the company

The amount of each transaction

The service and/or product that each company rendered

 

Masana Hygiene

R20 412,50

25 Sanitizer Dispensers

 

Masana Hygiene

R20 829,38

Sanitizer refill for dispensers (3 Months)

   

R41 241.88

 

3.

The name of the company from which the specified goods and/or service were purchased

reasons that the goods and/or services were purchased from the specified companies

 

1

XL Nexus Travel

The Department has a contract for travel and accommodation with the company. Moreover, the contract was established through an open tender process.

 

2

Dischem

Petty cash was used to procure from these companies. They are retailers and they were randomly selected for procurement based on the availability of stock.

 

3

Dischem

 
 

4

Lynnwood Road Pharmacy

 
 

5

Lynnwood Road Pharmacy

 
 

6

Serene Pharmacy

 
 

7

Serene Pharmacy

 
 

8

PharmaValue Pharmacy

 
 

9

Barclay Square Pharmacy

 
 

10

Masana Hygiene

The Department has a contract for cleaning and Hygiene services with the company. Thus, it was more cost-effective to utilise them.

 

11

Masana Hygiene

 
 

12

Maanda Nes Investment

An open and fair request for quotations process was followed to appoint these companies. These companies won the bids on the basis that they scored the highest number of points on the 80/20 preference point system and also complied with the bidding requirements.

 

13

Uspects Trading Enterprise

 
 

14

Uspects Trading Enterprise

 
 

17

Maanda Nes Investment

 
 

15

Supra Healthcare

An open and fair request for verbal quotations process was followed to appoint this company. The company won because it quoted the lowest price and complied with the bidding requirements.

 

16

Supra Healthcare

 

4. The Minister’s office will advise if the Minister has to make a statement in this regard.

24 June 2020 - NW1202

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(a) For how long did his department engage with a certain company (name furnished) regarding the introduction of a comprehensive innovation plan in the townships of the Republic, (b) on what grounds was this engagement pursued, (c) on what date did the engagement come to an end and (d) what were the specific reasons for ending the engagement, given that significant European Union and British potential investment was at stake?

Reply:

(a) South Africa has a bilateral science and innovation partnership with the United Kingdom as part of the Newton Fund initiative, which is operational in 17 other countries. The UK-South Africa Newton Fund is administered by the South Africa’s Department for Science and Technology and the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. As such, the partnership is required to subscribe to development cooperation principles which include country ownership, a focus on results and accountability, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and mutual accountability.

Matter Innovation is a private sector consultancy domiciled in the United Kingdom. The company was selected, appointed, and contracted by the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. United Kingdom (UK) government to implement a specific Newton Fund initiative known as the Global Innovation Partners Programme in South Africa.

The DSI engaged with Matter Innovation within the framework of the Newton Fund cooperation in 2018 and 2019.

(b) The engagement was pursued at the request of the United Kingdom Government because Matter Innovation was appointed under the SA-UK Newton Fund bilateral partnership and the intended purpose of the initiative was in line with the mandate of the DSI to strengthen science, technology, and innovation in South Africa.

(c) The engagement ended in 2019 when the contract between Matter Innovation and the UK Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills ended. At this stage there was no mandate or enabling institutional framework to continue the cooperation. Matter Innovation was funded by the UK government to engage in this cooperation.

(d) As highlighted above, the engagement between the DSI and Matter Innovation arose as a result of a Newton Fund supported contract between the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills and Matter Innovation. As such, there was no basis for the DSI to continue engagement with Matter Innovation independently. The DSI continues to implement multiple partnerships with the UK Government strengthening science and innovation capacities in South Africa, none of which has been impacted by the discontinuing of the engagement with Matter Innovation. There has never been any link from the Department’s perspective between the engagement with Matter Innovation and cooperation with the EU. The latter continues to flourish.

24 June 2020 - NW1203

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)(a) What number of times, (b) on what dates and (c) why was the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) sector education and training authority placed under administration in each year since its inception; (2) (a) what number of clean audits has CETA had since its inception and (b) by what amount has it underspent its income in each case; (3) what number of artisans has it trained to the point of qualification; (4) what number of instances of corruption have been uncovered?

Reply:

(1) (a) The Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) was placed twice under administration.

(b) 25 March 2011 and 3 February 2020.

(c) In 2011, CETA was placed under administration due to allegations of financial mismanagement and in 2020, due to allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.

(2) (a) CETA received four clean audits in the 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years.

(b) The total amounts of underspending are as follows:

Year

Amount

2015/16

R 315 136 800.80

2016/17

R 255 673 499.26

2017/18

R 236 761 241.45

Total

R 807 571 541.51

(3) Based on information obtained from CETA and the National Artisan Moderation Body, CETA has trained a total of 25 362 artisans to the point of qualification.

(4) No instances of corruption have been uncovered to date. The independent investigation commissioned is currently under way looking into the allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.

19 June 2020 - NW1080

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What is the total expected reduction in his departments’ budget by Treasury in light of Covid-19; (2) whether the reduction will be spread evenly throughout his department; if not, (a) why not and (b)(i) how will it be distributed between programmes and entities and (ii) on what principles?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

(1) The Department did not receive official communication from National Treasury on the budget reductions. The Department is waiting for the announcement to be made by Parliament.

(2) Not applicable

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

(1) R1 759 479 000. This amount is made up of R1 435 304 000 budget cuts and R324 175 000 for COVID-19 initiatives.

(2) The reduction will not be spread evenly throughout the department.

2 (a) Programmes have different budgets for implementing different initiatives.

2b (i)

Budget cuts per programme

Programme

Compensation of employees R’000

Goods and services R’000

Transfers and subsidies

R’000

Total

R’000

Administration

18 995

22 987

-

41 982

Technology Innovation

5 769

9 978

50 000

65 747

International Cooperation and Resources

5 946

14 422

14 925

35 293

Research Development and Support

4 339

6 055

926 144

936 538

Socio-economic Innovation Partnerships

4 951

-

55 375

60 326

Total

40 000

53 442

1 046 444

1 139 886

Budget cuts per entity (Parliamentary Grants)

 

R’000

Technology Innovation Agency

45 586

South African National Space Agency

18 209

National Research Foundation

96 610

Council for Science and Industrial Research

99 765

Academy of Science of South Africa

2 790

Human Science Research Council

32 459

Total

295 418

(ii) Principles

Programmes

  • There is an anticipated savings on compensation of employees’ budget as the filling of vacancies will delay due to the pandemic.
  • Savings to be realized from goods and services budget due to the lockdown, for example: Travel, events, etc.
  • Various factors were considered under transfers and subsidies budget:
    • Projects that would not be feasible to implement due to the pandemic, for example: infrastructure, science awareness, etc.
    • Projects that were allocated funds during the last quarter of the financial year and the prospect of spending the new money (2020/21) were slim.
  • There are however other areas where the cuts will have a negative impact, these include; the Human Capital Development. The department proposed these cuts in order to reach the 20% stipulated by National Treasury. These challenges were presented by the department to the National Treasury.

Entities

  • 10% cut was proposed on the entities’ parliamentary grants across the board.
  • A lesser percentage (as opposed to 20% requested by National Treasury) was proposed in order to minimize the impact of the cuts to entities.
  • Entities are also expected to make some savings on areas where there will be no or minimal activities during the lockdown.
  • Based on the above, the department is satisfied that the proposal is fair, however it was noted that entities which rely on external revenue might be negatively impacted as the revenue has declined substantially due to the prevailing conditions.
  • The department has discussed the entities that are affected by decline of external revenue with the National Treasury for possible amnesty.

18 June 2020 - NW1096

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Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a)(i) assistance and/or (ii) funding will his department provide to technical and vocational education and training centres (TVETs) to ensure that they are able to implement Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to tertiary institutions and (b) oversight will his department perform over TVETs to ensure that Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to campuses are implemented across campuses?

Reply:

(a) Assistance is provided to TVET colleges through Higher Health, which conducts daily screening and provides health care volunteers on every campus. Capacity development webinars on the COVID-19 Post-School Education and Training (PSET) guidelines and protocols have been conducted for TVET management in all the regions. Higher Health facilitated these sessions and over 1 000 management staff at TVET colleges have been trained. Colleges have reprioritised their budgets to take the necessary measures in line with the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Amongst others, college budgets have been redirected towards the procurement of personal protective equipment, sanitisers, facial masks, fumigation and the deep cleansing of campuses.

(b) The Department has been administering the TVET readiness assessment questionnaire on a weekly basis for the past four weeks. This was intended to assess the state of readiness of TVET colleges and report progress to the Department and Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19. Continuous monitoring, which includes on-site visits and the through the regional offices, the Department verifies the information provided by colleges. In addition, the Minister and Deputy Minister have recently visited several PSET institutions to assess and monitor the state of readiness for the phased return of students and staff to campuses under level 3.

18 June 2020 - NW1097

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Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether his department has been informed that the Springfield Campus of Ethekwini College, although offering courses with practical components, has not been offering any practicals for students enrolled in engineering courses, despite these being advertised as part of the curriculum; if not, what is the position in this regard; (2) whether students are paying for the practical course from (a) their own funding and/or (b) the National Students Financial Aid Scheme; (3) whether his department has been informed that the Springfield Campus of Ethekwini College, is in a complete state of disrepair with collapsed perimeter fencing and/or walls, no access control and that entry to the campus is obscured by a dumpsite; if not, what steps will he take to investigate the matter; if so, how does his department plan to intervene?

Reply:

(1) The campus offers Engineering and Related Design (E&RD) NCV programmes where students are doing practical activities as part of the Internal Continuous Assessments (ICASS). For the students to qualify for entry into the examinations the ISAT (practical exam component) needs to be administered. The Campus yearly is conducting relevant practical tasks. We are not aware of any programme offered at Springfield Campus where practicals are supposed to be offered and they are not offered.

(2) ERD NCV programmes are paid for by NSFAS to all financial needy and qualifying students.

(3) Parts of the precast walls are missing due to thuggery from the neighboring informal settlements. Last year, in November 2019, missing precast walls were replaced, but the thuggery continued. Additional security is deployed to ensure the safety and security of the college property and its stakeholders. The dumpsite is a challenge as it is on an access road to the Campus. The municipality cleaning of the road is unsatisfactory and there is continuous engagement with the municipality to devise a permanent solution.

11 June 2020 - NW1017

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(a) What number of cases of (i) employees and (ii) syndicates of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) suspected of fraud in each case have been handed to the Commercial Crime Unit of the SA Police Service, (b) on what dates were they handed to the unit, (c) what progress has the unit made in pursuing each case, (d) what was the total value of the suspected fraud in each case, (e) are there any outstanding cases which will still be handed over and (f) have all persons suspected of fraud been removed from the staff of NSFAS?

Reply:

(a) (i) Five cases of fraud involving NSFAS employees were registered with the Wynberg South African Police Services.

(ii) Following the arrest of three NSFAS employees on or about 9 October 2019, the NSFAS Chief Governance, Risk and Compliance Executive initiated a reconciliation project, which entailed extracting a history of all SBux purchases and withdrawal transactions concluded with merchants in the Western Cape specifically. The rationale being that there were no institutions on SBux in the Western Cape, yet transactions were being concluded daily, which pointed to the operation of a syndicate.

(b) The five cases registered with the Wynberg SAPS office between 2017 and 2019, were handed over to the Commercial Crimes Unit on or about 10 November 2019. A criminal inquiry under Case No: 200/08/2019 was also handed over at the same time.

(c) In the five cases of fraud involving NSFAS employees, the following progress has been made:

  • Case No: 323/05/2017 – Warrant of arrest has been issued as the accused fled the province and his whereabouts are unknown.
  • Case No: 80/11/2018 - Warrant of arrest has been issued as the accused fled the province and his whereabouts are unknown.
  • Case No: 14/10/2019 – Allegations are being investigated.
  • Case No: 200/08/2019 – The National Prosecuting Authority is negotiating a plea bargain.
  • Case No: 82/10/2019 – The matter has been placed on the court roll for 7 July 2020 to view video footage obtained of the alleged fraudulent transaction.

The criminal inquiry registered under Case No: 200/08/2019 is being investigated. Given that the transactions at the Western Cape merchant stores were concluded during September 2019, and the criminal inquiry was officially opened in November 2019, the video footage at the specific merchant stores were only retained for a maximum of 14 days from the date of the incident, where after the video footage is deleted by the merchant store.

(d) In the five cases of fraud involving NSFAS employees, the total value of the suspected fraud is as follows:

  • Case No: 323/05/2017 – R15 503.76
  • Case No: 80/11/2018 - R86 135.41
  • -Case No: 14/10/2019 – Contravening the provisions of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act, No. 12 of 2019
  • Case No: 200/08/2019 – R3 500.00
  • Case No: 82/10/2019 – R8 000.00

The reconciliation project and subsequent criminal inquiry under Case No: 200/08/2019 revealed 508 individual transactions/fraudulent transactions were concluded, amounting to R354 595.65.

(e) & (f) There are currently internal disciplinary hearings underway and subject to the dismissal of the relevant employee(s), the NSFAS management team will consider pursuing criminal charges against the employee(s).

11 June 2020 - NW1015

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) number of entities reporting to him as well as entities within his department paid consultants to write their (i) strategic and/or (ii) annual performance plans, (b) amount did each consultant charge, (c) was the total cost to his department for outsourcing the plans and (d) were the reasons for outsourcing?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Entity:

(a). Was there any paid consultants used to write the;

 (i) Strategic Plan,

(ii) Annual Performance Plans?

(b) Amount that each consultant charge?

(c) What was the total cost to his department/entity for outsourcing the plans?

(d) What were the reasons for outsourcing?

CHE

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

INSETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

CHIETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

SAQA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

MerSETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

FP&M SETA 

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

CHIETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

CETA 

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

ETDP SETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

TETA 

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

EWSETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

SASSETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

HWSETA

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

FoodBev SETA

  1. Strategic Plan - Yes for facilitation of Board strategy
  1. Annual Performance Plans - No

i. R40 250

ii. Not applicable

  1. R40 250

 

There was no outsourcing of the developing of the plans however there was a facilitator who facilitated the board strategy session that led to the development of the strategic outcomes by the Board

LGSETA

The consultant was appointed and paid to facilitate the strategic planning session only for 2020/21 financial year. The development of the plans were done internally

 

Appointed Service provider: Simulation Consultants CC

R145 000

R145 000

The consultant was appointed for facilitation of the strategic planning session only because he/she had to give an external perspective/insight on the review of the five year plans ensuring that the session addresses the new developmental goals assigned for our sector during the strategic planning session.

AgriSETA

Strategic Plan, Sector Skills Plan, Annual Report and Annual Performance Plan

Regenesy -R93 100

Blackmoon Advertising – R283 426

R376 400 

 

AgriSETA doesn’t appoint service provider for writing APP and Strategic plans, management write and prepare those documents 

 

A consultant is only appointed to edit and design and layout, printing of the documents etc since we have no graphic designers internally. That part is outsourced because we have no graphic design and printing equipment to produce such documents including annual reports.

MICT SETA

Motif Capital Partner

R 66 240

R 66 240

‒      The introduction of a new framework for the development of Strategic plans was quite different from the previous framework.

 

‒      The lateness of the introduction of the framework versus submission timelines.

NSFAS

YES

R490 000.00 

Refer (b)

When the Entity was placed under Administration one of the major concerns and challenges was the substandard work that came from the Planning and Monitoring Unit in terms of the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan. The onboarding of a specialist was to assist the Entity to meet this requirement. The mandate ranged from providing ad-hoc advice on the design of SMART indicators in relations to targets to the training of key staff on the design in order to avoid submitting a sub-standard work.

QCTO

The services of facilitators from Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) was engaged for supporting the development of the strategic plans. 

R 919 296.00

R 919 296.00

QCTO used GTAC as the new Framework for Medium Term Planning was introduced by DPME and the QCTO needed capacity building for management to develop plans that comply with the new framework. The process was not outsourced but GTAC facilitated and guided the process. QCTO management with full consultation of staff developed the plans across all levels of the organisation. 

FASSET

Africa International Advisors

R 115 000.00 

 

R115 000

Due to internal capacity constraints and the new framework which was introduced. This was to ensure that we were able to adhere to the requirements of this new framework.

CATHSSETA

Yes

R247  068 

R247  068 

1.  Due to the DPME revised framework on SPs and APPs the CATHSSETA acquired the services of an experienced and reputable company to assist in the compilation of the documents. The framework had a lot of changes that required the SETA to appoint someone who is knowledgeable about the new planning needs etc. It must be noted that Ziko Consulting played a supportive role in the process and the CATHSSETA team managed the entire consultation and approval process.

2.   The SETA is also challenged with capacity issues within the unit in terms of human resources, therefore a support structure is required for the short term to assist professional compilation of such these entity strategic do documents.

W&RSETA

W&RSETA contracted Underhill Corporate Solutions for the compilation of its Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan

The contracted company (Underhill Corporate Solutions) assigned 4 of its employees to the project; and the total amount charged by the company was R489 670.00. 

R489 670.00.

Limited resources as the unit only had one employee responsible for strategic planning. 

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION 

The entities reporting to the Minister did not outsource the writing of the Strategic Plans or Annual Performance Plans, and responded as follows:

(a) None. The Department of Science and Innovation, National Research Foundation, Academy of Science of South Africa, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Council, Human Sciences Research Council, National Advisory Council on Innovation and South African National Space Agency did not pay consultants to write the:

(i) Strategic Plan; and/or

(ii) Annual Performance Plan.

(b) Nil.

(c) Not Applicable (N/A).

(d) N/A.

11 June 2020 - NW1016

Profile picture: Bozzoli, Prof B

Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Given that the Vision of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is to be a leading technology innovation agency that stimulates and supports technological innovation to improve the quality of life for all South Africans, what (a) are the details of five examples of technological innovation that have taken place in the small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) that have been funded to provide them with science, engineering and technology support and (b) was the cost of funding for each SMME in the 2018-19 financial year; (2) which three products of developing indigenous knowledge into technologically innovative products does the TIA intend to develop; (3) whether the aim of TIA to invest in the translation and commercialisation of innovations is based upon a concrete plan; if not, why not; if so, by what date will the plan be made available; (4) whether the plan accords with international best practice; if not, why not; if so, what are the comparative examples that were used to develop the plan; (5) whether he will provide Prof B Bozzoli with the plan; if not, why not; if so, on what date?

Reply:

(1) Examples of five SMME projects that TIA funded in the 2018/19 financial year through its various funding instruments (including the Seed Fund, Technology Stations Programme and Technology Development Fund) are:

i. RIOT Network – RIOT has developed a wireless communications network technology that makes it easy for anyone to setup, operate and monetize public wireless broadband networks by agglomerating private network access devices of individuals (i.e. households) and very small businesses. The technology is useful for extending broadband coverage to underserviced areas, and it enables SMME to operate as local internet service providers (ISPs). The project is currently completing its technology development and received financial support of R3 451 700 in 2018/19.

The technology has been successfully tested and deployed in Olievenhoutbosch (an area plagues with break-ins), where a subset of the local community is using the technology to monitor theft in the area. This is achieved through artificial intelligence enabled IP cameras, that detects and alert residences of suspicious behaviour in the region. The cameras are interconnected and access through RIOT’s network infrastructure.

Currently the organisation employs ten people in high value engineering jobs. At full commercialisation the company will enable thousands of jobs as SMEs leverage the technology to set up and monetise local networks. The company has also attracted private investment that enables it to continue improving its technology and in preparation for scale. The company is 100% youth owned, 41% black owned and 18% female owned.

ii. SAMEC Engineering - TIA provided the company with an amount of R1 700 959.00 in the 2018/19 financial year out of an approved amount of R7 799 775.00 for the development of an air condition system using thermal storage to cool buildings (industrial and commercial) or temporary structures (e.g. a marquee). Thermal storage happens during off-peak periods when electricity is cheap and that energy is used to cool buildings during high peak periods when electricity is expensive. This will lead to cost savings and load reduction during peak periods.

The first tranche enabled the project to develop a demonstration unit which has been installed at Durban University of Technology and it serves as a data collection point to demonstrate the performance of the unit.

iii. AgriProtein Technologies (Pty) Ltd is a technology start-up company that successfully developed and piloted a nutrient recycling technology (converting organic waste to animal feed protein) to commercialise an insect-based protein feed in the animal feed industry. TIA, through its Bioeconomy Programme extended a loan of R11 968 573 to AgriProtein to carry out phase one of the project known as “Magmeal” as a low cost and environmentally sustainable animal feed.

To-date, AgriProtein has successfully developed an operational Generation 1 (G1) Production Facility employing a total of 141 employees, in Philippi an economically depressed area in Cape Town and has expanded to attract the international market. They secured about $105 million investment in 2018 to fund global expansion.

In a region characterised by low youth employment a total of 57% of permanent employees were under the age of 35. Over R 44 million was spent on local payroll in 2018 and directly supported a total of 139 permanently, decent jobs as December 2018, with a gender split of 30% females and 70 % males.

iv. Mkazi Concepts

TIA funded Mkazi Concepts (Pty) Ltd through the Technology Stations Programme for R502 000 towards development of a Hand-Hygiene Monitor with a RFID (radio frequency identification) badges or wrist bands that track and record on the number of times in-between user-wash per control area. The project falls within the Internet of Things (IoT); and Data Monitoring and Controls in decision making (i.e. Machine Learning) in the primary healthcare environment and other markets such hospitals, mobile health clinics, schools, food industry, etc.

The grant funding subsidised the Technology Station in Electronics hosted at Tshwane University of Technology and the Product Development Technology Station at Central University of Technology for engineering and technology support to assist the client from concept development, first-type prototype to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with additional financial to conduct a demonstration in an open environment. This was done at a clinic in Windsor East in Gauteng, Johannesburg.

The project provided at least for job opportunities with a locally available intelligent product for the fourth industrial revolution (FIR).

The product intends to increase level of effectiveness of hand hygiene compliance which are currently at 40% nationally due to manual based hand-washing systems and lack of surveillance. In light of COVID 19 the product becomes more important for the implementation and controls of hand-hygiene intervention that are regarded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the lowest-costs with highest-impact for effectively preventing infections.

v. Smart Blade - SmartBlade Video

Laryngoscope is a medical device that

harnesses smartphone technology to provide

guided and more cost-effective method for

examining or inserting a tube through the

larynx. The process of inserting the tube

is called endotracheal intubation. SmartBlade

will thus enable single operators of varied skill

levels to intubate difficult airways in a cost-effective way. Currently the cost of video laryngoscopy is prohibitive to the individual clinician, small clinics and ambulance services.

TIA funded SmartBlade [http://smartblade.co.za] to the tune of R484 275 through its Seed Fund Programme for prototype development, premarket sample manufacturing and testing, market research, regulatory compliance research. This resulted in the filing of two (2) provisional patents and a design registration. Prototypes were manufactured and pre-clinical trials conducted using the SmartBlade technology and generated good results. The android app was developed and tested. The SMME managed to secure follow-on funding of R9,5 million from Savant Venture Fund in May 2019 for technology optimisation and commercialisation. In response to COVID 19 they have optimised the Video laryngoscopy technology to incorporate a disposable laryngoscope as a recommended intervention for COVID-19 patients.

 

(2) In line with its approved Strategic Plan 2020-2025 TIA, through its Bio-economy Programme, aims to support indigenous knowledge-based innovation in targeted areas. These include African Traditional Medicines, neutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and health infusions. In respect of specific products, these will be solicited through TIA’s Call for Proposals during the financial year, from which specific products will be selected for funding.

(3) Yes. The plan will be made available by 15 July 2020.

(4) The current models accord with international best practice in some respects, specifically, the Technology Acquisition and Deployment Fund which was adapted from the Indian model that uses a similar approach to commercialisation. Secondly, the ecosystem approach has been widely used by Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency responsible for supporting technology innovation together with other like-minded entities around the world, especially in Europe. Thirdly, the SBRI is a model that originates from the USA, subsequently adopted and successfully used by countries such as the UK, Netherlands, India, Australia, and now broadly adopted by the European Union.

The plan nevertheless is largely home-grown, based on TIA’s own understanding and knowledge of the RSA ecosystem, and specific dynamics that are peculiar to a developmental state and a maturing ecosystem.

(5) The Plan, once finalised, will be released publicly.

11 June 2020 - NW997

Profile picture: Ngcobo, Mr S

Ngcobo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Given that Monday, 25 May 2020, is marked Africa day, and seeing that indigenous African languages are faced with the unique challenge of adapting to a fast-changing technological era, what steps has his department taken to promote the ideal of a multilingual society as espoused in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; (2) whether he has found that there are digitised efforts and carved-out spaces for indigenous languages within the digital space for them to not only survive, but also to thrive in the ever-changing technological era; if not, why not; if so, what are the full relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR), established the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR). SADiLaR has an enabling function, with a focus on all official languages of South Africa, supporting research and development in the domains of language technologies and language-related studies in the humanities and social sciences. The Centre supports the creation, management and distribution of digital language resources, as well as applicable software, which are freely available for research purposes through its online repository.

The resources include language datasets (for all official South African languages, including the indigenous languages) as well as high-level resources, such as natural language processing tools that are developed for use in applications, such as machine translation engines for local languages, automatic speech recognition systems, text-to-speech systems, speech-to speech translation systems, interactive communication systems, and a variety of text-related applications, such as grammar and spelling checkers, online electronic dictionaries, and so forth.

SADiLaR plays a strategic role in ensuring the constitutional imperative is achieved in the long term to ensure that the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous languages of the people of South African are redressed and positive measures are taken to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages.

The Recognition of Prior Learning is an initiative of the DSI, which through the implementation of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Act No 6 of 2019, aims to recognise the skills of indigenous practitioners in various IKS domains. The initiative focuses on the development of a competency-based qualification to be registered on the National Qualifications Framework. The Department is currently working with IK practitioners (Traditional Health Practice IK domain), to scope their

competencies of their various cultural settings, and has so far documented competencies in isiZulu, Setswana and TshiVenda languages. The workshops with IK practitioners are conducted in the vernacular languages of the IK practitioners. To this end, the IK occupations and accompanying competencies that are documented in the vernacular languages serve as a principle and as a means to promote and preserve the languages of the knowledge systems in its own context.

The National Recordal System (NRS) of the DSI supports the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Act No 6 of 2019 (herein after referred as the IK Act) through the registration of IK. The initiative promotes the recording of IK in vernacular languages using multimedia technology (recording of audio, video, images and transcriptions of each recorded IK story), as a means to preserve IK for future generations so that the context is not lost. Further hereto, the aim is to protect the IK from biopiracy and misappropriation, and to enable the sharing of benefits to the local and rural communities who have registered such IK in the system, should the knowledge be used by any 3rd party, following the various legal prescripts of the IK Act, No 6 of 2019. A key element of the NRS in the promotion of the vernacular languages is by having IK recorders from the participating communities to implement the documentation of IK. In this way, the youth are exposed to the value of their community IK, and through using their languages they are able to capture extensions of the very rich IK that are held by their own communities. The registered IK is held in a digital repository that stores, provide access to, transmit, manage and secure the registered indigenous knowledge via the digital platform.

(2) The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources provides a digital space for language resources and tools as part of its online repository available at https://repo.sadilar.org/. SADiLaR, through its nodes, focuses on ensuring African Languages are digitised, relevant text and speech processing technologies are developed, terminology development is supported through the creation of wordnets (which are large lexical databases containing nouns, verbs, etc. and their relationships) and language testing and training projects.

SADiLaR funds and supports a range of projects related to indigenous languages in collaboration with SADiLaR’s nodes (consisting of University of Pretoria (Department of African Languages); University of South Africa (Department of African Languages); CSIR (HLT Research Group); North-West University (Centre for Text Technology); and Inter-Institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA). Projects relate to digitization, semantics and terminology, language development and teaching resources, speech resources, and text resources and technologies.

Collaboration between the North-West University, University of Pretoria and the CSIR in the area of Human Language Technologies predates the establishment of the SADiLaR. The development of a Human language technologies (HLT) speech-activated multilingual service delivery platform was funded from the European Union Government Budget Support programme, between 2014 and 2017. The platform is aimed at providing technology tools necessary for delivering information and services to South African citizens in their language of choice, in an affordable and sustainable manner. The focus was on the development of core technologies in automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text to speech (TTS) using mobile phones as the primary communication channel, furthermore, providing an HLT-enabled solution for website accessibility to print-disabled and low literate end-users.

The aim of the solution was to enable access to information and promote multilingualism. The solution involved the integration of TTS voices in South African English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa with the Non-Visual Desktop Access screen reader. Cape Access (CA) of the Western Cape Government was identified as a possible government partner following a need expressed to make their websites more accessible. CA identified 11 eCentres in which to pilot this technology. A demographics survey was conducted at these eCentres to determine who the typical visitors to these eCentres are and how they operate. After this, eCentre managers were trained on how to use the technology and the technology was subsequently installed and piloted at these eCentres.

The HLT-enabled solution which was also piloted at Kaleidoscope SA (Institute for the Blind). This pilot aimed at allowing blind students to use the Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) screen reader with local languages as a basis for receiving training. Kaleidoscope SA offers formal qualifications (N4 & N5) in a number of fields to blind students.

Furthermore, an activity aimed at assessing communication practices and needs of multilingual persons using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) was undertaken. The research was undertaken in collaboration with the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria and entailed the integration of CSIR Text-to-Speech (TTS) voices with AAC software. Two sets of evaluations were held and the local voices evaluated were South African English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Afrikaans and Setswana.

The DSI is also currently funding the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Research (CAIR), which has a node at North West University. This particular node’s area of expertise is led by a Multilingual Speech Technologies (MuST) research group focused at the creation and use of speech technologies in the less-resourced languages.

SADiLaR, through its involvement with the UNESCO Year of Indigenous languages, reached more than 850 participants directly through language celebration events. These events created a space for academics, lecturers, students (undergraduates – postgraduates), broader public as well as profound contributors in the various languages to interact, and were held across South Africa at various universities in cooperation with the National Lexicography Units of South Africa. These events culminated in SADiLaR taking part in the Language Technologies for All conference with a focus on Enabling Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism Worldwide, creating awareness of how the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap is directly contributing toward linguistic diversity and multilingualism through SADiLaR.

SADiLaR is also brainstorming its COVID-19 response, in particular to allow for “Rapid situational awareness in emerging situations like natural disasters or disease outbreaks”. This requires availability of Human Language Technology not only for the official languages of the country, but all languages spoken in South Africa.

02 June 2020 - NW967

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What are the details of the differences in terms of performance of students who receive the National Student Financial Aid Scheme grant and those who do not; (2) whether he will provide Prof B Bozzoli with statistical evidence of the students’ differential performance in the past three financial years; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department started undertaking national cohort studies, including a specific study on NSFAS funded students in the 2016/17 financial year. The database of students who had received NSFAS funding in all previous years of study was mapped to the HEMIS dataset. The NSFAS cohort study considers any student who received NSFAS funding at any point in time during their studies. The NSFAS cohort study published on 13 March 2017 considered all cohorts that entered the public higher education sector, i.e. universities, for the first time from the 2000 to 2014 academic years. This report and subsequent reports show that students who have been funded by NSFAS perform better than the national cohort.  It should be noted that there is insufficient data to determine how the students on the new bursary scheme are performing, as at least 4 years of data would be required for 3-year qualifications and 5 years of data for 4-year qualifications.  This cohort only commenced their studies in the 2018 academic year. It should also be noted that the national cohort includes students funded by NSFAS. 

The 2000 to 2014 first time entering undergraduate cohort studies for public higher education institutions, published in March 2017, shows that the dropout and throughput rates for the 2006 cohort are as follows for the:

  • national cohort, 38.2% and 54.4% respectively;  
  • DHET NSFAS cohort, 28.5% and 62.5% respectively; and 
  • Thuthuka cohort, 10.4% and 85.8% respectively.

The 2000 to 2015 first time entering undergraduate cohort studies for public higher education institutions, published in March 2018, shows that the dropout and throughput rates for the 2007 cohort are as follows for the:

  • national cohort, 37.9% and 55.6% respectively; 
  • DHET NSFAS cohort, 25.9% and 66.2% respectively; and 
  • Thuthuka cohort, 13.0% and 81.2% respectively. 

The 2000 to 2016 first time entering undergraduate cohort studies for public higher education institutions, published in March 2019, shows that the dropout and throughput rates for the 2008 cohort are as follows for the:

  • national cohort, 34.6% and 58.0% respectively; 
  • DHET NSFAS cohort, 22.4% and 68.9% respectively; 
  • Thuthuka cohort, 12.3% and 83.1% respectively; and 
  • Funza Lushaka cohort 8.2% and 87.0% respectively

The 2000 to 2017 first time entering undergraduate cohort studies for public higher education institutions, published in March 2020, shows that the dropout and throughput rates for the 2009 cohort are as follows for the:

  • national cohort, 31.3% and 61.1% respectively; 
  • DHET NSFAS cohort, 22.2% and 69.7% respectively; 
  • for the Thuthuka cohort, 11.0% and 84.6% respectively; and 
  • Funza Lushaka cohort 8.6% and 86.8% respectively 

It should be noted that the NSFAS cohorts in every cohort study have performed better than the national cohort. These cohorts of NSFAS funded students were from poor families earning up to R1220 000 per annum, and the students in the scheme did not necessarily receive full cost of study funding, as funding was capped and there was an expected family contribution.

In comparison, the Thuthuka cohort are students entering accounting studies and in general would include high performing students from the basic education sector. These students have also received full cost of study funding and tailored 'wrap around' support. 

The Funza Lushaka cohort is also a selected (competitive) cohort and has always been fully funded for all aspects of their study.   

The cohort study published by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on 13 March 2017 did not focus on performance of NSFAS recipients in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. The Department has been working closely with NSFAS to improve the capacity of NSFAS to administer and disburse bursaries to TVET college students and to respond to the uniqueness of the TVET college sector. NSFAS systems and processes require specific enhancements to adequately cater for the TVET college sector, especially the numerous and somewhat shorter academic cycles. This intervention will ultimately enable NSFAS to effectively report on performance of recipients in the TVET college sector with its numerous academic cycles. Notwithstanding this intervention, the Department has started gathering data on performance of NSFAS recipients in TVET colleges. However, this information is not readily available now as its analysis is still being undertaken.

02 June 2020 - NW927

Profile picture: Boshoff, Dr WJ

Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether his department awarded any tenders connected to the Covid-19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the names of the businesses to whom these tenders were awarded, (b) are the amounts of each tender awarded and (c) was the service and/or product to be supplied by each business; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the awarding of the tenders; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what was the reason for which each specified business was awarded the specified tender; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION:

  1. The Department of Science and Innovation has not awarded any goods or services exceeding R500 000 (tenders) at this stage. All the Covid-19 related purchases have been below R500 000, procurement was done through quotations;
  2. Not applicable;
  3. Not applicable;
  4. Not applicable.

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  1. Procurement in excess of R500 000 per case is considered as a tender, hence no single tender was awarded in respect of COVID-19 to date;
  2. None;
  3. Not applicable;
  4. Not applicable.

02 June 2020 - NW966

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What (a) amount of the R7,8 billion of irregular expenditure uncovered at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) when the administrator took charge of the organisation (i) has been cleared and (ii) remains to be cleared and (b) is the timeline for clearing the irregular expenditure; (2) what are the key performance areas (KPAs) of the administrator of NSFAS for the current year; (3) whether he intends to extend the administrator’s term of office in order to make sure that the administrator fulfils the KPAs and the tasks that were set; if not, why not; if so, for how long?

Reply:

1.

1 (a) (i)

1 (a) (ii)

1 (b)

Shifting of earmarked funds (historic debt)

R1.963 billion

 

In the process of being written off.

Disbursements with respect to NOCLAR

 

R4.359 billion

This should be closed out during the 2020/21 financial year, including recoveries.

Disbursements in excess of contract amounts

   

NSFAS has applied to the Credit Regulator for a waiver to this legislative requirement.

Other

R6 million

 

The investigation is complete and findings indicate that no was loss incurred but it was rather a compliance matter only.

.

(2) The key performance areas of the Administrator are:

  • Finalise the close out of the 2017/18 student funding cycle, including the finalisation of all data exchange and final payments. - Ensure the effective close out of the 2019 funding cycle and provision of accurate data to the Department.
  • Ensure effective preparation for, and implementation of, the 2020 student funding cycle in consultation with the Department.
  • Ensure that the entity pays adequate attention to both TVET colleges and universities in all aspects of its core business processes.
  • Maintain a close and productive working relationship between NSFAS and the universities and TVET colleges.
  • Put in place the necessary management and governance controls to ensure that all risks of the 2020 student funding cycle are appropriately managed, with the support of the Department and institutions as necessary.
  • Manage the day-to-day work of the entity and steer NSFAS to address its operational challenges fully.
  • Oversee the process of appointing new executive staff at NSFAS, in terms of a process agreed with the Department.
  • Ensure a smooth transition between the administration and the new executive staff. - Oversee all forensic and other investigations necessary for the effective operation and management of the entity and any follow up required.
  • Provide support to the Ministerial Task Team appointed by the Minister.

(3) The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation does not intend to extend the term of office of the Administrator unless conditions dictates otherwise. The process to finalise the appointments of vacant senior executive management posts, including the appointment of the Executive Officer is underway. The terms of reference of the Administrator states that he must ensure a smooth transition between the administration and the new executive staff. The Minister is in the process of initiating the appointment of a new Board in terms of Section 5 of the NSFAS Act 56 of 1999.

28 May 2020 - NW968

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(a) By what date will the Council on Higher Education’s institutional audit of the University of South Africa begin, given the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and (b) what measures have been put in place to conduct such an audit using remote and other Covid-19-compatible methods?

Reply:

The Draft Framework for Institutional Audits 2020 and Draft Manual for Institutional Audits 2020 were approved for consultation with the higher education sector by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) at its meeting of 7 April 2020. It is envisaged that once the feedback from the sector has been considered by the HEQC, the Framework and Manual would be ready for final approval by the HEQC at its July 2020 meeting. UNISA forms part of a group of 20 higher education institutions, both public and private, that have been identified for the audit in 2020 after the final approval of the Framework and Manual. At this stage it is not envisaged that the COVID19 restrictions will cause undue delay in the UNISA audit, barring totally unforeseen developments on the trajectory of the pandemic.

The Draft Manual for Institutional Audits 2020 makes provision for three institutional visits prior to the main audit site visit, for the purposes of (i) initiating the audit, (ii) discussing the strategy for the audit with the institution, and (iii) finalizing the site visits programme. All these institutional visits can be done via videoconferencing and will commence in August 2020 as planned. Training for the identified higher education institutions, as well as the audit panel members, for the institutional audits can also be done online in the last part of 2020 as planned. A large and complex institution such as UNISA will require at least 6 months to complete their self-evaluation report and to compile a portfolio of evidence, which means that the due date for this is likely to be towards the end of January 2021. The Manual already makes provision for these documents to be submitted in digital format.

The audit portfolio meeting in which the panel finalises (i) the programme for the audit visit, (ii) the requirements for the additional information and evidence, (iii) the details of supporting documentation to be available on-site during audit visit, (iv) the persons to interview, and (v) the members of the panel and dates to visit satellite campuses, if applicable, can also be done online.

The actual audit site visit for UNISA is likely to be around April 2021, by which time it is anticipated that the COVID-19 restrictions would have been lifted. In the event of a continuation of the restrictions due to unforeseen developments, the Council on Higher Education is currently in the process of developing a new methodology in which the self-evaluation reports and portfolios of evidence of institutions will be subjected to a thorough document analysis by the audit panel members on an online platform, with lines of enquiry, further evidence and interviews being conducted online. Physical site visits will only take place in cases where the audit panel is unconvinced by the digital evidence, which may include visual material in addition to text-based material. This methodology will undergo a trial with the national doctoral review, which is currently underway.

28 May 2020 - NW871

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Basson, Mr LJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether his department will offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the Covid-19 financial or other relief will only be allocated to qualifying small businesses according to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, Act 53 of 2003, as amended; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what statutory grounds and/or provisions does he or his department rely to allocate Covid-19 financial or other relief only to small businesses according to the specified Act and (b) what form of Covid-19 financial or other relief, if any, will be made available to other small businesses?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

(1) Currently, the DSI has not planned on providing specific Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses. The focus of the DSI is to continue strengthening existing interventions that provide technology and other support to small and medium enterprises including the technology stations programmes, industry development centres, technology localisation programme. These support programmes continue to prioritise critical priority beneficiary groups such as black people, youth, and women.

(2) Not applicable

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

(1)   His Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, on the occasion of announcing further economic and social measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on 21 April 2020, stated “…in addition to existing tax relief measures, we will also be introducing a 4-months holiday for companies’ skills development levy contributions...”.

Subsequently, National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service published the revised 2020 Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill and 2020 Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill with the following reference regarding the skills development levy “this is a suspension, not a deferral, as a result, employers will not become liable for these amounts after 31 August 2020”.

It is estimated that the 4-months' skills levy holiday (May, June, July and August 2020) will lead to a reduced income of R4.89 billion for the Sector Education and Training Authorities and R1.22 billion for the National Skills Fund. In total, this amount for the 2020/21 financial year is estimated to be R6.1 billion.

In response to the COVID-19 relief, the National Skills Fund has set aside a budget of
R1.5 billion for COVID-19 relief that focusses on continued funding of learners’ stipends during and after the lockdown to complete their learning programmes, as well as additional funding of R1 000 per learner for skills development providers to support additional COVID-19 measures such as hygiene consumables, masks, etc.

Six of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) are collaborating in support of the interdepartmental economic stimulus project for small enterprises and cooperatives. This project will provide support for small enterprises and cooperatives covering the following scope:

  • Demand and need for the supply of essential goods and services during the Covid-19 lockdown period and beyond.
  • Manufacturing, warehousing and distribution of essential goods during the COVID-19 lockdown period and beyond.
  • Provide opportunities for Small Enterprises and Cooperatives in the Value Chain of Manufacturing / Procurement and Distribution of these goods and services. 
  • Capacity building for the Small Enterprises and Cooperatives in value chain management of manufacturing, procurement and distribution of these target goods and services.
  • Sustainable Funding Mechanism for the Small Enterprises and Cooperatives beyond the COVID -19 Lockdown Period.

The broad objective of this initiative is to support various entities involved in the supply of the essential needs across all provinces and districts as listed below:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and systems;
  • Sanitizers and sanitation and disinfectant systems;
  • Coffins and Funeral undertaker services;
  • Manufacturing of the essential goods: PPE and systems, sanitizers, sanitation and disinfectant systems as well as coffins; amongst others; and
  • Packaging, Warehousing and Transportation services.

This project will be supported using budgets allocated to support Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMMEs) and Cooperatives as captured in the participating SETA’s Annual Performance Plans for 2020/21 financial year. Each SETA will implement their response programs in line with their budget availability, reprioritization, KPAs and approval protocols.

The following are the SETAs participating in the interdepartmental economic stimulus project for small enterprises and cooperatives:

  1. Transport Education Training Authority (TETA);
  2. Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA);
  3. Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Services SETA);
  4. Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP & M SETA);
  5. Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA); and
  6. Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA).

(2)  The National Treasury published the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill, 2020 on 1 May 2020, which deals with the Covid-19 relief.

27 April 2020 - NW550

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Schreiber, Dr LA to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Given that the University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and University of Stellenbosch have made English their primary language of instruction, where are the approximate four million Afrikaans-speaking students, some of whom live in poor rural communities where very few learn to speak English, from the Northern and Western Cape supposed to study when not a single university in the Western Cape offers Afrikaans as a primary language of instruction?

Reply:

The total enrolment in public higher education institutions (universities) is just over one million students (1 085 568 students). There are 11 official spoken languages in South Africa. Universities need to ensure that language is not used as a barrier to access higher education. Language has been used to exclude the majority of South Africans from accessing some universities in the past. Government supports the initiatives taken by universities to remove barriers, linguistic or otherwise, to ensure that universities across the country remain truly national entities and are accessible to all South Africans. In the democratic South Africa, there are no exclusively IsiZulu, IsiXhosa or Afrikaans language universities, but rather, South African universities that uphold the values of the Constitution and are mindful of the legacies of the past, and play their part in creating a fully transformed united South Africa that is at peace with itself and the rest of the world. Students of all linguistic backgrounds can enter any university to study, and must be supported to succeed. Therefore, students whose home language is Afrikaans or any other South African language may choose to study at any university in the country. We certainly cannot go back to a past where some of universities were earmarked for exclusive cultural and linguistic communities. Moreover, while English is utilised as the main language of teaching and learning, there is no official South African language that is excluded by universities as all universities have multilingual language policies. Universities determine their language policies and plans in terms of the Higher Education Act (No. 101 of 1997 as amended). These policies and plans must be in line with the Higher Education Language Policy Framework determined by the Minister as well as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

 

27 April 2020 - NW526

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) number of students were enrolled at each institution of higher learning (i) for each qualification and (ii) in terms of the Classification of Educational Subject Materials for the 2019 academic year and (b) was the success rate in each case?

Reply:

The data for the 2019 academic year is currently not available. Preliminary (unaudited) student enrolment data and data required for calculating success rates is due from universities on 30 April 2020. Some universities have indicated that they may require an extension due to the lockdown period. The final submission date for data is 31 July 2020. A process of verifying this data will thereafter commence and the full set of audited data is normally available in October each year.  

06 April 2020 - NW475

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What number of students who were supported by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in each faculty of each institution of higher learning in the 2018 academic year (a) were enrolled for each (i) degree and/or (ii) other qualification, (b) wrote (i) exams and (ii) supplementary exams in each (aa) degree, (bb) qualification and (cc) subject, (c) passed and (d) failed each exam and/or supplementary exam that they wrote; (2) what were the marks obtained in each subject in respect of which an exam and/or supplementary exam was written by NSFAS supported students?

Reply:

The Department and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will not be able to provide the information in the requested format, as this level of detail is only available at an institutional level, and would take considerable time to collate. There would also be limits to the level of detail that could practically be provided per institution.

In terms of the data exchange between NSFAS and institutions, institutions provide information to NSFAS on whether students meet the criteria for continuation. The level of detail requested in terms of examinations, supplementary examinations, subjects passed and failed, marks, etc. is not provided to NSFAS.

The Department's Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) collects information on enrolments and completion of qualifications. This enables cohort reporting to be done according to a breakdown of qualification types, i.e. 3-year degrees, 3-year diplomas and 4-year degrees. Specific cohort information is also collected on the MBChB programme, engineering programmes, life and physical sciences and teacher education. In addition, data is broken down according to population group and gender. This is in line with the requirement to focus on specific Medium Term Strategic Framework targets. It is possible to provide an overview of the breakdown according to fields of study, i.e. Science, Engineering and Technology; Business and Commerce; Education and the Humanities.

NSFAS recipient data is also brought into the cohort study to show the overall performance of NSFAS recipients, and the study is also able to look at students enrolled for foundation programmes. The attached cohort study was based on data up to the 2017 academic year and provides the throughput and dropout rates of NSFAS funded students.

It is only possible to provide a global picture of throughput rates for particular cohorts. Data provided to HEMIS is at a high level according to qualification registrations and by CESM (Classification of Educational Subject Material), and not by faculty. The names of qualifications reported from different institutions are not consistent, as they are reported according to their accredited names. HEMIS only reflects pass or fail results for the course completion at a full-time equivalent level to determine the overall success rates of the sector or by institution. This data is required at a high level for funding and planning purposes.

06 April 2020 - NW474

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What number of students in each faculty of each institution of higher learning in the 2018 academic year, (a) were enrolled for each (i) degree and (ii) other qualification, (b) wrote (i) exams and (ii) supplementary exams in each (aa) degree, (bb) qualification and (cc) subject, (c) passed and (d) failed each exam and/or supplementary exam that they wrote; (2) what were the marks obtained in each subject in respect of which an exam and/or supplementary exam was written?

Reply:

1) (a) Not all universities structure their faculties in the same way as some have colleges or schools. They determine within those faculties/colleges/schools their departments as deemed appropriate by each university. Data provided to the Department’s Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) is at a high-level according to qualification registrations and by CESM (Classification of Educational Subject Material), and not by faculty.

The Department is able to provide high-level enrolment and graduate data per CESM level. Enrolment data per university is provided in Table 1 (Annexure A) by qualification type and major field of study. In addition, data is provided per university by qualification type in Table 2 (Annexure A).

(b) HEMIS data only reflects a pass or fail result for the course completion at a full-time equivalent level to determine the overall success rate of the sector or by institution. Data on supplementary examinations are not collected. Table 3 (Annexure A) gives the success rates of students across all public universities by attendance mode (contact/distance) and by demographic population group.

(2) Marks are specific to a particular student and held by universities. This information would be subject to the universities’ confidentiality agreements with their students. The Department does not collect this level of detailed information per student, and is unable to provide it.

23 March 2020 - NW396

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

With reference to his declaration that he will appoint a Ministerial Task Team to review the business processes and functionality of the National Student Financial Aid Schemeto ensure that the bursary scheme functions optimally, (a) on what date will the task team be appointed, (b) who will serve on the task team, (c) what are the terms of reference for the task team and (d) what is the timeline for the task team to complete the work?

Reply:

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology is currently appraising the draft Terms of Reference and composition of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry to conduct a formal independent review of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Once approved, a notice will be published in the Government Gazette outlining the date of appointment, committee members, scope and timelines for the inquiry.

13 March 2020 - NW223

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Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science andTechnology

Whether any students are prevented from registration at Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges in Ekurhuleni, because they are blocked by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme from applying?

Reply:

The two Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges located in Ekurhuleni (Ekurhuleni East TVET College and Ekurhuleni West TVET College) have informed the Department of Higher Education and Training that no students were prevented from registering for the 2020 academic year due to being blocked by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) from applying.

The colleges have indicated that in cases where payments were outstanding from NSFAS, students were allowed to register and the colleges have followed up with NSFAS on their behalf.

03 March 2020 - NW116

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Shaik Emam, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

In light of the briefing session he held in Pretoria on 23 January 2020 wherein he stated that the National Students Financial Aid Scheme process will remain open for students who have not applied and that those with historic debts will be allowed to register, what (a) are the reasons for the student protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and (b) measures are put in place to address the reasons?

Reply:

a) There are multiple reasons for the protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The University has reported that it is implementing the Minister’s announcement that the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) would remain open for first time entry students accepted at the University who had for some reason or other not applied to NSFAS, and for NSFAS qualifying returning students who qualify for debt relief in terms of the 2018 due diligence process. These students can register without payment as long as they sign the Acknowledgement of Debt form.

One of the aspects that underlie the protests relates to students who do not fall into the NSFAS qualifying categories.

b) On 15 January 2020, UKZN communicated the financial clearance concessions for the 2020 academic year to all students. The key student demands following the communique are as follows and summarised in Table 1 below:

  • All students whose annual family income is below R350 000 be registered without making payments for registration fees and towards their student debt.
  • Significantly reduced payments towards historic debt for students above R350 000 and R600 000.
  • The University to provide an additional 2 500 beds by leasing buildings from various property owners in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
  • Review cases of academically excluded students.

Table 1

Category of students

Payments required to obtain financial clearance (UKZN APPROVED CONCESSIONS)

Payments required to obtain financial clearance (SRC PROPOSED CONCESSIONS) Revised 24 February 2020

Below R350 000

If self-funded, i.e. do not qualify for NSFAS funding/debt relief, registration fee and 15% of debt capped at R10 000 or R15 000

No payment

Above R350 000 and below R600 000

Registration fee (if self-funded) and 30% of debt capped at
R20 000 or R25 000

Registration fee (if self-funded) and 15% of debt capped at R5 000 or
R10 000

Above R600 000

Registration fee (if self-funded) and 50% of debt capped at
R25 000 or R45 000

No additional concessions proposed

The University has reported that the financial clearance concessions for all students already in place has a cash flow implication in excess of R1 billion. The financial clearance concessions demanded by the SRC would have a total cost of R2.26 billion taking into consideration the provisioning of allowances and fees.

The University continues to implement the concessions to ensure that students of the University are not required to pay 100% of their debt before registration. Registration data provided by the University as at 24 February 2020 shows that 95% of undergraduates and 63% of postgraduates are registered as follows:

Registration data as 24 February 2020          Planned          Actual %

  • Undergraduate – First time entry 10       938 9 911            91%
  • Undergraduate – Returning students      23 359 22 588      97%

Undergraduate Total                                   34 297 32 499      95%

Postgraduate Total                                     12 741 8 019         63%

All students                                                47 038 40 518        86%

The University has identified 1 435 unregistered students owing R72 million who are funded by NSFAS in 2020, but owe the University for previous year’s fees that do not qualify for NSFAS debt relief. A further analysis of the debt in this cohort is currently being performed to raise the funds required to immediately assist these students with payments required for registration and also the funds required to settle their historic debt during the course of the academic year.

The University currently provides 23 028 beds (8 135 owned and 14 893 leased), amounting to the provisioning of 49% beds of the planned enrolment. This is in line with the Norms and Standards for Student Housing, which indicates that 50% of the student population in urban-based universities should be in university-managed student housing. The University has indicated that the registration period is open until 6 March 2020, which will determine the extent of additional accommodation required.

The University reported that the academic exclusion processes of the University, which resulted in the exclusion of 31 students, have been adequately followed through the relevant committees of Senate. Notwithstanding the above, it has been resolved that Senate will be requested to consider whether the cases of the 31 excluded students could be re-considered by Senate through the appropriate Senate committee.

03 March 2020 - NW109

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Hendricks, Mr MGE to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)With reference to the two High Court cases (details furnished) which ruled against certain lawbreakers on the Council of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) (details furnished), what steps does he intend taking to activate the law enforcement agencies that arise from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, to investigate and hold the specified lawbreakers individually and collectively accountable; (2) Whether he will take the necessary steps to ensure that the specified lawbreakers personally pay back the money diverted from the UWC to fund unlawful conduct; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. In terms of section 20(4) of the Higher Education Act No.101 of 1997, public universities are established as autonomous institutions governed by a Council appointed in terms of the Act.

1.1 In the case number 24537/2015, the court’s ruling was with regard to the conduct of certain Council members. This is a matter that must be regulated in terms of the Code of Conduct of a Council, which has been adopted by a Council. The Minister is not authorized by the Act to interfere in the matters within the jurisdiction of Council, as this would be ultra vires and invalid. The circumstances under which the Minister may issue a directive to a university Council or intervene in the affairs of a public higher education institution are articulated under section 42 of the Act.

1.2 In the context of case numbers 1153/02/2019 and 23182/17, the matters are currently pending. Council as the employer has the authority to take action upon the finalisation of the matters in court, if any. The South African Constitution contains an important democratic principle of the separation of powers, which means that the power of the state is divided between three different but interdependent components or arms, i.e. the executive, legislature and judiciary. The Minister cannot interfere with the court proceedings.

2. The University, under the authority of its Council, has a duty to ensure that appropriate action is taken where there is a legal transgression.

12 December 2019 - NW1675

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Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) amount does the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocate to each individual student for text books in each year, (b) is the total annual amount for each academic year since 1 January 2016 respectively that had been allocated by NSFAS nationally for text books for students and (c) is the projected amount allocated for text books for students by NSFAS for the 2020 academic year?

Reply:

a) Effective from 2018 for first time entering university students (FTENS) that qualify for the DHET Bursary (combined gross family income of R350 000 per annum), the learning materials allowance (sometimes referred to as a book allowance) was standardised and capped as follows:

2018 – R5 000

2019 – R5 000

For the DHET Grant continuing students (combined gross family income of R122 000 per annum and capped funding), the allowance amount was set at the institutional allowance in 2017 with an inflation linked increase annually, provided that the learning materials allowance does not exceed the DHET Bursary allowance amount of R5 000 for FTENS.

The above pertains to contact institutions. Allowances for students in distance education programmes are calculated based on the number of courses registered, up to a maximum of R5 000.

It should be noted that the learning materials allowance could be used for a range of learning support materials and not only traditional textbooks.

b) The table below outlines the total amount paid as learning support materials in each academic year.

Funding Year

Disbursements: Books

2016

R 108 981 929.00

2017

R 911 995 140.87

2018

R 1 501 759 167.00

2019

R 1 688 649 464.00

Grand Total

R 4 211 385 700.87

The proposed learning materials allowance for 2020 is still under consideration and will be communicated once this decision is finalised.

11 December 2019 - NW1675

INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 31 OF 2019Ms H S Winkler to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) amount does the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) allocate to each individual student for text books in each year, (b) is the total annual amount for each academic year since 1 January 2016 respectively that had been allocated by NSFAS nationally for text books for students and (c) is the projected amount allocated for text books for students by NSFAS for the 2020 academic year?

Reply:

a) Effective from 2018 for first time entering university students (FTENS) that qualify for the DHET Bursary (combined gross family income of R350 000 per annum), the learning materials allowance (sometimes referred to as a book allowance) was standardised and capped as follows:

2018 – R5 000

2019 – R5 000

For the DHET Grant continuing students (combined gross family income of R122 000 per annum and capped funding), the allowance amount was set at the institutional allowance in 2017 with an inflation linked increase annually, provided that the learning materials allowance does not exceed the DHET Bursary allowance amount of R5 000 for FTENS.

The above pertains to contact institutions. Allowances for students in distance education programmes are calculated based on the number of courses registered, up to a maximum of R5 000.

It should be noted that the learning materials allowance could be used for a range of learning support materials and not only traditional textbooks.

b) The table below outlines the total amount paid as learning support materials in each academic year.

Funding Year

Disbursements: Books

2016

R 108 981 929.00

2017

R 911 995 140.87

2018

R 1 501 759 167.00

2019

R 1 688 649 464.00

Grand Total

R 4 211 385 700.87

The proposed learning materials allowance for 2020 is still under consideration and will be communicated once this decision is finalised.

11 December 2019 - NW1656

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King, Ms C to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) amount was budgeted for the Ibika Campus of the Walter Sisulu University for student accommodation in the 2017-18 financial year and (b) is the status of accommodation for students at the specified campus in Butterworth?

Reply:

a) The Department of Higher Education and Training allocated an amount of R100 million to Walter Sisulu University (WSU) during the fourth Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant funding cycle (2015/16 to 2017/18). Allocations were given for infrastructure projects on the Queenstown, Ibika-Butterworth and Nelson Mandela Drive Campuses. R82 million was budgeted for the construction of a new 200-bed student residence at the Ibika Campus. However, due to the dire shortage of student beds at the Ibika Campus, WSU made the decision to utilise the available funds as equity to raise additional funding through a loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa to support the development of a 500-bed student residence. The new 500-bed student residence project is currently in the planning stage and will commence once the funds have been confirmed, and all processes have been finalised.

b) The total student population at the Ibika Campus is 6 586 students. The University has 898 beds on the campus and 1 976 accredited off campus private accommodation beds. Most of the unaccredited private accommodation in the area does not meet the Department’s Minimum Norms and Standards for student housing at public universities.

 

27 November 2019 - NW1560

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What number of research projects related to HIV/Aids vaccines are currently being funded by his department in the Republic?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

The Department is currently not funding any research projects related to HIV/Aids vaccines.  However, the Department through Higher Health (previously known as HEAIDS) is implementing HIV mitigation programmes at public Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges and universities.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION:

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has a flagship programme that coordinates and manages innovation projects focused on the development of prevention, treatment and diagnostics tools for HIV/AIDS. There are currently five projects within the HIV prevention portfolio that deal with different aspects of HIV vaccine research and development.

27 November 2019 - NW1525

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Spies, Ms ERJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)(a) Why has the content in textbooks and the course structures for both the National Accredited Technical Diploma and the National Vocational Certificate (NCV) not been reviewed and revised for more than 20 years to address the needs of the current economy and its impact on the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the syllabus and (b) what are the plans going forward to remedy the situation; (2) whether there are there any plans in place to review the Life Skills component in the Life Orientation course for NCV and make it focus on computer skills and readiness for the world of work?

Reply:

(1)(a) The Department has constantly upon request by industry partners’ revised curricula over the years in the National Certificate (Vocational) [NC (V)] and lately in the National Accredited Technical Diploma/Report 191 programmes. In the NC (V) programmes, e.g. Electrical Infrastructure and Construction (EIC) and Information Technology and Computer Science (IT&CS), revisions have been conducted and implemented on a phase-in by phase-out process. Other reviewed programmes and subjects include Safety in Society, Mathematics and Office Data Processing (ODP), which were revised on request from the security cluster, especially the South African Police Service with which the Department has a Memorandum of Understanding.

Through the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation, six subjects in finance and accounting, public administration, municipal administration, labour relations, travel office procedure and mercantile law where revised in the Report 191/NATED programmes. This was followed in 2018 by a review of Management Communication and Communication N4 curriculum. The review of a curriculum will naturally prompt the review of student textbooks, which results in the screening of textbooks and annual updating of the Department’s national textbook catalogue.

(b) In 2018, the Department identified and prioritised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college programmes that required immediate curriculum review and update, in line with the current needs of industry and the changing digital skills needs of the economy. Curriculum Support Teams, which comprise of lecturers who are subject experts and industry stakeholders, were established to undertake reviews of specific programmes in the following fields, i.e. Information Technology (IT) and Computer Science (National Certificate (Vocational)), Business Studies (NATED), Mechanical Engineering (NATED), Mechano-Technics (NATED) and Hospitality and Tourism (NATED). In some instances, partnerships were established with industry role players such as the Cisco Networking Academy to enhance the quality of the new curricula.

The Department has also worked with the IT Faculty at the Tshwane University of Technology to develop a Robotics specialisation in the IT and Computer Science National Certificate (Vocational) programme. The reviews and updates are complete and the textbooks on the revised curricula have been commissioned and evaluated. The revised curricula will be implemented in 2021.

Of the 38 subjects that were prioritised in the NATED curricula, 22 have been reviewed and updated, and are currently undergoing a quality assurance process. The remaining 16 are in the final stages of curriculum review with Curriculum Support Teams. The revised curricula of the 38 NATED subjects are envisaged to be phased in during 2021 and 2022.

The opening of 26 Centres of Specialisation at 19 TVET colleges have ensured that TVET colleges are starting to address the demand for priority trades required by the economy and needed for implementation of government’s National Development Plan in general and national infrastructure plan more in particular. There are 797 apprentices currently being trained as artisans in 13 selected priority trades.

The Department has also commissioned research in the areas of curriculum relevance and responsiveness, as well as partnerships between TVET colleges and the world of work. These studies will provide data that will assist in enhancing the responsiveness of TVET programmes to the needs of industry and the South African economy.

(2) The Department and Cisco have a partnership to collaborate in reviewing and updating the ICT related TVET curricula through the Cisco Networking Academy. Life Orientation in the NC (V) programme has two components, i.e. Life Skills and ICT (Computer) Skills. In partnership with Cisco, the Department has mapped and matched the ICT Skills curriculum with the Cisco Network Academy curriculum. From 2020, the mapped curriculum, which has been aligned with latest ICT developments required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will be offered at TVET colleges as part of Life Orientation with lecturer training starting in January/February 2020. Students completing an NC (V) Level 2 certificate with Life Orientation will also receive a Cisco Networking Academy accredited certificate on the latest ICT developments in areas such as Get Connected, Introduction to Internet of Things, and Introduction to Cybersecurity. Furthermore, TVET colleges are currently registering as Cisco Network Academy Centres for the purpose of lecturer training and the implementation of the programme.

22 November 2019 - NW1493

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Keetse, Mr PP to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

In view of the fact that more than 400 students at the University of the Western Cape did not get their book allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) this year, despite the fact that their applications were successful, what (a) steps will he take to address the situation, given the fact that exams have already begun and (b) kind of consequences will his department impose on NSFAS should the specified students underperform?

Reply:

All universities pay student allowances directly. The Department followed up with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on receipt of the Parliamentary Question. UWC is not aware of 400 students that are alleged not to have received book allowances. According to the information provided by UWC and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the only students that have not received book allowances are students who are registered for one or two modules and repeating from the 2018 academic year. These students do not qualify for a book allowance for these repeated modules.

15 November 2019 - NW1364

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Brink, Mr C to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Whether his department did business with certain (a) persons, (b) companies and (c) trusts (names and details furnished in each case) (i) in each of the past five financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2019; if so, (aa) on what date(s) did his department do business with the specified persons, companies and trusts and (bb) what was the (aaa) nature and (bbb) monetary value of each business arrangement?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

The Department did not do business with any of the said companies in the last five financial years. With regards to the listed names, the Department is not in a position to establish such, as the Department does not have the names of individuals serving on boards or companies on its database.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION:

As depicted below the Department of Science and Innovation has not done business with the persons, companies and trusts in the question.

Name of institution

(a) Persons

(b) Companies

(c) Trusts

 

(i) Past 5 Years

(ii) Since April 2019

(i) Past 5 Years

(ii) Since April 2019

(i) Past 5 Years

(ii) Since April 2019

Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)

None

None

None

None

None

None

08 November 2019 - NW1217

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training

(a) Why have the adult basic education and training facilities in the Hantam Local Municipality closed down and (b) what alternative arrangements have been made to accommodate the municipality that is already plagued by a high illiteracy rate?

Reply:

(a) Against the strategic goal of building institutional capacity in the Community Education and Training (CET) system, the Department took a decision to rationalize the CET institutional landscape in the interest of efficiency, effective service delivery and economic use of the limited resources. In order to guide the process of rationalization, the CET College System: National Plan for the Implementation of the White Paper on Post-School Education and Training was developed. The Councils of the CET colleges took resolutions in support of the proposal in the plan to rationalize the Community Learning Centres (CLCs) nationally from 3 276 to 200. For the Northern Cape CET College, the Council approved 7 CLCs and 80 satellite centres for accessibility.

The four CLCs in the Hantam Local Municipality were affected due to extremely low student headcount enrolments, which impacted on the provision of quality education and training. In the 2018 examination cycle, the four centres combined had 21 candidates, i.e. Williston with five candidates, Loerisfontein with five candidates, Niewoudtville with seven candidates and Brandvlei with four candidates.

In quality, planning and resource terms, there must be a lecturer for each subject and examination procedures in place, i.e. appointment of invigilators and markers. In the context of limited resources matched with the uptake of the CET opportunities by the communities, the situation was unsustainable.

(b) In terms of the Policy and Procedures for Regulating the Opening, Merging and Closing of CET Colleges’ learning sites, the rationalization process does not preclude the Council from opening and merging centres where there is a need. If the demand increases the college Council can be approached to open a satellite centre and deploy lecturers accordingly.

25 October 2019 - NW1167

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Basson, Mr LJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Whether his department incurred any costs related to the (a) inauguration of the President of the Republic, Mr M C Ramaphosa, held in Pretoria on 25 May 2019 and (b) State of the Nation Address held in Cape Town on 20 June 2019; if so, in each case, (i) what costs were incurred and (ii) for what reason?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

The Department did not incur costs related to the inauguration of the President and State of the Nation Address.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION:

(1) Yes, the Director-General Dr P Mjwara, of the Department of Science and Innovation attended the events as follows:

Event

(a) Inauguration of the President of the Republic, Mr M C Ramaphosa, held in Pretoria on 25 May 2019

(b) State of the Nation Address held in Cape Town on 20 June 2019

Attended

Flights

Accommodation

R0

R0

R10 015.00

R 1 828.12

Total

R0

R11 843.12

25 October 2019 - NW1065

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1) Whether he received an invitation from the Solidarity Movement to discuss their activities in the sphere of higher education and vocational training with him; if so, 2) Whether he is prepared to meet them on the matter; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) Whether, with reference to his statement on 23 September 2019, (details furnished), he has found that the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction is a transgression of the Bill of Rights; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

  1. A letter dated 27 September 2019 was received from Solidarity requesting a meeting to discuss matters relating to the Sol-Tech College.
  2. I am looking forward to meeting and engaging with them and any other institution on matters relating to higher education and training.

I welcome the explanation and clarity provided in their letter that Sol-Tech as a private college is fully committed to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and all legislative frameworks pertaining to education and training in the country, and as such, rejects all forms of discrimination based on race. My Ministry will engage with them further as we have an obligation to make sure that no South African is denied access to any educational institution in the country based on race, language or culture.

3. The Department acknowledges and upholds Afrikaans as one of the 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa, which is duly protected by the Constitution. However, any form of discrimination or exclusionary practice based on language will not be tolerated as it goes against the spirit of the Constitution and the imperatives of social cohesion and nation building.

4. The Department’s position is very clear and consistent over the years that in post-apartheid South Africa we will no longer have exclusive Afrikaans, Zulu or Xhosa institutions, but rather institutions, which are open to all South Africans that upholds the values of our Constitution.

25 October 2019 - NW1064

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

1. Whether he has been informed that the Square Kilometre Array South Africa advertised that it would be hosting monthly meetings with affected communities, but in fact failed to attend the meeting as advertised for 18 September from 17h00 to 19h00 in the Kareeberg Library, Carnarvon; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what was the reason for their nonattendance; 2. Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology is aware that SARAO – (formerly the South African Square Kilometre Array Project Office), hosts regular public information sessions and stakeholder meetings in various towns surrounding the SKA project in the Northern Cape. I can confirm that SARAO attended the meeting in Carnarvon on 18 September 2019 and they have given me the attendance register and minutes of this meeting.

2. The Minister will not be making a statement on this matter.

09 October 2019 - NW977

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1) Whether it is Government’s policy to permit one university campus to be predominantly Afrikaans speaking; if not, why not; (2) Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

  1. All South African universities are currently public higher education instiutions. Public higher education institutions must be accessible to a wide range of diverse students. Within the South African context universities have developed language policies, in line with the Policy on Languages in Higher Education, and have moved away from Afrikaans only language institutions/ campuses toward utilising English as the main language of instruction, and at the same time fostering multilingual environments that include a range of other languages, in terms of, for example, campus signage, social usage and formal usage at university arranged events. This move has been tested in the consitutional court and has been found to be in line with the Constitution. Government supports these language policy movements, however it does not set the policy at the institutional level. An institution may implement a language policy that allows for dual mediums of instruction in terms of the policy. However, they may not implement policy that results in language being a barrier to access and success for students.

Private higher education institutions must also uphold the constitution and implement language policies that do not act as barriers to access and success.

2. No, the Minister will not be making a statement on this matter.

19 September 2019 - NW763

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Mkhatshwa, Ms NT to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What legal interventions have been made in the cases of maladministration, unethical and self-enriching practices which found expression in the governance of institutions of higher learning from the University of Venda to the University of Fort Hare, where there are unfinished infrastructure development projects and institutions are under administration?

Reply:

In terms of the Higher Education Act, if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the council or the management of a public higher education institution is involved in financial impropriety or the institution is being otherwise mismanaged, the Minister may issue a directive which must state the nature and extent of the deficiency; the negative impact of the deficiency on the institution; the steps which should be taken to remedy the situation; and a reasonable period within which the steps must be taken. In the event that the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the council has failed to comply with the directive, the Minister may, depending on the circumstances, appoint an independent assessor, appoint an administrator, or take any other appropriate action allowed by this Act or any other law.

The Minister may appoint an independent assessor if circumstances arise at an institution that involve financial or other maladministration of a serious nature; or seriously undermine the effective functioning of the institution. In the case where an audit of the financial records of an institution or the report by an independent assessor or any other report or information reveals financial or other maladministration of a serious nature or serious undermining of the effective functioning of a public higher education institution, the Minister may appoint an administrator.

There are two universities under administration currently, namely the University of Fort Hare (UFH) and Vaal University of Technology (VUT). Under normal circumstances, an independent assessor would be appointed first to investigate the affairs of a university and advise the Minister on the source and nature of problems facing the institution and the measures required to restore good governance and management at the university. At the recommendation of the independent assessor, the Minister would then appoint an Administrator. However, the circumstances surrounding these institutions were such that the appointment of an Administrator preceded an independent assessment in the case of UFH, and for VUT before the independent assessment could be concluded.

Institutions with unfinished infrastructure development projects

There are two institutions with abandoned infrastructure development projects, namely the University of Venda (UNIVEN) and the University of Fort Hare (UFH).

In the case of UNIVEN, the existing abandoned infrastructure projects are as a result of insufficient funds to finalise construction or appointed service providers failing to deliver in terms of the contractual agreement. When the matter was brought to the Minister’s attention, the Minister issued a directive to the Council to discontinue any new infrastructure development plans. The Department also conducted an institutional oversight visit to understand the infrastructure challenges facing the University. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of the implementation and management of the Recovery Projects at UNIVEN was done to assist the University going forward. During the last quarter of 2017, contractors were invited, through an open tender process, to complete some of the abandoned projects. An additional amount of R55 million has been allocated to the University to complete some of the critical projects, and the University was instructed to seek additional funds from other sources to complete other projects. The University has since put stringent measures in place to ensure the completion of these projects, and the Department is monitoring the University closely.

With regards to UFH, the abandoned project is the Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) building on the East London Campus. This has been due to maladministration to some extent, but also lack of capacity to manage and implement infrastructure projects. The Department has supported the University to develop an infrastructure procurement strategy to ensure the commencement of the implementation of the abandoned ECDC project and is also monitoring the university closely.

19 September 2019 - NW762

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Mkhatshwa, Ms NT to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether there has been any substantive progress with regard to the restoration of stability in the management of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) (details furnished); if so, (2) whether the persons who are found to have caused the degeneration of NSFAS will face legal consequences; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. Significant changes and improvements have been undertaken by the Administrator in keeping to the gazetted terms of reference of the administration period up to August 2019. This has resulted in a more stable 2019 student funding cycle in the sector.

This can be seen most clearly in the improvements in the disbursement of student allowances in 2019, resulting in significantly less disruption to the academic programme than what occurred in 2018, where students were confirmed late in the academic year and received allowances late. In 2019, the majority of students where funding was confirmed, registration took place, and students signed their bursary agreements, received their allowances early in the academic year.

Data exchange between institutions and NSFAS has significantly improved and resulted in a smoother funding cycle, and many errors from the 2017 and 2018 academic years have been corrected. This has a direct effect on students receiving funding at the appropriate time. Appeals are being processed efficiently and data exceptions have been reduced significantly.

There have also been improvements regarding the support provided to institutions by NSFAS to resolve problems timeously, including more direct support to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. Compliance with bursary rules has improved and this has resulted in low error numbers and outstanding or incorrect payments.

As reported in Parliament on 28 August 2019, NSFAS, while under Administration has paid significant attention to issues of organisational governance and management, including identifying high-risk areas in the business processes of NSFAS. This has included significant attention to areas of information technology (IT), governance and risk, and the management of data at the entity. Controls that are more effective have been put in place to ensure effective management and administration of IT systems.

Issues of data integrity and cyber security were identified as critical areas of work, and many challenges remain within the entity that are being addressed. Challenges with the IT systems, which regularly crashed in 2018 were urgently addressed, and IT operational systems are currently operating at 98% uptime, in contrast to daily system crashes in 2018. Disbursements are processed more effectively in 2019 on a monthly rather than a daily basis.

NSFAS has undertaken a number of forensic investigations to uncover and act in areas of fraud and maladministration. An overview of this work has been presented to Parliament and the work continues.

NSFAS has opened the 2020 applications cycle at the beginning of September 2019.

The new Administration term, together with new Terms of Reference, have been published in the Government Gazette. This is to allow for continued work to improve the operations of the entity. The Administrator and his team will also work closely with the Ministerial team that will be appointed soon to conduct a review of NSFAS business processes with a view to making decisions about NSFAS going forward.

NSFAS has a critical mandate to support funding for students from poor and working-class backgrounds in the university and TVET college sectors, and a more efficient and effective NSFAS is an absolute priority of the Administrator, supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

2. Those who are found responsible for wrongdoing at NSFAS will face consequences. The Administrator reported in Parliament on 28 August 2019 on a number of forensic investigations underway at the entity. In some cases, disciplinary processes have already been initiated where evidence is available. In other cases, investigations are continuing. NSFAS will work with the necessary authorities, where necessary, to lay charges in cases where evidence of illegal activity is uncovered.

06 September 2019 - NW590

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Keetse, Mr PP to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What number of (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) dentists graduated in each of the past five years?

Reply:

The table below provides the number of nurses, doctors and dentists who graduated at public higher education institutions from 2013 to 2017.

Undergraduate Degree

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

MBCHB

1 346

1 170

1 454

1 496

1 574

Nurses

1 380

1 558

1 599

1 675

1 708

Dentists
excluding Dental Science and Dental Therapy

117

125

117

140

138

06 September 2019 - NW592

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Keetse, Mr PP to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What number of (a) plumbers, (b) electricians, (c) carpenters and (d) boilermakers graduated in each of the past five years?

Reply:

The numbers of qualified artisans in boiler making, carpentry, electrical and plumbing for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019 are tabulated below:

Trade

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Total

Boilermaker

1 081

958

1 196

1 144

1 143

5 522

Carpenter

117

116

231

305

253

1 022

Electrician

3 000

3 261

4 679

5 737

5 245

21 922

Plumber

579

826

1 239

1 234

1 855

5 733

Total

4 777

5 161

7 345

8 420

8 496

34 199

05 September 2019 - NW593

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Pambo, Mr V to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What number of students graduated with a degree in computer sciences in each of the past five academic years?

Reply:

The table below provides the number of students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Computer and Information Science at public higher education institutions from 2013 to 2017.

Undergraduate Degree

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Computer and Information Science

2 531

2 670

2 746

2 617

2 843

04 September 2019 - NW467

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Why did the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) decide to stop providing book vouchers and award cash grants for books to each student; (2) (a) what is the monetary value of the book grant received by each student for the 2019 academic year and (b) how was this amount calculated; (3) whether NSFAS has put any mechanisms in place to monitor that the cash grants are used for its designated purpose of purchasing books; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) what is the position of NSFAS on the possibility that students are purchasing pirated or illegally photocopied books instead of legally published books?

Reply:

1. The learning materials allowance is only available to DHET bursary students at universities. NSFAS stopped book vouchers for a number of reasons:

  • Students have been the target of voucher scams on various campuses;
  • There were many commercial interests involved, with merchants providing services to students using vouchers for a fee;
  • Students were trading the book vouchers for cash outside many shops;
  • The voucher system was limited to selected merchants that monopolised the student market;
  • There was no space for students to choose where to purchase books, including from second-hand retailers; and
  • The book allowance was changed to a learning materials allowance so that students can also decide to purchase other learning support materials, including laptops and tablets.

In addition, the call to change book vouchers to cash was one of the many demands by the student leadership, as part of their input into the policy governing student funding.

2. (a) R5 000 is the monetary value of the learning materials allowance received by each full time NSFAS student on the new DHET bursary scheme for the 2019 academic year.

(b) The learning materials allowance is set by the Department in the annual guidelines and is based on an affordable and fair standardised amount.

3. NSFAS has no mechanism to monitor the spending of cash allowances by students. NSFAS believes that students should be treated as adults and have the financial freedom to withdraw the cash voucher and make an informed decision on how best to utilise the funds. The ultimate responsibility is in the hands of the students. In the process, NSFAS expects students to grow to be responsible citizens and take charge of their economic freedom.

There is a concern that book sales have declined with the change in the policy. NSFAS and the Department believe that it is necessary to conduct proper research to explore the patterns of textbook usage and buying amongst students, and will engage with the university sector on this matter.

4. Research is necessary to determine whether this is indeed happening and what the patterns of student behaviour are in this area. NSFAS funding is provided to support student success and NSFAS students have to meet academic criteria set by institutions. There are many factors that play a role in student success, and access to learning materials and other financial support are part of these factors.

04 September 2019 - NW594

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Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(a) What number of patents were filed in the Republic in 2018, (b) which industry or focus area filed a patent and (c) what number was filed by (i) the citizens of the Republic and (ii) foreigners?

Reply:

As a preface, this information is held by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), an agency of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic).

a) During the period 1 January to 31 December 2018, a total of 8 655 (eight thousand six hundred and fifty-five) patent applications were filed at the CIPC in the Republic.

Of these 1 884 (one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four) were provisional patent applications (first filing using the Paris Convention Priority), 1 142 (one thousand one hundred and fourty-two) were complete patent applications (which follow a provisional patent application and this application will proceed to grant) and 5 630 (five thousand six hundred and thirty) were Patent Cooperation Treaty national phase applications (an application filed in South Africa after filing an international application with the World Intellectual Property Organisation).

b) The following breakdown of industry areas were recorded [Note that a single application may cut across industry areas and thus more than one area may be designated for a single application].

INDUSTRY OF FOCUS

TOTAL

SECTION A (HUMAN NECESSITIES INCLUDING HEALTH, CLOTHING, AGRICULTURE AND FOOD)

2833

SECTION C (CHEMISTRY; METALLURGY)

2392

SECTION B (PERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING)

1243

SECTION G (PHYSICS)

898

SECTION H (ELECTRICITY)

746

SECTION F (MECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING)

563

SECTION E (FIXED CONTRUCTIONS)

433

SECTION D (TEXTILES; PAPER)

112

c) Of the 8 655 applications filed, 2 447 (two thousand four hundred and forty-seven) were by South African nationals and 6 208 (six thousand two hundred and eight) by international applications.

04 September 2019 - NW591

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Keetse, Mr PP to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What number of (a) engineers and (b) architects graduated in each of the past five years?

Reply:

The table below provides the number of students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Engineering and Architecture at public higher education institutions from 2013 to 2017.

Undergraduate Degree

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Engineering

11 441

12 058

12 470

12 386

12 956

Architects

798

846

792

820

862

04 September 2019 - NW466

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Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)What amount did each sector education and training authority (Seta) spend on catering (a) in each of the past five financial years and (b) since 1 April 2019; (2) whether any norms that Setas need to adhere to regarding spending on catering have been put in place; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. According to the information provided by entities, the table below shows the amount spent by each Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) on catering (a) in each of the past five financial years and (b) since 1 April 2019.

SETA Name

Amount spent on catering

 

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Since April 2019/20

Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA)

R107 718.92

R137 437.03

R106 070.02

R150 725.32

R222 450.00

R67 340.00

Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDPSETA)

R1 231 602.88

R1 503 452.23

R1 339 502.44

R1 574 235.83

R1 747 615.28

R6 861.18

Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET)

R19 634.00

R36 113.00

R35 600.00

R27 628.00

R74 568.00

R49 011.00

Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&MSETA)

R54 313.00

R98 080.00

R72 318.00

R28 392.00

R 73 921.00

R 32 575.00

Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA)

R22 623.50

R86 929.70

R87 724.95

R157 001.94

R204 406.98

R64 950.00

Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA)

R2 204 083.51

R1 729 209.51

R1 532 200.20

R2 835 886.74

R3 103 967.84

R639 708.32

Public Services Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA)

R347 369.64

R422 120.78

R384 334.67

R352 575.40

R473 486.08

R155 011.65

Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA)

R322 212.71

R249 702.42

R259 125.77

R334 222.54

R638 351.71

R196 704.18

Food and Beverages Sector Education and Training Authority (FOODBEV)

R58 000.00

R 94 000.00

R115 000.00

R117 000.00

R105 000.00

R71 000.00

Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA)

R477 193.14

R114 133.40

R63 630.00

R244 232.20

R513 745.45

R185 994.50

Transport Sector Education and Training Authority (TETA)

R131 172.07

R108 878.40

R80 413.35

R115 332.25

R76 817.65

R35 973.60

Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA)

R730 263.79

R709 479.70

R1 397 211.12

R464 805.85

R631 371.59

R209 527.26

Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA)

R125 174.71

R97 684.61

R474 641.09

R510 800.55

R752 426.20

R45 058.27

Manufacturing and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA)

R212 283.00

R290 260.00

R356 171.00

R409 215.00

R427 311.00

R243 115.00

Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA)

R221 000.00

R267 000.00

R258 000.00

R353 000.00

R369 000.00

R155 000.00

Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority (AGRISETA)

R58 000.00

R94 000.00

R115 000.00

R117 000.00

R105 000.00

R71 000.00

Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA

Data not available

R298 202.89

R111 939.64

R259 684.55

R211 515.21

R61 734.55

Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA)

R146 373.83

R165 439.83

R105 011.75

R107 111.30

R66 160.20

R700.00

Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SERVICES SETA)

R559 582.00

R698 426.00

R1 056 252.00

R960 312.00

R1 220 218.00

R255 584.00

Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA)

R408 622.01

R574 339.07

R457 839.98

R452 145.67

R235 002.56

R201 792.61

Media, Information and Communication Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA)

R54 000.00

R122 000.00

R117 000.00

R190 000.00

R249 000.00

R131 108.00

2. SETAs’ spending on catering is guided by the National Treasury Instruction 02 of 2016/17 on cost containment measures. The instruction stipulates that public entities may not incur catering expenses for internal meetings, unless approved otherwise by the relevant Accounting Officer or Accounting Authority. This excludes meetings held with employees of the same institution coming from other areas other than where the meeting is held. The public entity may incur catering expenses for official engagements that lasts for five (5) continuous hours or more, including the hosting of conferences, workshops, indabas, forums, recruitment interviews, training sessions or hearings, meetings relating to commissions or commissions of inquiry, and meetings hosted by the Accounting Officer or Accounting Authority including governance committee meetings.

13 August 2019 - NW346

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

(1)Whether his department has any plans in place to retain the services and skills of academics, including academics who have reached retirement age, for the benefit of the Republic in general and for their specialist academic fields in particular; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The appointment and retention of personnel at universities is the responsibility of each institution.

The majority of universities have a normal retirement age of 65. Most of these also allow post retirement employment for a further 3 years (some contract, and some deferred retirement) in selected cases where the expertise is required and under specific conditions. This post retirement employment is specifically allowed to enable the retention of scarce and critical skills.

However, retaining critical and scarce skills post-retirement age is not a long-term sustainable solution, and efforts have to be made to strengthen the academic staff pipeline to ensure that there are academics who can competently replace those who retire.

The Department of Higher Education and Training is implementing the Staffing South Africa’s Universities’ Framework (SSAUF) as part of its comprehensive University Capacity Development Programme. The SSAUF is intended to support universities to recruit, develop and retain academic staff. A number of key programmes are being implemented:

  • The New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) supports universities to appoint and develop new academics in areas of need, including in critical and scarce skills areas. 473 Posts have already been allocated, and going forward, 100 new posts will be allocated every year.
  • The University Staff Doctoral Programme (USD) supports existing academics to achieve doctoral degrees so that they can progress more rapidly along the research and teaching career trajectory. The programme was initiated in 2018, and approximately 200 academics are currently being supported, with a further 60 to be recruited this year.
  • The Future Professors Programme supports promising academics who have shown academic and research leadership potential to participate in a two-year development programme that will enable them to apply for professor positions. The first phase of the programme will recruit three cohorts of 28 academics over three years, with the first cohort being recruited in 2019.
  • The Supplementary Staff Programme enables the recruitment of skilled retired academics to support the implementation of the other SSAUF programmes and other staff development initiatives. These skilled academics are utilised for example, as mentors, or to replace nGAP and USDP scholars when they undertake mobility opportunities away from the university as part of their development programmes.

The Department intends upscaling these programmes as funding becomes available.

2. The Minister has already communicated to the sector on the need to retain critical and scarce skills whilst new capacity is being developed.

.

13 August 2019 - NW361

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Chetty, Mr M to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) number of official international trips is (i) he and (ii) his deputy planning to undertake in the 2019-22 medium term expenditure framework, (b) will the (i) destination, (ii) date, (iii) purpose and (iv) number of persons who will travel with the delegation be and (c) is the detailed breakdown of the expected cost of (i) flights, (ii) accommodation and (iii) any other expenses in each case?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

a) (i) The Minister is planning to undertake three international travel missions abroad for 2019/20.

    (ii) The Deputy Minister is planning to undertake two international travel missions abroad for 2019/20.

(b) The table below outlines the (i) destination, (ii) date, (iii) purpose and (iv) number of persons who will travel with the delegation.

MINISTER

Destination

Date

Purpose

Delegation

Paris, France

12 – 16 November 2019

The 40th UNESCO General Conference determines the policies and work of the Organisation. Participation will be in the high-level meeting on the Global Convention on Higher Education.

5 Officials

Nicosia, Cyprus

2020

The Minister has been invited to visit and explore educational cooperation opportunities. The Minister will lead a delegation of senior management from universities as part of strengthening institutional partnerships.

4 Officials

Nouakchott, Mauritania

2020

The Mauritanian Minister of Higher Education visited South Africa in 2017 and extended an invitation for the Minister to lead a delegation of officials and academics to visit Mauritania to strengthen bilateral relations in higher education.

4 Officials

DEPUTY MINISTER

Destination

Date

Purpose

Delegation

Kazan, Russia

22 - 27 August 2019

To lead the South African delegation to the World Skills 2019 Competition focusing on vocational education skills development and transformation of education systems.

23 Officials

New Delhi, India

26 - 27 August 2019

To participate in the India-Africa Higher Education and Skills Development Summit. Specific projects for collaboration in the education sector will be discussed.

Spouse and 6 officials

(c) The table below provides a breakdown of the expected costs of (i) flights, (ii) accommodation and (iii) other expenses.

Destination

Date

Flight

Accommodation

Other Expenses

Paris, France

12 – 16 November 2019

Business Class R25 500

Economy Class R8 100

Suite R12 000

Standard Room R3 500

R1 855 per diem

Nicosia, Cyprus

2020

 

Suite R6 000

Standard Room R3 000

R1 680 per diem

Nouakchott, Mauritania

2020

Business Class R18 450

Economy Class R10 500

Suite R2 300

Standard Room R1 400

R1 395 per diem

Kazan, Russia

22- 27 August 2019

Business Class R28 350

Economy Class R14 300

Suite R3 100

Standard Room R1 400

R4 757 per diem

New Delhi, India

26 - 27 August 2019

R28 000 Business Class

R15 000 Economy Class

Suite R1 750

Standard Room R1 400

R1 200 per diem

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

d) The Minister and the Deputy Minister are invited to meetings and conferences internationally by their foreign counterparts, international organizations and by the Presidency among others intermittently. The list of international engagements below reflects only the engagements that both the Minister and Deputy Minister have accepted. The international travel calendar for the outer years is subject to receiving invitations. All international missions require presidential approval prior to traveling.

(i) The Minister is currently planning to undertake two international travel missions abroad for 2019 – 2020.

(ii) The Deputy Minister is currently planning to undertake one international travel mission abroad for 2019 – 2020.

e) The table below outlines the (i) destination, (ii) date, (iii) purpose and (iv) number of persons who will travel with the delegation as direct support to the Minister and Deputy Minister, which is tentative until approved by the Minister. For the multilateral engagements, additional Departmental officials will participate for example in senior officials’ meetings preparing the ministerial meetings, but not in a direct supporting role to the Minister and Deputy Minister. For the purpose of this reply the number of officials in the delegations assigned to a direct supporting role to the principals is indicated.

DESTINATION

DATE

PURPOSE

DELEGATION

Minister’s Trips

Yokohama, Japan

27-30 August 2019

7th Summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII).

Africa-Japan Ministerial Dialogue Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meeting is convened on the occasion of the Tokyo International Conference for Africa’s Development (TICAD) – South Africa has played a leadership role in in encouraging a science, technology and innovation focus as part of TICAD. The President also invited the Minister to join his delegation to TICAD.

4 Officials

Dresden, Germany

11-13 October

2019

Carnegie Meeting of Science and Technology Ministers and Science Advisors hosted by the German Minister of Education and Research.

The Carnegie meeting is a prestigious, informal annual gathering bringing together the government science leaders of the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States); the European Commission; as well as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. It provides an opportunity for Ministers to discuss and share experiences in an informal setting with regard to science and technology policy as part of their governments’ and the international agendas

1 Official

Deputy Minister’s Trips

Campinas, Brazil

19 - 20 September 2019

BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting – the meeting is the highest inter-governmental BRICS Forum dedicated to decide on and review BRICS science, technology and innovation partnership initiatives.

2 Officials

f) The table below shows the detailed breakdown of the expected cost of (i) flights, (ii) accommodation and (iii) any other expenses in each case?

DESTINATION

DATE

FLIGHT

ACCOMMODATION

OTHER EXPENSES

Minister’s Trips:

Yokohama, Japan

27-30 August 2019

Business Class R66 000

Economy Class R25 000

Suite R8400

Standard Room R3500

R4370 per diem

Dresden, Germany

11-13 October 2019

Business Class R80 000

Economy Class R21 000

Suite R11 000

Standard Room R3 000

R5800 per diem

Deputy Minister’s Trips

Campinas, Brazil

19 - 20 September 2019

Business Class R80 000

Economy Class R25 000

Suite R3500

Standard Room R3500

R4164 per diem

30 July 2019 - NW276

Profile picture: Seitlholo, Mr IS

Seitlholo, Mr IS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

What (a) total amount was budgeted for his private office for the 2019-20 financial year and (b) was the (i) total remuneration, (ii) salary level, (iii) job title, (iv) qualification and (v) job description of each employee appointed in his private office since 1 May 2019?

Reply:

1. (a) R14 941 573.00.

(b) (i) – (v) Please refer to the attached table.