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14 December 2022 - NW4356

Profile picture: Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI

Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether he will furnish Ms N I Tarabella Marchesi with an organogram of all the technical vocational education and training colleges; if so, on what date?

Reply:

Please find attached the organogram of 48 Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET). 

https://www.dst.gov.za/owncloud/remote.php/webdav/Fifty%20TVET%20Colleges%20Organogram.zip

Username : BabuleleB
Password: Science1

12 December 2022 - NW4319

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether, with reference to the recommendations made to the University of Stellenbosch in the Khampepe Report into allegations of racism at the specified university, his department has any plans in place to convert some of the specified recommendations into best practice guidelines for all universities; if not, why not; if so, how will the first-year welcoming programmes at universities be tailored to incorporate the considerations included in the specified report?

Reply:

The Department is studying the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Racism at Stellenbosch University (Khampepe Report) and its findings.   The report will have a significant impact on Stellenbosch University and may well offer significant lessons to other South African universities. However, the Department does not prescribe specific strategies to the universities. Universities in South Africa are autonomous but accountable to the Department of Higher Education and Training. In this regard, each university should study the Commission’s report, its findings and recommendations and consider lessons to learn for effective changes.

The circumstances and environments of our institutions of higher learning are unique to each individual institution. Their individual histories; cultures and circumstances are not the same. Therefore, there is no one solution to a problem that could be applied across the sector in this regard. Each university is encouraged to interpret the recommendations and make them relevant to its campuses where necessary. This also applies to ‘first-year welcoming programmes’ which are designed according to the various circumstances at each campus and, also, taking into consideration the specific needs of the university and its students. Therefore, there can be no single prescription made to all the universities.

The Department has its own programmes in place which seek to monitor the transformation of the system, working together with the Council on Higher Education. Reports from the monitoring unit provide an opportunity to reflect on transformation issues in the system and how transformation can better be monitored in the public university system.

Moreover, the Department is implementing the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP), which is focused on advancing the transformation agenda in university education system in three critical areas: student development/success, staff development and programme/curriculum development. All universities are allocated an annual grant (the University Capacity Development Grant) and are required to use the grant to implement approved three-year project plans (2021–2023) which address the transformation imperatives of the UCDP in its three focus areas as identified above. Each university develops and implements projects and activities that are specific and unique to the University to address transformation needs. This is a resource that can be utilised by universities to support students holistically, through a range of student support initiatives that include academic support, psychosocial support and life skills. Universities will develop new UCDP plans to be implemented from 2024, the guidelines for the implementation of the UCDP (that come in the form of the Ministerial Statement on the Implementation of the University Capacity Development Programme) will endeavour to emphasise the guidelines.

12 December 2022 - NW4384

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

(a) Which institutions of higher learning had ombudsman and (b) what are the details of investigative reports were presented to the various university councils between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021?

Reply:

No.

Institution/University

Ombuds Office

Response

Report of Ombuds office

1

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

No Ombuds

   

2

University of Cape Town

Has Ombuds office

The reports of the Ombud to Council have ordinarily been high-level reports on trends without detail that would compromise the confidentiality undertakings of the Ombud’s office. The terms of reference explicitly provide that the Office of the Ombud ‘shall not investigate, arbitrate, adjudicate or in any other way participate in any internal or external formal process or action… The mandate is that the ‘Office of the Ombud provides a neutral, informal, confidential and independent environment where members of the university community may raise complaints or concerns and may seek information and guidance about any alleged acts, omissions, rules or other matters relating to the functioning of the University. The Ombud’s report of 2019 (for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019) deviated from the above terms of reference in that it included a compilation of untested and unproven allegations made by the Ombud in her personal capacity against the Vice Chancellor, the Executive in general and Deans. Council considered the matter on a confidential basis.

The Ombud’s report of 2019 (for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019) was submitted. 

3

Central University of Technology

No Ombuds

   

4

Durban University of Technology

No Ombuds

   

5

University of Fort Hare

No Ombuds

   

6

University of the Free State.

No Ombuds

   

7

University of Johannesburg.

UJ currently does not have an Ombud

No forensic investigation reports served at the Council for the period January 2019 to December 2021. However, updates on significant litigation cases serve at the Audit and Risk Committee of Council and Council frequently

 

8

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Position has been vacant since March 2022

No investigative reports were presented to Council for the years in question.

 

9

University of Limpopo

No Ombuds

   

10

Mangosuthu University of Technology

No Ombuds

   

11

University of Mpumalanga

No Ombuds

   

12

Nelson Mandela University

External Ombuds

Nelson Mandela University had Ombuds during the period under review (i.e. 01 January 2019 – 31 December 2021). The Ombud is external to the University meaning not an employee of the University

The following report was reported to the University Council under the period under review: (i) Investigation into irregular conduct in the University Catering Services in 2019.

13

North-West University

No Ombuds

   

14

University of Pretoria

No Ombuds

   

15

Rhodes University

Has Ombuds office

 

The ombud has from 2021 submitted reports to the Audit and Risk Committee.

16

Sefako Makgatho University

No Ombuds

   

17

Sol Plaatje University

No Ombuds

   

18

University of South Africa

Has Ombuds office

UNISA indicated that they are still working on a response which will follow once received.

 

19

Stellenbosch University

Has Ombuds office

Ombuds Office engages with

1. Student matters: Issues and problems relating to academic matters, readmission, communication, bursaries, fees, supervisors, residences, disciplinary proceedings, and others.

2.Staff matters: Issues and problems relating to human resources, bullying, communication, benefits, leave, pension, salary, appointments, promotions, and others.

Not clear if the university has received a report from the Ombuds Office.

20

Tshwane University of Technology

Has students Ombuds office

The Tshwane University of Technology has an established office of the Student Ombudsman, participating in various internal structures of the University where matters that have a direct bearing to the welfare of students are being discussed, like the Student Services Council (SSC) and the Task Team for Student Academic Matters (TTSAM).

The scope and mandate of the Student Ombudsman is governed by the Policy on the Ombudsman for Student Academic Complaints. The Student Ombudsman only mediates and adjudicates on complaints that are of an academic nature. The Student Ombudsman strictly adheres to a set procedure that the students must follow in lodging complaints, set as follows:

1. The student has to first attempt to resolve the complaint with the Lecturer concerned.

2. If after lodging the complaint with the Lecturer, the student is still aggrieved, they are at liberty to escalate the matter to the Lecturer’s Line Manager, the Head of the Department.

3. In the event that the student still does not find any joy after the two steps above, they can then refer the matter to the Executive Dean of the concerned Faculty or the Campus Rector in the case of the Distant Campuses.

4. In the event that the three steps above still don’t yield any fruit for the student, the can then refer the matter to the Student Ombudsman, who will then initiate the investigative process.

The Student Ombudsman compiles reports on an annual basis and these reports serve at the institution’s SENATE, where all Deans of the seven faculties of the institution sit. Of particular importance in the report are the recommendations, which help the institution in averting possible reputational risk to the institution. Student Ombudsman Annual Reports are available for perusal should the need arise.

21

Vaal University of Technology

VUT established the office of the Ombud late last year

 

No reports by 31 December.

22

University of Venda

No Ombuds

   

23

Walter Sisulu University

No Ombuds

   

24

University of the Western Cape

No Ombuds

   

25

University of the Witwatersrand

No Ombuds

The University of the Witwatersrand does not have an Ombudsman; instead, we host an Integrity Hotline which allows for matters of concern related to fraud/whistleblowing to be reported. The Council Audit and Risk Committee are informed of any developments. No investigative reports were presented to Council during the period Jan 2019- 31 Dec 2021.

 

26

University of Zululand

No Ombuds

   

12 December 2022 - NW4694

Profile picture: Zondo, Mr  S S

Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether, considering his department’s reported concerns about matters of governance at the University of Cape Town (UCT), following widespread media reports about UCT's governance controversies, he will furnish Mr S S Zondo with an update and/or details on the (a) specified governance controversies and (b) expected report from the university’s Council; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Minister has received the Report from the University Council and it is under consideration by his Office. The Minister will after careful consideration, determine the action to take within the prescripts of the Higher Education Act.

02 December 2022 - NW4383

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

What total number of Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges have their own student accommodation facilities?

Reply:

The Department has thirty-eight (38) Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges that have their own student accommodation facilities. The colleges are as follows:

TVET COLLEGES WITH STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

PROVINCE

COLLEGE NAME

EASTERN CAPE

Buffalo City TVET College

 

Ingwe TVET College

 

King Hintsa TVET College

 

KSD TVET College

 

Lovedale TVET College

 

Port Elizabeth TVET College

   

FREE STATE

Flavius Mareka TVET College

 

Maluti TVET College

   

GAUTENG

Central Johannesburg College

 

Ekurhuleni East TVET College

 

Tshwane North TVET

 

Tshwane South TVET College

 

South West Gauteng TVET College

   

KWAZULU NATAL

Elangeni TVET College

 

Mnambithi TVET College

 

Esayidi TVET College

 

Mthashana TVET College

 

Thekwini TVET College

 

Umfolozi TVET

 

Coastal KZN TVET College

   

LIMPOPO

Vhembe TVET College

 

Sekhukhune TVET College

 

Capricorn TVET College

 

Waterberg TVET College

   

MPUMALANGA

Ehlanzeni TVET College

 

Gert Sibande TVET College

 

Nkangala TVET College

   

NORTH WEST

Orbit TVET College

 

Taletso TVET College

 

Vuselela TVET College

   

NORTHERN CAPE

Northern Cape Urban TVET College

 

Northern Cape Rural TVET College

   

WESTERN CAPE

Boland College

 

College of Cape Town

 

False Bay TVET College

 

West Coast College

 

South Cape TVET College

 

Northlink College

02 December 2022 - NW3851

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

What (a) steps has he taken to recoup the R5 billion meant for youth skills development that has allegedly gone missing and (b) plans have been put in place to ensure that negligence and corruption of this nature no longer takes place?

Reply:

There are decisive steps which I took in addressing the detected malfeasance at the NSF. It must however be stated that the R5 billion quantum is not an accurate figure, the correct figure is much lesser than that.

At the time of the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) indicating that the AGSA audit process could not conclusively report on the NSF funded projects amounting to about R2.5 billion, I immediately placed the then Director-General and the Chief Executive Officer on precautionary suspensions.

Further to that I commissioned a forensic investigation on the financial affairs of the NSF to which NEXUS FORENSIC SERVICES was tasked.

The forensic report has since been received studied and presented to SCOPA and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Higher Education Science (PCHESI) and Innovation.

Critical consequence management action taken since the release of the report are:

1. DHET assisted by the State Attorney office has issued further precautionary suspension letters to internal official implicated by the forensic report with the intention of taking disciplinary actions.

2. A case of criminal investigation, as recommended in the forensic report has been opened with the South African Police Services.

3. Further to these interventions, and for the purpose of recouping the NSF funds from ill-gain, the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has been brought on board. The results thereof will be civil action claims against all parties who corruptly benefitted from the NSF skills development funding system.

The forensic investigation, much as the AGSA also did point out, exposed the soft underbelly of the NSF business operating systems which may have contributed vastly to opportunistic malfeasance conducts.

I have since commissioned a Ministerial Task Team (MTT) to look at the reconfiguration of the NSF business operating model so that it becomes an effective, efficient, and economically efficient skills development entity.

The MTT has completed its task and has submitted a report to which the Director General of the DHET has been tasked to complete the processes of implementing the report by 31 July 2023. The report has been presented to PCHESI.

02 December 2022 - NW4400

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Malatsi, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

What is the (a) total number of staff employed and/or provided as departmental support in (i) his and (ii) the Deputy Minister’s private offices and (b)(i) job title and (ii) annual remuneration package of each specified person?

Reply:

a) What is the total number of staff employed and/or provided as departmental support in the office of the Minister?

The office of the Minister has 14 employees as of 1 November 2022. Of the 14 employed staff, 1 employee (Chief of Staff) is a secondment from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

(ii) What is the total number of staff employed and/or provided as departmental support in the office of the Deputy Minister?

The office of the Deputy Minister has 10 employees as of 1 November 2022. Of the 10 employed staff, 1 employee (Director: Technical Specialist) is held additional to the departmental establishment.

(b) (i) job title and (ii) annual remuneration package of each specified person in the office of the Minister:

 

Names and Surname

Job Title

Annual remuneration Package

1

Ms Mokgadi Tena

Chief of Staff (secondment)

R1 308 051.00

2

Ms Nomfundo Seoka

Administrative Secretary

R1 105 383.00

3

Ms Siphokazi Shoba

Parliamentary Liaison Officer

R1 190 826.00

4

Mr Ishmael Mnisi

Media Liaison Officer

R1 263 900.00

5

Ms Esther Rammutla

Private Secretary

R1 105 383.00

6

Mr Babulele Bingwa

Cabinet and Parliamentary Officer

R766 584.00

7

Ms Kalipa Dazela

Community Outreach, Media, and Digital Officer

R766 584.00

8

Ms Silindile Mncwabe

Assistant Private Secretary

R393 711.00

9

Ms Thembi Mdepa

Assistant Administrative Officer

R331 188.00

10

Ms Zanele Mavimbela

Receptionist

R269 214.00

11

Mr Mpho Masalesa

Registry Clerk

R181 599.00

12

Mr Karabo Lephothe

Messenger/Driver

R151 884.00

13

Ms Thandiwe Masondo

Household Aide

R128 166.00

14

Ms Eunice Ntombela

Household Aide

R128 166.00

b) (i) job title and (ii) annual remuneration package of each specified person in the office of the Deputy Minister:

 

Names and Surname

Job Title

Annual remuneration Package

1

Mr Bayanda Mzoneli

Head of Office

R1 495 641,00

2

Ms Florence Masebe

Director: Technical Specialist

R1 105 383.00

3

Ms Motshedisi Letuka

Private Secretary to the DM

R908 502.00

4

Mr Steve Mamphekgo

Parliamentary Officer

R766 584.00

5

Mr Mandla Tshabalala

Community Outreach Officer

R766 584.00

6

Mr Thulani Mayisela

Senior Registry Clerk

R269 214.00

7

Ms Keabaitse Mashaba

Receptionist

R269 214.00

8

Mr Stephens Mahlangu

Messenger/Driver

R151 884.00

9

Ms Manqoba Dube

Household Aid

R128 166.00

10

Ms Phumza Dlangamandla

Household Aid

R128 166.00

30 November 2022 - NW4454

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

(1)What (a) total number of students who applied for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding had their applications rejected in 2022 and (b) were the reasons for the rejection of their applications; (2) whether his department followed up on the students to see how many dropped out because they had no other means of paying for their fees; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1) (a) A total of 143,117 applications were rejected in 2022.

1) (b) Below table presents the rejection reason and count of 2022 applications that have been rejected:

Rejection Reason

Count

Applicant is deceased as per DHA records

                    4

Financially Ineligible (household income exceeds threshold)

          48,549

Highest level of qualification at which NSFAS may fund has already been achieved

          18,069

Insufficient information provided as a result NSFAS cannot make a funding decision

          65,233

Invalid National ID and/or names and surnames provided

                 16

N+ Rule Exceeded

          10,525

Not compliant with the N+ Rule (funding pathway)

                 62

Not compliant with the Academic Eligibility Criteria

                    3

Not Eligible for NSFAS funding, funded by another funder

               656

Grand Total

       143,117

 

 

2.   Currently the Department produces the First-Time Entering Undergraduate Cohort Studies for Public Higher Education Institutions Report which provides a national overview of the dropout and throughput rates within the university sector annually. The Department does not follow-up on students who have not succeeded but is considering doing tracer-studies to establish where graduates and those who have dropped-out are doing.

28 November 2022 - NW3348

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

(a) Which universities have hunger alleviation projects and (b) what number of students are catered for in the projects?

Reply:

Below is a response to Parliamentary Question 1910 of 20 August 2021

(a) Which institutions of higher learning have food banks, (b) what total number of students are assisted on a monthly basis and (c) how are the institutions funded for their food bank projects?

No.

Institution/University

a) Food Bank

b) Number of students assisted

c) Funding for the projects

1

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

The university has an interim food support programme wherein students are supported with food parcels and vouchers. This is an interim measure and usually once-off depending on the student’s individual case.

To date 226 students have been supported. The university has issued 129 food vouchers to the value of R300 per voucher and 97 food parcels to the value of R450.

CPUT has established a Task Team to investigate a campus wide sustainable food support programme.

2

University of Cape Town

UCT provides care packs with non-perishable food items and toiletries from donated goods and donated vouchers.

The university is in a process of developing additional food security measures to support students in need.

A total of 540 students are frequently assisted.

90 students in unfunded study programmes which were previously funded by NSFAS receive vouchers fortnightly.

450 unfunded or underfunded undergraduate and postgraduate students assisted with donated goods and vouchers on an ad-hoc basis when donated goods are available.

Funding is through more than one source and includes the University, fund-raising initiatives and partnerships with donors.

3

Central University of Technology

Thusanang project is a poverty alleviation project aimed at assisting all students who are financially challenged and academically deserving, particularly those without any form of financial support such as loans or bursaries during the period of their studies.

The programme seeks to support registered students by offering once-off type of assistance with food, clothes, and transport (depending on identified need/s).

The university has provided financial support to 157 students in 2019, 86 in 2020 and 74 in 2021 to date. These are students from both campuses in Bloemfontein and Welkom.

The University has an agreement with the University cafeteria (Feedem Pitseng) to supply food to students who are referred to by the Student Affairs through Wellness Centre. 2407 vouchers were disbursed in 2019 and 316 in 2020 respectively.

Qualifying students are allocated funds into their student cards which entirely depends on the availability of funds. The amounts normally range from R1000 to R2000 disbursed monthly per student.

The amount available for the Poverty Alleviation Project/Thusanang is sourced mainly from an income generated through the Annual CUT Golf Tournament held annually for both Bloemfontein and Welkom Campuses and some donations from the Wellness Centre partners such as ER24 and any available volunteer/s.

4

Durban University of Technology

Phakimpilo (serve life) program commenced in 2020 during the lockdown period. The program provided Spar vouchers to mostly postgraduate students.

The program provided Spar vouchers to 119 students (to date).

Contribution from Alumni office and DUT staff members.

Glenwood Spar donates non-perishable food items on monthly basis.

5

University of Fort Hare

The university has a food programme aimed to assist students identified, assessed and approved to receive assistance.

There are about 850 students who expressed a need to receive food parcels. However, 30 students have thus far been assisted.

The project is funded by various external donors approached by the University. The SRC also donates to the project when funds allow.

6

University of the Free State.

UFS has food banks on all three campuses that provide nutritious food packages to students on a weekly basis.

The content of food parcels is meant to last a student for two weeks. During 2020, 5567 parcels were distributed and 1 759 in 2021 (to date)

UFS launched a vegetable garden initiative that provides fresh vegetables that are distributed in addition to the standard items included in the food parcels.

No student hungry programme aims to provide one nutritious meal per day to non NSFAS funded students.

In 2020 31 students benefitted from the programme and 60 in 2021 to date.

Food banks: Tiger brands donates food parcel items for the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa campuses.

Gift of the Givers: donates food parcel items for the Qwaqwa campus.

Vegetable gardens: Tiger Brands provided funding for the tunnel and vegetable boxes.

Sakata Seeds and Kwaggafontein Nursery: sponsor seeds and seedlings on continuous basis.

UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the Institute for Groundwater Studies & University Estates also contributed in various ways.

No Student Hungry Programme: Funded from the interest received from an investment, annual corporate sponsorships and donations by individual donors.

7

University of Johannesburg.

UJ has a Student Meal Assistance Programme which currently provides meal packs to qualifying students.

3522 students in total are assisted. 3022 students receive monthly meal packs funded by the University budget, and 500 students receive meal packs supplied by Tiger Brands.

The University’s annual budget and through Tiger Brands.

8

University of KwaZulu-Natal

UKZN has established a Food Security Task Team to develop a strategy and action plan that will realise the vision of ‘one meal a day for every student’ going forward.

Currently, limited food parcels/meal vouchers, are available to food insecure students, on referral/request.

Day students with lab/prac requirements are invited onto campus on a needs basis and needy students are assisted.

Statistics not available as only a certain percentage of residence-based students have returned to campus.

The projects are funded through donations and sponsorships, with cash donations / sponsorship being managed via the UKZN Foundation.

9

University of Limpopo

The University has the following projects to assist students:

Assist and eat – students receive stipends – 15 students assisted

Hands of compassion – donations to needy students

Soup kitchen or a meal a day offered during exams period.

Food parcels – non funded students

Rise Against Hunger on campus project assist with non-perishable food items to needy students.

127 students assisted to date.

Student cafeterias

Donations from university staff members, Student Representative Council and the Professionals Provident Fund

10

Mangosuthu University of Technology

N/A

N/A

N/A

11

University of Mpumalanga

The University has been approached by a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), Kago Yabana Foundation (KYF) to provide free meals to needy students for a period of a month.

50 students will be assisted.

N/A

12

Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University has a MOU with Tiger Brands who provide contents to make up nutrition packs for indigent students. This MOU has been in place since 2003.

A food garden, sponsored by Tiger Brands was developed. In addition, an organic food garden was also developed. However, both food gardens are currently not operational as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

1100 students are supported per month.

Ad hoc donations are received from university departments, staff members and the SRC to increase the content of the nutrition packs.

13

North-West University

Yes, food hampers are provided to students

Approximately 330 students across campuses benefit from food hampers per month.

Since 2016, the University has been receiving donations from corporate sponsors and fund-raising campaigns hosted to solicit food donations from North-West University staff.

14

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria Student Nutrition and Progress has been in practice since 1990. The aim of the programme is to foster higher quality education by:

a) Alleviating needy students’ short term hunger while giving them nutrition to enhance their learning capacity to enable them to complete their studies;

b) Equip students with knowledge and skills to develop and sustain themselves and

c) Display a high level of commitment towards the wellbeing of student on all levels.

250 students are assisted through this programme on a monthly basis

The programme is primarily funded internally through the institutional budget which is further supplemented by ad hoc donations done through fundraising and a student food drive.

15

Rhodes University

N/A

N/A

N/A

16

Sefako Makgatho University

Yes, SMU has a vibrant food security project called hands of Compassion, established in 2016 to assist students who are not beneficiaries of any financial support.

To date 354 students are enrolled in the project and each one receives a monthly food voucher of R800. However, the number of students assisted differs from month to month. Students are excluded from the project as soon they receive funding from NSFAS or any other sponsor.

The project is funded through the annual budget allocated to the Department of Student Affairs and Residences, as well as contributions from Student Representative Council and staff members.

The University is in a process of securing additional funding for the project.

17

Sol Plaatje University

N/A

N/A

N/A

18

University of South Africa

N/A

N/A

N/A

19

Stellenbosch University

The University has a main food project called #Move4food which is focused on assisting in emergency situations and is usually a once-off financial assistance.

Since March 2021 students are provided with digital food vouchers that allow students to purchase food items of choice at either Shoprite, Usave or Checkers local supermarkets.

Between Jan 2021 – 20 August 2021, a total number of 383 students have been assisted.

The university also receives support from three different food catering companies that are situated in Tygerberg and Stellenbosch campuses, who are sponsoring meals for students.

20

Tshwane University of Technology

TUT has the following programs, which address the needs of needy unfunded students.

The Food Hamper Crisis intervention program which is an emergency relief intervention addressing the basic psychosocial need that is adversely affecting students’ physical and mental health. The program provides immediate, short-term crisis relief when there is imminent threat to a student’s physical health and or hygiene care by providing a basic food and hygiene hamper that deserving needy students receive once a month.

The Assist A Student program addresses the basic needs of needy unfunded students. After rigorous screening the students are given a monthly meal allowance of R500 paid through Fundi card for the academic year or until they get funding from either NSFAS or any other sponsor. The recipients of the meal allowance are assisted for one academic year only, should they still need the meal allowance in the following year they have to go through the application process.

Applications are open throughout the year, by the end of July 2021 a cumulative number of three hundred and forty-one (341) received meal allowances from the Assist A Student program. Recipients are based across all nine campuses

The Gift of The Givers Foundation, is sponsoring the TUT Food Hamper Crisis intervention program. The foundation supplies the University with 250 food hampers monthly and 250 hygiene packs which consist of personal hygiene products and household detergents on an ad-hoc basis as this depends on the availability of resources.

The Assist A Student program was established from a ‘seed fund’ which was granted by the then University’s Executive Management Committee. The Student Affairs Executive Committee then resolved to allocate a share to the Assist A Student program from the Student Extracurricular levy which is mandatory from each registered student. Currently R17 of this levy goes toward the Assist A Student funding.

21

Vaal University of Technology

No response received

   

22

University of Venda

The University provides food parcels through its project Thohoyanzie. It also has a Social Responsibility Fund which is intended to assist needy students, coordinated by the Convocation and Alumni Office. Students are assisted as and when they approach the university for assistance.

During the second semester in 2020, the University received food parcels donated by Professional Provident Society (PPS) Foundation and handed same to indigent students. There was also a period when the Service Provider for Student Bar on Campus provided free meals to a group of needy students on a daily basis.

No specific number provided

The projects are funded through donations from companies/organisations, alumni and individuals, including UNIVEN staff and students as well as SRC.

23

Walter Sisulu University

N/A

N/A

N/A

24

University of the Western Cape

UWC provides ad-hoc food support programmes for residence students, sports athletes and for emergency relief especially during the exam period.

To date 1200 students have been supported.

The main support comes from Tiger Brands. Occasionally, Shoprite and Checkers and Pick ‘n Pay provide support to deserving students.

25

University of the Witwatersrand

The University provides monthly food packs, food gardens and a daily meal programme

+/- 2000 students

The University receives funding from corporate sponsors, although Council funds are set aside for the programme in the event of funding not being sourced.

26

University of Zululand

N/A

N/A

N/A

28 November 2022 - NW3666

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

With regard to the letter dated 5 March 2022, written to him regarding the National Student Financial Aid Scheme undue decision to fund the Nogqengese twins, (a) what are the reasons that he has not yet intervened in the matter and (b) on what date will he and/or his department ensure that the matter is resolved?

Reply:

a) It should be noted that the Department is not aware of a letter dated 5 March 2022 to the Minister. However, it may be that the member is referring to Parliamentary Question 1485 (Annexure A). Please note that the Minister concurred with the 2022 NSFAS Eligibility Guidelines and conditions for financial aid in terms of section 4 of the NSFAS Act, whereby the first and second functions of NSFAS are to “allocate funds for loans and bursaries to eligible students” and to “develop criteria and conditions for the granting of loans and bursaries to eligible students in consultation with the Minister. In terms of Eligibility Guidelines and conditions for financial aid, applicants are eligible if the household income is R350 000 or less per annum.

b) The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation following a request to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to respond to Parliamentary Question 1485 on reasons why the students were not funded responded to the question which was tabled on 25 May 2022.

28 November 2022 - NW4250

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)How does his department plan to continue supporting the SA Space Weather Centre that was recently launched by the SA National Space Agency (SANSA), which reportedly cost his department and SANSA R70,89 million and R36,6 million respectively; (2) whether he will furnish Mr S S Zondo with an itemised breakdown of the funds allocated towards the centre; if not, why not; if so, what are the full, relevant details?

Reply:

1. The Department funded the construction of the Space Weather Centre from the Programme 2: Technology Innovation budget reprioritization. This amount was allocated from the Innovation Priorities and Instruments Chief Directorate for a period of three years.

SANSA intends to generate its own revenue; however, it requires financial support for a period of five years while it improves its revenue generation.

2. The cashflow analysis is attached as Tag B. A more detailed breakdown will be made available by SANSA, should Mr Zondo request it.

28 November 2022 - NW4211

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether he will furnish Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi with a copy of the skills report regarding the officials of the National Skills Fund; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The NSF officials' skills set is readily available. It is the same skills report presented to the Ministerial Task Team which recently undertook a study on the review of the NSF business model and all other related issues that are geared at transforming the NSF. The report establishes the level of NSF officials’ skills capacity considering the institutional performance challenges existing there. 

28 November 2022 - NW4166

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

Whether sector education and training authorities (SETAs) pay the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on behalf of learners who participate in their programmes; if not, why not; if so, (a) which of the SETAs do this as a matter of course and (b) is there a threshold in terms of the duration of the course that determines the payment of UIF?

Reply:

In terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act (No 63 of 2001), payment of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on behalf of learners who participate in the workplace-based learning programmes is the responsibility of the levy paying employers who employ learners not the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). Since SETAs are not employers, they only allocate / disburse discretionary grants to levy paying employers who in turn must comply with the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act. Therefore:

(a) There is no SETA which pays UIF on behalf of learners participating in the SETA funded learning programmes.

(b) The threshold in terms of the duration of the course that determines the payment of UIF is regulated by the Unemployment Insurance Act for implementation by employers who receive funding from the SETAs for implementation of workplace-based learning programmes.

21 November 2022 - NW4091

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Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)Whether, with reference to his utterances in the public domain regarding the funding for the so-called missing middle and getting the private sector, particularly the banks, to provide loans to students for their studies, his department has entered into any formal and/or informal agreements with the banking sector to fund education; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether there has been any feasibility study done on (a) the impact of loans as a method to fund students and (b) whether loans as a method to fund students will not create massive debt traps as seen in countries such as the United States; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) No, the Department has not entered into any agreements with the banking sector to provide loans to missing middle students. However, there have been engagements with banks about the possibility of a loan scheme supported by government guarantees. 

(2) Issues relating to the feasibility of loans were explored in earlier work conducted by the Department, particularly by a Ministerial Task Team that reported in 2016. The findings of this work were incorporated into the report of the Ministerial Task Team, whose recommendations are currently under discussion. The work of this MTT reviewed previous policy advice provided to government. In addition, the report reflected on the findings of the Heher Judicial Commission on the funding of higher education, which included recommendations for an income-contingent loan model, which would include the tax-collection authority. In investigating a possible future loan model, the Department will be mindful of the student debt situation and the feasibility of collecting loans.

21 November 2022 - NW4085

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Langa, Mr TM to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

What measures of intervention have been taken to ensure that more students’ residences are built in order to accommodate the thousands of students enrolled at the University of Zululand?

Reply:

1. To accommodate thousands of students enrolled at the University of Zululand, the Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department) has taken steps to ensure that the institution build more residences by undertaking of a feasibility. The feasibility study originally targeted the construction of 3500 beds at the institutions Kwa-Dlangewzwa Campus to eradicate student housing backlogs, and the Department is working closely with the institution to finalise the feasibility study.

2. In the short-term, the following measures and interventions were taken. This include the approval of a sum of R235 million from the previous approved funding enabling the institution to develop an immediate number of 783 beds at its KwaDlangezwa Campus while it’s finalising its feasibility study, and the contractor is currently onsite. 

3. The long-term measures and interventions included the following: that the feasibility study should be redirected and focus on two campuses, namely the KwaDlangezwa and the Richards Bay Campuses as the study seeks to address the student housing backlogs at both KwaDlangezwa and the Richards Bay Campuses. One of the interventions seeks to balance the provision of beds by allocating 1500 beds at both campuses to accommodate students enrolled at the institution. 

4. Once the feasibility study has been completed, the Department will work with the institution to determine a suitable funding approach to ensure that the institution builds more accommodation to ensure that most enrolled students are accommodated at the institution’s own accommodation facilities.

21 November 2022 - NW4082

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

(a) What is the purpose of the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority Smart Skills Centre which was recently opened in Saldanha, (b) what is its current (i) functional status and (ii) capacity in carrying out its purpose and (c) how is it anticipated that the centre will improve the lives of unemployed youth in numerical effect?

Reply:

a)  The purpose of the CHIETA SMART Skills Centre project is aimed at bridging the digital skills divide between urban and rural communities. The Centre’s services are free and include access to data plus training courses aimed at job seekers, business start-ups, and SMMEs that wish to grow their operations. The centre will focus on basic digital skills aimed at addressing the digital skills divide in the district and at helping surrounding businesses and rural community members to learn technology-related skills.

b) (i)The Skills Centre was lunched on 25 October 2022 and will become operational effective from December 2022.

   (ii) Two staff members from Freeport Saldanha Industrial Development Zone will be responsible for receiving the learners and providing access to the various online training programmes. The above personnel will also be assisted by two interns who will be selected from the local community.

c)  The Centre will be opened to both unemployed youth and members of the community. The Centre is expected to target between 5000 and 10 000 unemployed youth over the next three years. This number excludes unemployed adults and other community members who will access the Centre to gain skills as well as to access the free services offered by the Centre including the use of the boardroom by local SMMEs. The Centre will help equip unemployed youth with basic ICT and digital skills needed which will enable them to become more marketable.

21 November 2022 - NW3465

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

What are the details of improved measures that his department has implemented to ensure that the (a) contextual and (b) institutional positions of universities are consistent despite the constantly changing nature of the Republic and that they are equipped to counter challenges that accompany the changes?

Reply:

The improved measures that the Department has implemented to support universities include increase in block grants, earmarked grants, and growth in funding for their NSFAS students. Furthermore, all universities are allocated funds annually through the University Capacity Development earmarked grant to implement programmes that focus on areas of need that must be addressed.  The same grant provides an opportunity for universities to collaborate in the implementation of programmes where there are common challenges in areas of teaching, research, and curriculum development. 

In addition, the Department established the Sibusiso Bengu-Development Programme (SB-DP) to address the inequalities that have impacted the development and sustainability of the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs).  The SB-DP has been developed to support capacity development in seven strategic priority areas, i.e.  institutional management governance; institutional infrastructure and facilities; student experience, staff development and support; the academic enterprise; research and innovation; and relationships and partnerships.

10 November 2022 - NW3894

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Noting that over the past year South African media houses have reported on an array of cases that paint a very grim picture of the internal operations at universities, ranging from cases related to human rights violations, gender-based violence, a culture of racism and claims of cover-ups, (a) how often does his department conduct oversight visits at South African universities and (b) do such visits include a focus on non-academic internal operations?

Reply:

The Department has a regular schedule of oversight visits to institutions relating to key programmes and reporting schedules, particularly those linked to earmarked funding from the Department.

On governance and management issues, the Department maintains oversight through the reporting regulations and regular engagement with institutions.

In 2014, the Minister of Higher Education and Training approved the Regulations for Reporting by Public Higher Education Institutions, aimed at improved institutional accountability. The Regulations provide the legal framework for reporting by all public HEIs required from a council and management team of a public higher education institution, so that they exercise their fiduciary and managerial responsibilities in a transparent manner; implement mechanisms that will ensure good corporate governance; and give regular account of the results of exercising their delegated power.

A university, in its submission, must ensure alignment between the following institutional plans and instruments: strategic plan, annual performance plan, annual report, budget documents and mid-year performance report. All reports must be signed and approved by the Council before submission to the Department.

The Department has an oversight function to monitor and oversee the implementation of the reporting regulations. The Chief Directorate: Institutional Management and Governance Support analyses the reports and checks to ensure that universities have complied with the reporting regulations. Should information be omitted in the reports, a request is made to the university to provide the requested information.

A financial health report is prepared by the Department to provide a consolidated review of all universities. This allows the Department to assess whether institutions are financially healthy as at the reporting date.

The Council Chairperson’s report is also analysed together with the Governance Scorecards to understand governance practices of each institution and across the system; and to identify areas of non-compliance with the requirements of the Act.

The Minister and Department are guided by the Higher Education Act in terms of the circumstances under which the Minister can intervene at institutions.

The Department also processes and responds to complaints and queries from the public, students, and stakeholders with regards to public higher education institutions, in relation to any matter of concern.

10 November 2022 - NW3983

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

(a) Which technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges have been identified for skills training aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), (b) how far is the process and (c) what financial injection towards the 4IRaligned skills training has been earmarked for the identified TVET colleges?

Reply:

A multi-pronged approach was adopted on skills training aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR) in TVET colleges.

1. The first approach involved the identification of ten (10) TVET Colleges wherein 4IR Centres of Excellence are established.

(a) 1.     The ETDP SETA and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) identified ten (10) TVET colleges to establish 4IR Centres of Excellence from which, skills training aligned to 4IR would be conducted. The table below reflects the names of the ten TVET colleges, the 4IR areas each has chosen to focus on, and the progress achieved thus far:

TVET COLLEGE

FOCUS AREAS

PROGRESS

Ehlanzeni TVET College

3D printing, Internet of Things, robotics, and Networking

90% completed. Launched on 

6th October 2022.

Goldfields TVET College

Cyber Security

100% completed. To be 

launched on 

10 November 2022.

Ikhala TVET College

Recognition of Prior Learning; and use of the Learning Management System

60% completed.

Lephalale TVET College

Robotics, coding, Artificial Intelligence; 3D printing, Internet of Things, networking, and growing interest in Cyber Security

95% completed. To be 

launched on                 

30 November 2022.

Northern Cape Urban TVET College

Renewable Energy, IT Linguistics; Welding; Drone simulation, and 3D Printing

25% completed.

Umgungundlovu TVET College

Recognition of Prior Learning; and use of the Learning Management System

60% completed.

Vhembe TVET College

 Robotics (Bionic and Microcontrollers); Industrial Robotics; Mobile Robotics; Automation Technology; Intelligent Components; Industry 4.0 System; and Cyber security

100% completed and 

launched on                   

11 August 2022

Vuselela TVET College

Artificial Intelligence Robots; House Automation technology; 3D Printing technology; and Virtual Reality technology

95% completed. To be 

launched by 

03 November 2022

West Coast TVET College

Coding, 3D printing; artificial intelligence; and robotics

25% completed.

Western TVET College

Welding robot (raspberry pi, Arduino); CNC machining & 3D printing; PLC’s; Drone simulation; and Software simulation

90% completed. To be
launched on 

07 December 2022.

(a) 2.     Further, the Ekurhuleni East TVET College, merSETA, and FESTO are in a tripartite private-public partnership to establish a 4IR Centre of Excellence, to an estimated value of R10 million with the College providing the infrastructure in addition to its contribution.

(b) 1.     The Vhembe TVET College 4IR Centre of Excellence was launched on 11 August 2022 presided over by the DHET Director-General, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, the   Deputy Director-General of TVET, Mr Samuel Zungu, the local Chiefs in the Vhembe District, and the CEO of the ETDP SETA, Ms Nombulelo Nxesi. The Ehlanzeni TVET College 4IR Centre of Excellence was launched on 06 October 2022 presided over by the Mpumalanga Department of Education MEC, Mr Bonakele Majuba, the ETDP SETA, Ms Nombulelo Nxesi, and the Mpumalanga-North West Regional Manager, Dr Nick Balkrishen. 

The table displayed in 1. (a) 1 above, reflects the progress achieved by the 10 colleges. Most of the 10 TVET colleges have also applied to the DHET for approval to provide the 4IR-aligned skills training and will commence with that after approval and accreditation are granted. Implementation could commence in 2023. However, staff development processes have already commenced.

(b) 2. The Ekurhuleni East TVET College- MerSETA-FESTO project is at 80% completion of the building works. The skills training is envisaged to commence in April 2023.

(c) 1. The ten colleges involved in the ETDP SETA-DHET project were funded with a combined figure of R47 900 000.00.

(c) 2. The Ekurhuleni East TVET College-MerSETA-FESTO project is funded with an estimated combined figure of R10 000 000.00 for equipment while the cost for the building construction (funded by the College) is estimated at R5 000 000.00.

2. The second approach is the establishment of Industry-Partnered Learning Factories spearheaded by the CSIR, the DSI, and merSETA

(a) The merSETA is targeting to establish 18 Industry-Partnered Learning Factories (IPLFs), two IPLFs in each province at an estimated amount of (c) R120m to support 4IR skills development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. These Learning Factories will also serve as platforms for upskilling and re-skilling of the industry workforce through short courses to support the adoption of advanced technologies.

(a) The following two TVET Colleges have been identified for piloting the programme:

  • East Cape Midlands TVET College – The following focus areas for this Learning Factory have been identified in partnership with the local automotive industry: mechatronics digital cell, mechanical digital cell, welding cell, etc, and 4IR technologies will include Internet of Things, Robotics, Cyber security, blockchain, AR & VR, Cloud Computing, etc. (b) The digital cells are scheduled to be completed before the end of March 2023.
  • Falsebay TVET College – (b) This TVET College still needs to identify a campus that will be more accessible, then industry engagements will start in order to determine focus areas for the Learning Factory.

(b) The CSIR in partnership with merSETA, DHET, and DSI is in the process of finalizing the development of a National Framework for Industry-Partnered Learning Factories.

3. The third approach is the establishment of Academies.

 The Department has partnered with HUAWEI which has established ICT Academies in at least 22 TVET Colleges. These academies have offered courses related to 4IR such as AI, Big Data, IoT, 5G, Cloud Computing, Routing and Switching, Security, WLAN, Storage, etc. in a three-level certification system. 261students and 51 instructors have been trained in these programmes.

10 Colleges have been approved to offer a new stream on Robotics which is part of the NCV: IT & Computer Science programme from 2023. Below is the list of the approved colleges:

College

Campus

Ekurhuleni West TVET College

Germiston Campus

Vhembe TVET College

Makwarela Campus

Capricorn TVET College

Polokwane Campus

College of Cape Town

Pinelands Campus

False Bay College

Fish Hoek Campus

Khayelitsha Campus

Sedibeng TVET College

Vereeniging Campus

Motheo TVET College

Hillside View campus

Mopani TVET College

Sir Val Duncan Campus

uMgungundlovu TVET College

Northdale College

Thekwini TVET College

Melbourne Campus

4. The fourth approach is the establishment of ICT laboratories sponsored by Intel:

(a) The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) partnered with Intel South Africa to provide ICT infrastructure to TVET Colleges with the implementation of 4IR. The pilot project was started with Orbit College in the North West Province to develop a blueprint for the implementation of the project.

The project consists of two aspects:

1. ICT Infrastructure; and

2. Comprehensive 4 IR training at different levels.

The following processes unfolded:

1. Identification of the institution;

2. Engage with the management and lecturers to determine the level of commitment and sustainability of the project;

3. Level of training requirements (baseline assessment); and

4. Infrastructure requirements.

(c) Cost of the ICT infrastructure: A total of R1 million per project. The training cost is dependent on the finding of the baseline assessment.

Next steps:

1. Identify Colleges with 4 IR ICT Infrastructure that need 4IR training;

2. Identify Colleges that need support with 4 IR ICT infrastructure;

3. Update the 4 IR Orbit blueprint for ICT infrastructure; and 

4. Develop a college-specific 4 IR support plan.

10 November 2022 - NW3990

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

(a) What total number of (i) deaf students and (ii) academic staff are at institutions of higher learning and the technical vocational education and training colleges, (b) what measures are in place to assist deaf students and academic staff (i) with teaching and learning and (ii) during evaluation and assessment processes and (c) how were deaf students assisted during lockdown?

Reply:

a) (i) There were 2 665 students with hearing disabilities at universities within the 2021 academic year;

(ii) The Department does not collect academic staff information in relation to disabilities as part of its Higher Education Management Information System processes;

(b) and (c)   The NSFAS/DHET Disability Fund is aimed at providing financial support for students with disabilities who are financially needy and academically able. It is intended to open opportunities for further study in higher education and provide the necessary additional teaching and learning support for students to enable them to overcome barriers to learning.

Students who qualify fall within the maximum threshold of up to R600 000 of combined gross family income per annum. In addition to paying for students' full cost of study, the bursary also provides students with assistive devices (e.g., wheelchairs, hearing aids, adapted laptops, etc.) and human support (e.g., carers, scribes, tutors, sign language interpreters, etc.) at a capped amount that is reviewed annually by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Allowances for students with disabilities are outlined in the 2022 NSFAS Eligibility and Conditions for Financial Aid.

10 November 2022 - NW3984

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

(1)Whether, in light of the fact that the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions Development Grant (HDI-DG) was converted to the Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme (SB-DP), he will furnish Ms C V King with the closeout report of the HDI-DG; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) (a) what sets the SB-DP apart from the HDI-DG, (b) how were the funds of the SB-DP, utilised to cover the 2021-22 financial year shortfall, identified on page 37 of his department’s annual report in relation to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and (c) what total amount was spent on the gala event of the inauguration of the SB-DP?

Reply:

The Historically Disadvantaged Institutions Development Grant was converted to the Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme (SB-DP). There is no close-out report of the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions Development Grant as it was not discontinued, the programme has been enhanced and is ongoing. The Sibusiso Bengu Development Framework provides the rationale for enhancing the programme.

(a)   Following extensive consultations with universities and various interest groups, the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions Development Programme was renamed the Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme (SB-DP) in honour of Prof Bengu.

The SB-DP has been developed to support capacity development in seven strategic areas as outlined in the SB-DP Framework document. The seven strategic areas are institutional management and governance; institutional infrastructure and facilities; student experience; staff development and support; academic enterprise; research and innovation; and relationships and partnerships.

(b)   The funds were transferred to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in accordance with the regulatory framework governing the transfer of voted funds and requisite prior approvals.

(c)   The Department did not host a gala event. It conducted an official launch of the programme.  The launch catered for more than 150 guests at a total cost of R410 136.39 which is broken-down as follows:

 

Item

Cost (R)

Venue and Catering

90 800.00

Décor including Sound and Video

69 336.39

Media Coverage

250 000.00

Total

410 136.39

10 November 2022 - NW3895

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Considering the environment of remote teaching and learning in higher education institutions, how has his department facilitated inter-institutional collaboration on best practice methods that will ease the strain placed on students and educators?

Reply:

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown, normal teaching and learning was severely impacted as a result of the suspension of physical classes and physical interaction between students and lecturers on campus. Funds (COVID-19 Responsiveness Grant) were made available to each university to enable the teaching and learning programme to continue through the adoption of remote teaching and learning strategies. At that point the focus was on ensuring that each university is supported to deal with its unique situation. However, through Higher Health, the Department was able to use technological solutions to support the entire PSET sector and eased the burden of educators.

Furthermore, the Department facilitated collaboration amongst universities and relevant stakeholders through collaborative programmes that are funded through the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG) that is allocated by the Minister each year. The grant also supports collaboration through research projects.

27 October 2022 - NW2969

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)What are the details of Ikhala Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVETs) in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape, that are in (a) the planning, (b) construction and (c) completed phase; (2) whether any of the TVETs that are in the construction phase are currently unfinished; if so, (a) in which area and (b) what are the details of progress and/or plans to deal with unfinished buildings?

Reply:

1. The details of the new Ikhala TVET College Campus situated in Sterkspruit are:

a) In planning: None

b) Construction: The new Campus is currently at 96% physical completion and a dispute is in progress between the Principal Agent, MSW Project Managers and Consultant Engineers and the Contractor, Uphala Construction. The resultant determination founded in favour of the Contractor. As a result, an application for additional budget is in progress. Once the funds have been approved, the buildings will be brought to completion. This process is expected to take three to four months. In the meantime, the site is secured by onsite security.

c) in Completion: None.

2. There are currently 4 sites in construction in addition to Sterkspruit that are not yet fully completed:

a) Gert Sibande TVET College, Balfour Campus, 98% Physical Completion with Estimated Completion date of end November 2022; Mthashana TVET College, Vryheid Engineering Campus, 34% Physical Completion, Estimated Completion October 2023; Umfolozi TVET College, Bhambanani Campus, 64% Physical Completion, awaiting new tender processes for Phase 2 and new contractor. Tender will be published once Departmental procedures are in place; UMgungundlovu TVET College, Greytown Campus, 75% Physical Completion Phase 2, Tender Documentation in development.

b) As indicated above, the phase 2 process for the Bhambanani and Greytown sites will commence once the Department has finalized its tender processes and appointed the new contractors. The following sites have been completed:

      • Umfolozi TVET College, Nkandla A Campus in Nkandla Town;
      • UMgungundlovu TVET College, Msinga Campus near Tugela Ferry;
      • Esayidi TVET College, Umzimkhulu Campus at Umzimkhulu;
      • Ikhala TVET College, Aliwal North Campus in Aliwal North;
      • Ingwe TVET College, Ngqungqushe Campus in Lusikisiki;
      • Waterberg TVET College, Thabazimbi Campus in Thabazimbi,
      • Mthashana TVET College, Nongoma;
      • Kwagqikasi Campus in Nongoma; and
      • East Cape Midlands TVET College, Graaff Reinet Campus in Graaff Reinet

27 October 2022 - NW3466

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether his department has inclusive programmes for subjects such as those in the liberal arts area which fall outside the scope of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to ensure a much more diverse appreciation for the subjects in the university space and labour market; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Universities in South Africa have a wide range of liberal arts in their Programme and Qualification Mixes. These are academic fields in history, literature, philosophy, sociology, drama and visual arts, to name but a few.

Traditional and comprehensive universities offer a range of classic and world-renowned liberal arts, with various schools within faculties dedicated to such studies, e.g. the University of Johannesburg has the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture that offers qualifications in creative, hospitality and the visual arts; the University of South Africa, Stellenbosch University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, University of Fort Hare and University of Zululand have a long history in the offering of liberal arts.

Universities of Technology also have a long history in the liberal arts, e.g. the Tshwane University of Technology has a campus dedicated to the liberal arts and the Durban University of Technology boasts of a well-known Faculty of Art and Design.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation established the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) through the publication of Government Notice No. 37118 on 5 December 2013. The role of the NIHSS is broadly to enhance and support the Human and Social Sciences (HSS) in South Africa and beyond, and to advise government and civil society on HSS related matters. It does so through its various programmes, including the Doctoral school scholarships, catalytic projects and African Pathways Programme. The NIHSS works with universities, think tanks and research bodies to convene and coordinate PhD-level academic programmes, catalytic research and international research collaboration. The Doctoral scholarships programme is the Institute’s largest programme and works in collaboration with the South African Humanities Deans’ Association and Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges such as the College of Cape Town and Tshwane North TVET College offer qualifications in art and design.

27 October 2022 - NW3520

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

(1)Whether, with reference to his reply to question 1159 on 4 May 2022, in which he indicated that proposed amendments to the definition of indigenous languages contained in the Policy Framework are underway, the specified amendment to recognise Afrikaans as an indigenous language have been implemented; if not, what are the reasons that the amendments to recognise Afrikaans as an indigenous language have not been implemented despite his undertaking on 4 May 2022 to implement them; if so, what are the details of the amendments; (2) whether he will furnish Dr L A Schreiber with proof that the amendments have been gazetted; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. As I had indicated previously, the Department has received, considered and accepted the legal advice on the status of Afrikaans as an indigenous language, and the need for policy adjustment to clearly reflect this fact so that we are not unduly distracted from the important task of developing our historically marginalised languages. The adjusted definition will be published in a Government Gazette. Officials from my Department have been having discussions with officials from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and there is consensus on the need for an explicitly inclusive definition of indigenous languages in the policy framework.

2. The Honourable member must rest assured that the amendment will be published as per the advice, and I hope this will close this matter once and for all and re-focus our attention on the main task at hand which is bringing dignity and respect to all our historically marginalised indigenous languages as the Constitution of the Republic demand of us.

27 October 2022 - NW3566

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)In line with arguments by experts from the Scientific Officer at the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English, that Africa’s outer space programme is integral to meeting many needs that African countries have, resulting in the Department of Science and Innovation’s funding of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) programme at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology since 2008, with the launch of the first South African mini-constellation of three satellites for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDASat-1) in January 2022, of which the aim of the mission is to provide data gathered by the specified satellites to the South African government to contribute to the effective management of South African territorial waters, what total amount in funding has been provided for the MDA programme to date; (2) whether his department will provide a detailed update on the MDA programme; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether his department will furnish Mr S S Zondo with the relevant details of how the data gathered by the MDASat-1 has been utilised by the Government to fulfil the aims of the programme and enhance the security and protection of South African marine resources; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. To date, a total of R28 048 067 (twenty-eight million forty-eight thousand and sixty-seven Rands) has been provided to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) towards the Maritime Domain Awareness Satellite (MDASAT) constellation. The funding covers research and development costs, including compensation of non-academic staff (engineers), student bursary support and constellation launch costs. The cost of the full constellation of nine satellites is R97 978 338 (Ninety-seven million nine hundred seventy-eight thousand three hundred thirty-eight), the balance of which has not yet been secured.

2. Since its launch on 13 January 2022, the MDASAT-1 constellation has been in the commissioning phase of its mission, which is the first phase of satellite operation and begins immediately after deployment. The satellites automatically deployed their antennas and the immediate message about battery voltages reading were excellent. Both the primary ground station at CPUT and the secondary at the Houwteq Assembly, Integration and Testing Facility (DenelSpaceteq) successfully tracked, commanded, and decoded the signals. Automatic beaconing was switched off, after some tests were performed with the Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) communications. All the satellites’ subsystems responded well, and all communication links, power operations and TT&C of all three satellites report a healthy status.

There has been a delay in the full commissioning of the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) and payloads due to a few technical challenges related to the orientation (spin and tumbling) of the satellites in space. These challenges are being investigated by reproducing them on the engineering models in the lab before developing a software update that will be installed through the onboard software-defined radio.

3. The data currently being received from MDASAT-1 is being used to commission the various satellite subsystems and payload. Maritime domain awareness data has not yet been acquired due to the satellites still being in the commissioning phase of the mission. Once the satellites are fully commissioned, data will be integrated into the National Oceans and Coast Information Management System that will provides decision support tools for oceans governance and marine protection.

27 October 2022 - NW3415

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Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether, considering that the procurement practices in recent times have been a hindrance to infrastructure development in the higher education sector, with corruption and lack of services being rendered for payments made characterising procurement processes, his department has any policy in place to streamline and/or centralise procurement at public institutions of higher learning; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department) centralised procurement of infrastructure for 16 TVET colleges. Nine colleges have since been finalised, three are an 85% to 99% completion rate and four below an 85% completion threshold. The Department continues to engage TVET colleges on the monitoring of their infrastructure delivery. 

The centralisation of infrastructure at universities is limited by the autonomous nature of university councils. However, the Department has set in place monitoring mechanisms to trace the procurement, delivery and expenditure on projects in order to improve the coordination and delivery of infrastructure across all institutions the Department has: 

  • Appointed a Chief Director: Infrastructure to facilitate streamlining of infrastructure delivery; and 
  • Appointed Implementing Agents to accelerate the infrastructure procurement processes, as well as project management of infrastructure. 

The Implementing Agents will also assist with capacity building at institutions where challenges of delivery have been experienced. The Department is currently in the process of following the guidelines as outlined in the Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS) and the Framework for Infrastructure Delivery and Procurement Management (FIDPM). It is also in the process of developing a portfolio and programme plans. Priority projects have been identified and included in the draft plans. 

27 October 2022 - NW3395

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

In light of the fact that there has been an outcry regarding the backlog in the printing of certificates and diplomas in the technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, what total number of TVET college (a) certificates and (b) diplomas are yet to be (i) printed and (ii) handed over to the students by his department?

Reply:

Emanating from the Examination IT System, the Resulting and Certification IT System directorate has no outstanding printing of certification and diplomas to qualifying candidates. The Examination IT system could not identify and extract any outstanding qualification to qualifying candidates. Any and other candidates whose achievement records across different examinations (over multiple examination cycles) must apply via their respective TVET colleges for consolidation to meet qualification requirements. 

(a) CERTIFICATION PROGRESS FOR THE PERIOD 31 JANUARY 2022 TO 30 JUNE 2022

Business Studies 

As at 30 June 2022, 571 230 certificates for candidates who sat for Business Studies N4 to N6 qualification examinations between the period November 2021 to June 2022 were issued. This figure represents a total of 192 examination center at 50 TVET Colleges.

Engineering Studies 

As at 30 June 2022, 142 606 certificates for candidates who sat for Engineering Studies N1 to N2 and N4 to N6 qualification examinations between the period November 2021 to June 2022 were issued. This figure represents a total of 28 examination centers.

3.3 NC(V) 

As at 26 September 2022, 149 874 out of 170 300 certificates for candidates who sat for NC(V) Level 2 to 4 qualification for the 202111 examination cycle were issued. Different types of documents are created. These represents the full certificates for candidates who passed all 7 subjects in one examination cycle. The outstanding certificate are a representation of subject statements for candidates who passed less than 7 subjects and candidates who failed all subjects or candidates who were absent for all subjects. No documents are printed for these candidates, but need to be issued with an Umalusi document number for further processes once the student re write the subjects and qualify for a full certificate.

For the period November 20211 to March 2022 the certificates for 2978 candidates are still being processed. The candidates enrolled for the supplementary examination are excluded from the batch certification submitted to Umalusi for approval and printing. The reason being that a candidate could have passed or bettered a mark during the supplementary examination. This is done per level, since the issuing of the higher level is dependent on the issuing of the lower level. This means the candidates must have passed the lower levels before a higher-level certificate can be issued. 

Once this consolidation process is finalized, the records for candidates who passed subjects over multiple examination cycles are consolidated and certificates issued for qualifying candidates.

(b) 3.4 DIPLOMAS 

The following is an update progress made in issuing of diplomas during the period between 01 January 2022 to 30 June 2022 reporting period:

(i) The Certification and Historical records unit issued 34 588 diplomas to qualifying candidates who meet the theoretical and practical component requirements. 

While the number of potential candidates who are eligible for diplomas seemed to be less, consideration should be taken that this is a three years’ qualification comprising of 18 months Business Studies /12 months Engineering Studies theoretical achievement accompanied by 18 months or 2000 hours of relevant evidence of practical experience in commerce or industry, while Engineering requires 24 months or two years of relevant practical experience respectively.    

National N Diploma application declined to candidates not meeting the requirements must resubmit their applications for appeal. 

The above figure represents a total of 50 TVET Colleges.

INTERVENTIONS

Department of Higher Education and Training courier all Certificates and National N Diplomas printed and awarded to TVET colleges and campuses to be issued to qualifying candidates. These qualifications are captures and recorded on the Examination IT System with tracking waybill number for easy tracking and retrieval. It is the responsibility of the TVET colleges to inform candidates to collect their qualification upon receipt by their respective colleges/campuses. 

While it is expected of college to hand over certificates and diplomas to qualifying candidate’s challenges does occur especially with private colleges relocations.

27 October 2022 - NW3202

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

In view of Africa being regarded as contributing about 1% of global knowledge, which further marginalises the continent as a producer of knowledge, what are the (a) relevant details of any improved measures that his department has actioned and/or implemented to ensure that the Republic’s universities and students contribute to the production of global knowledge to close the gap and (b) strides that his department has made thus far to ensure that higher education institutions around the Republic are keeping up to world standards in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Reply:

(a) The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) implements two policies that are directly geared towards bolstering knowledge productivity in higher education institutions. The first policy is the Research Outputs Policy (2015) which provides a framework for the evaluation and subsidy allocation for research outputs produced by South African universities. The second policy is the Policy on the Evaluation of Creative Outputs and Innovations produced by South African Higher Education Institutions (2017).

Over and above the two policies, there are various initiatives under the umbrella programme we call the University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP) which also incentivises capacity development initiatives of academics at all our universities. The policy recognizes quality creative outputs in the subfields of Fine Arts; Visual Arts; Music; Theatre; Performance and Dance; Design; Film and Television and Literary Arts. Under innovation the policy recognizes Patents and Plant Breeders’ Rights.

Since the implementation of the policy from 2005, South African universities recorded notable growth in the number of research publications produced by academics in the sector. Table 1 below attests to the steady growth of research outputs, from 7 230 units in 2005 to 21 734.4 units in 2020.

The growth of research outputs from the universities has also impacted positively on the growth of academics with doctoral degrees as shown in Table 2 below.

Several independent studies have shown that the policies of the Department and the UCDP have increased research productivity and the number of doctoral graduates from South African universities. The graphs in Table 1 and 2, confirm that research productivity is on the rise in South African universities.

Table 1: Total Publications Units awarded, 2005 - 2020

See the link for Table:  https://pmg.org.za/files/Table_1.pdf

(b) What are the strides the Department has made thus far to ensure that higher education institutions around the Republic are keeping up to world standards in light of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

 

The Ministerial Task Team on the 4th industrial Revolution established in 2019 sought to investigate and advise the Minister on how the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system should take up opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The Report of the Ministerial Task Team on the Implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Post-School Education and Training was presented to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation on 18 September 2020. Since the Report’s release in 2021, the Department and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) are developing an Implementation Plan of its recommendations. Progress on implementation was reported to the Social Protection, Community and Human Development (SPCHD) Cluster on 17 August 2022. We have recorded several partnerships and progress by universities, colleges and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) in advancing 4IR interventions within the PSET Sector.

Various initiatives are taking place in all the four sub-sectors of the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system, and they are captured in a database that has been developed by the Department. These include initiatives that (a) contribute to the 4IR (research, development and innovation); (b) provide/produce skills that are in line with the needs of the 4IR (building capacity for functioning in the 4IR); and (c) embrace the affordances of the 4IR in the PSET system, how it is managed, administered, equipped, teaching and learning taking place and how assessment is being done (impact of the 4IR on PSET).

Universities, TVET and CET colleges, through already established structures and partnerships are resourced and capacitated in the implementation of 4IR initiatives. The Department is actively supporting institutions, for example, it has, through an EDTP SETA partnership, established 4IR Centres of Excellence in 10 TVET colleges and, through a partnership with Intel, initiated the establishment of a series Artificial Intelligence (AI) Labs. The first was established at Orbit College where 20 mentors were trained to implement AI

Curriculum in the college. In collaboration with the MICT SETA, TVET College Curriculum

was developed in 4IR Technologies and an 4IR Learning Factory was established in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to name a few.

An Inter-Departmental Committee for the 4IR in PSET (4IRIDC) was established in 2021 to coordinate the Department’s efforts in the 4IR; to drive the implementation of the recommendations of the Report; and to monitor its implementation. The 4IRIDC is finalising a Framework for 4IR Implementation in the PSET that will further guide and support PSET institutions in implementation and provide a tool to monitor implementation.

27 October 2022 - NW3355

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Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(a) What action has been taken to resolve the accommodation allowance crisis after the protests at the University of Limpopo and (b) how will this unfortunate event of accommodation allowances not being paid because of administrative processes and delays be avoided in future?

Reply:

a) In relation to the University of Limpopo, NSFAS took a decision to deploy Senior Officials to attend to the conflict between the University of Limpopo, landlords and the students. At a meeting attended by these stakeholders and NSFAS in Polokwane on 22 September 2022, an agreement was reached on how to proceed. This agreement will be submitted for consideration and approval by the Board and the Minister. It should be noted that NSFAS only pays allowances upon receipt of claims on behalf of qualifying students by the University. However, the University has been busy with a verification exercise in order to comply with the Norms and Standards of DHET and the funding guidelines by NSFAS. The verification exercise took longer than expected and was met with some resistance from some of the landlords and students, especially the decision by NSFAS that off-campus allowances be paid directly into the landlords’ bank accounts. The agreement reached at the meeting was that for the rest of the 2022 academic year, off-campus allowances should be paid to the students who will settle their rental obligations with the landlords, as has been the case to date. The verification exercise should be continued until 2023 to allow landlords to make the necessary improvements to their properties so as to eventually comply with the minimum standards set by DHET. The meeting recommended that a fixed allowance of R1 820 be paid to all qualifying students until the verification exercise is concluded. 

b) As part of the student-centred model NSFAS took the decision to improve the administration of student accommodation. This will include accreditation of accommodation, grading and assigning costs to the different grades, linking students to accommodation, and ultimately paying accommodation providers directly. Part of the model will include increased capacity for accommodation. NSFAS plans, as of 2023, take over the accreditation of student accommodation. A system will be available for all potential housing suppliers to enlist their properties so that students can have a wider choice of accommodation. NSFAS will use this platform to expedite the allocation of suitable student accommodation and ensure that landlords are paid a fair value according to the accommodation provided directly.

27 October 2022 - NW3394

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

In the light of several protests at the universities and technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges on account of inefficiencies of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), what (a) turnaround strategy is in place to ensure that the inadequacies of NSFAS is completely a thing of the past and (b) total number of such protests have been recorded in the 2022 academic year at (i) universities and (ii) TVET colleges?

Reply:

No.

Institution/University

Turnaround strategy

Total number of protests recorded in 2022

1.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

The allowances were paid on time to students. The university made some concessions to allow NSFAS qualifying students to register whilst await for the advancement from NSFAS.

There were no protests reported.

2.

University of Cape Town

The University advances all NSFAS funded students with meals, books and accommodation allowance until funds are received from NSFAS.

The university had minor protests this year that were contained. Not all the protests were NSFAS-related.

3.

Central University of Technology

The NSFAS to issue the Funded List and Guidelines to all the universities & TVET colleges at the beginning of the academic year

Bloemfontein Campus:

  • 23-24 February 2022
  • 28 February 2022
  • 07 March 2022
  • 13-14 March 2022
  • 17 March 2022
  • 22 March 2022
  • 24-25 March 2022
  • 06-07 June 2022

8 in total

Welkom Campus

  • 04 February 2022
  • 27-30 March 2022
  • 03-04 April 2022

3 in total

4.

Durban University of Technology

There was a delay in payment of the upfront payment by NSFAS as a result payment of allowances to students delayed.

On 8 -11 March 2022

The protests were not only about NSFAS matters. However, the concerns raised by students included the delays in payment of allowances

5.

University of Fort Hare

The university extended the registration period to allow NSFAS funded students to register upon confirmation of funding by NSFAS.

In the beginning of the academic year, there were pockets of demonstrations due to delayed NSFAS lists of funded students

6.

University of the Free State.

All other concerns were addressed during registration period. Only the issue of accommodation took longer and was addressed in May 2022 through engagements between DHET, NSFAS, Students represented by SRC, and UFS management.

From 21 to 23 February 2022 in both Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa campus

The concerns raised include withdrawal of offers due to late confirmation of funding from NSFAS for first-time entering students, late confirmation of funding for continuing students, immediate payment of allowances to NSFAS students, N+1/2 Rule,

Accommodation for NSFAS funded students

7.

University of Johannesburg.

The University administers funds on behalf of NSFAS for over 25 600 students registered in 2022. All efforts are made to ensure that potential NSFAS students are assisted with registration and allowances at the beginning of the year while waiting for NSFAS to confirm funding whilst waiting for the upfront payment from NSFAS.

The University lifted a financial block to 8998 students who were identified as potential NSFAS beneficiaries. This includes 872 SASSA beneficiaries.

 

The university also set aside a budget for the SRC Trust Funds. A total number of 4462 students were approved for SRC trust fund during the academic registration period.

The University of Johannesburg advances all NSFAS funded students with meals, books and accommodation allowance until funds are received from NSFAS in April 2022.

The experienced protests were sectional (groups of common interest protesting – not led by the SRC).

On the10th of February 2022, about 50 students attempted to disrupt registration process but the University responded in time to prevent the disruption.

All the protests were managed successfully by of course pressurizing the relevant sectors to be responsive by addressing the problems.

8.

University of KwaZulu-Natal

The vast majority of list of demands received from the SRC, includes issues, as students experience them, with respect to NSFAS. Concerns raised include poor communication, non-responsiveness, perceived inequity/bias in applying NSFAS rules, systems, e.g., for appeals, not working well

NSFAS funded students were assisted whilst waiting for communication and funds from NSFAS.

27 May 2022, 6 & 14 June 2022.

9.

University of Limpopo

The challenging area with regard to the NSFAS funding has been around the student’s allowances, and in particular, Off-Campus accommodation allowances.

The matter was resolved immediately with NSFAS taking full responsibility of the administration of the process as such, further challenges would be resolved within the shortest turnaround time.

14 September 2022.

10.

Mangosuthu University of Technology

NSFAS qualifying students are assisted to register

On 23 June 2022, not NSFAS related

11.

University of Mpumalanga

No protests experienced

 

12.

Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University has been working closely with NSFAS. Ongoing communication with the NSFAS agent has proved valuable in addressing certain operational issues.

A visit to the NSFAS Office in Cape Town with a multi-stakeholder University team, assisted in attending to some strategic interventions that were required. A productive and meaningful relationship with NSFAS is required with institutions to ensure open and constructive flow of information and planning. An academic year requires prior planning to ensure that universities can enrol new and returning students without any significant disruptions. The sector needs to be engaged through a multi-stakeholder task team and informed well in advance if there will be significant policy changes to ensure adequate risk mitigation and preparation for unintended consequences.

The University experienced protests that closed the campus on 14 February, as well as 3 and 4 March.

A management team lead by the Dean of Students engaged on the issues.

The main issues of the closure on 14 February being:

  • Students awaiting funding statuses including NSFAS appeals which then result in allowances not being able to be released. This included the Higher Certificate
  • unfunded students
  • Postgraduate student funding
  • Unfunded students that do not qualify for University concessions for registration
  • Historic debt.

Following positive engagements, the parties found each other on a number of issues raised.

The main issues of the protests on 3 and 4 March being:

  • Extension of the closing date for registration

Management agreed on an extension to the registration period from 4 March to 11 March 2022.

13.

North-West University

The NWU has set aside funds to pay allowances from the end of February albeit that an NSFAS payment had not been received.

An agreed-upon process and measures involving members of the university management and the student leadership has been in place to address concerns that had been raised by students – some of which were related to NSFAS

The University experienced some unrest in February 2022. The issues raised were NSFAS and registrations related. A meeting was arranged between the SRC and management and matters raised, were resolved.

14.

University of Pretoria

There were no protests at UP on NSFAS.

 

15.

Rhodes University

The university committed support initiatives that would make NSFAS more efficient and effective.

No protests experienced.

16.

Sefako Makgatho University

University takes upon itself to process and allocate allowances to funded students and later claim from NSFAS.

So far, no protest actions were experienced at SMU during the 2022 academic year.

17.

Sol Plaatje University

There were no protests experienced.

 

18.

University of South Africa

Protests experienced were not NSFAS related. The protests were led by the labour unions on labour and management related matters.

 

19.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University had no NSFAS related student protests in 2022.

 

20.

Tshwane University of Technology

TUT has implemented mitigating strategies to try and resolve challenges experienced with NSFAS.

This involved TUT and NSFAS embarking on a series of engagements to address concerns and queries through the NSFAS Service Agent, robust meetings with Financial Aid Practitioners of South Africa (FAPSA) and Usaf (FEF)

(b) The students protest on NSFAS matters were recorded at Tshwane University of Technology in the beginning of 2022, i.e., during February and March. The most challenging issues that affected all six campuses were recorded as follows:

  • Delay in the release the list of NSFAS Funded students;
  • N+2 Rule of NSFAS; and
  • NSFAS appeals process being slow.

. However, there protests were not just limited to NSFAS related concerns. Other student demands also played a role

21.

Vaal University of Technology

NSFAS officials visited the campus to address outstanding challenges regarding NSFAS.

On 10 June 2022, the guard house at the entrance of the campus was set alight.

22.

University of Venda

The University of Venda Strategy is to open registration for all NSFAS potential funded students pending NSFAS confirmation and reimbursement of funds to the university. University decided to pay students allowances towards food and to pay landlords before NSFAS pay to ensure well-being of students and stability on campus. As for book allowances universities decided to wait for NSFAS to pay the university considering the magnitude of the invoice as majority of UNIVEN enrolment is funded by NSFAS.

one protest action was recorded during May 2022.

23.

Walter Sisulu University

The interventions by the University included: Ongoing engagements with institutional and campus SRCs, NSFAS visiting campuses to deal with NSFAS related matters,

Walter Sisulu University encountered protests from February to June 2022 on its four campuses (Zamukulingisa, Mthatha, Ibika and Buffalo City). The concerns raised by students included: unfunded students, and student accommodation not compliant to DHET minimum norms.

24.

University of the Western Cape

No protest actions related to NSFAS issues

.

25.

University of the Witwatersrand

No protest actions related to NSFAS issues

 

26.

University of Zululand

NSFAS qualifying students are assisted whilst NSFAS has not yet paid the upfront payment to the university.

On 9 March 2022 at the KwaDlangezwa. The concerns raised by students were not only NSFAS related. Students complained against students living off campus and inadequate residences. The University managed to source more off-campus accommodation.

18 October 2022 - NW3499

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Kruger, Mr HC to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

What was the allocated budget of the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority on skills development for small businesses for each of the past five financial years?

Reply:

The allocated budget of the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority on skills development for small and medium businesses for each of the past financial years is as follows:

Financial year

Number of SMEs Supported

Budget Allocated

2018/19

910

R16 380 000.00

2019/20

3 608

R64 944 000.00

2020/21

2 446

R44 028 000.00

2021/22

2 508

R23 826 000.00

2022/23

2 700 (in progress)

R25 650 000.00

 

18 October 2022 - NW3350

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

Whether, according to the Ministerial Task Team report, allowances to National Student Financial Aid Scheme will be increased to factor in the rise in food and transportation cost?

Reply:

The modelling conducted by the Ministerial Task Team was used to assist the Department, NSFAS and National Treasury as part of the medium-term budget discussions in preparation for the 2022/23 MTEF process. The model used the inflation estimates outlined in the 2022/23 MTEF Guidelines sent out by the National Treasury. This resulted in the shortfall for 2022/23 being addressed in the 2022/23 budget vote, with reprioritisation from across government, as well as an additional amount required from the Department’s budget. However, the discussion on whether allowances can be changed is dependent on funding available and anticipated costs for 2023. 

The MTEF allocations to NSFAS for university students are as follows:

  MTEF - Allocation

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

 

 

 

 

University allocation: Baseline

37 151 442

40 711 784

   44 399 325

Reprioritisation-Universities

1 207 665

 

 

Sub-total: Universities

38 359 107

40 711 784

44 399 325

18 October 2022 - NW3046

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Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

In light of the annual problem of South African students who are left without funding through study abroad programmes which are initiated by provincial governments, what contingency plans does his department have in place in cases where provinces that initiate study abroad programmes, fail to meet their financial obligations towards students?

Reply:

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) coordinates several international scholarships that are offered by international partners, while others are managed by other international, national and provincial departments or government agencies or private entities. The project initiation, administration, budgeting and funding of scholarship programmes are the responsibility of each provincial or national department that embarks on and implements these programmes as per the provincial or national department objectives.

All funding resources for any project including international scholarships have to be secured by the responsible sponsoring department before students are recruited and sent abroad. However, despite this clear separation of financial responsibilities of project implementation and funding between provincial and national department, DHET has put in several structures to promote and strengthen good practice, coordination and management of international scholarships.

The DHET established the International Scholarships Intergovernmental Forum, which it chairs and serves as secretariat. The DHET plays a national oversight and advisory role on international scholarship programmes in which different government departments at both national and provincial levels are involved. The Forum includes all government departments that administer international scholarships and meets biannually.

To further strengthen the Implementation of International Scholarships by the different government entities, the Minister of Higher Education and Training developed a strategy to strengthen the coordination, management and implementation of international scholarships. These Guidelines are geared towards facilitating the effective coordination and to address a range of persisting issues and challenges that have emerged in the implementation of international scholarships by South African Government entities. Furthermore, in order to strengthen the application of International Scholarships Guidelines, the guidelines are currently being processed into a National Policy to strengthen scholarship coordination, implementation and good practice.

11 October 2022 - NW2832

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)Considering that the current unemployment rate is 34,5% and that most of the recently listed critical skills emanate from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), how will his department encourage the uptake of occupations in the specified fields; (2) (a)(i) what initiatives are in place to raise awareness around the employment opportunities in the STEM field and (ii) how will the initiatives be mainstreamed to all structures of higher education and (b) how will the budget of his department be adjusted to offer funding opportunities for studies geared at the STEM occupations?

Reply:

1. The month of August is dubbed TVET Month on the calendar of my department. During this month, all the 50 public TVET colleges embark on various activities, including but not limited to, having direct engagements with the youth and especially employers/industry with the aim of profiling TVET colleges and their programme offerings. The programme exposes and encourages young people to consider careers with artisanal, vocational and technical skills. The main target audience for the TVET College Month are Grade 9 to12 learners, out of school and unemployed youth, College students and industry. Furthermore, my department has open week awareness campaign and artisan week campaign both to encourage learners and particularly female learners and students to enrol for STEM careers.

2. (a)(i) Since 2018, my department has embarked on a plan to review and update programmes and qualifications offered at TVET Colleges in order to align them with the needs of the rapidly changing economy and society. In this regard, at least 60 subjects of the Report 191 programme since 2018 has been revised and updated. Furthermore, my Department offer bursaries such as NSFAS, NSF, SETAs, NRF and international scholarship to encourage learners and students to follow STEM. (ii) In 2013, my Department launched the Decade of Artisan campaign to promote artisanship as a career of choice for South Africa’s youth. The campaign was launched under the theme “It’s cool to be a 21st Century Artisan”. The importance of this programme is to ensure that we develop the required artisans to successfully implement our country’s strategic infrastructure projects, which included the building of roads, schools, universities, harbours, power stations and economic infrastructure. Public colleges and universities are working hard to establish partnerships with key role-players such as the industry and the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) for workplace opportunities.

 

(b) Mr Zondo, there are already STEM subjects offered in TVET colleges (i.e.science, technology, engineering and mathematics) across a number of programmes.

We already fund the Pre-Vocational Learning Programmes (PLP) which is to strengthen students who wish to pursue the STEM stream. A further significant step towards funding STEM initiatives is to provide laptops to lecturers and students. This is something that we must seriously pursue for IT and engineering students.

30 September 2022 - NW2911

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1) Whether, with reference to the Women’s Month Roundtable where he pointed out that 10% of all rape cases take place in universities, his department has regulations in place in terms of processes and procedures that serve as guidelines on how universities deal with Gender-Based Violence and rape cases; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details thereof; (2) whether his department follows up on cases reported to the university to ensure that the processes it follows are equitable and sensitive to victims; if not, why not; if so, what practices of accountability are there from his department to ensure that cases are handled correctly; (3) whether his department offers any legal and/or psychological support to victims going through university-led legal processes; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Addressing the occurrence of GBV forms part of integrated Gender Equality functions in the Department of Higher Education and Training (the Department), under the umbrella of Social Inclusion across all branches.  Every branch, in this case the University Education and Planning, Policy and Strategy branches each have unique responsibilities.  These include for the University Education branch:

  • Create the enabling environment, coordinate, support institutions in the implementation of social inclusion in the PSET system;
  • Manage the institutional policy environment; and
  • Manage and support implementation programmes within institutions.

The Planning, Policy and Strategy branch is responsible for:

  • Develop and manage the enabling policy environment (including sector policies, guidelines, standards, protocols and tools) for social inclusion in the PSET system;
  • Support (where needed) implementation branches in the implementation of Social Inclusion and Equity;
  • Collate information from Branches and monitor the implementation of social inclusion policies and programmes in the PSET system;
  • Report on the implementation of social inclusion in the PSET system;
  • Liaise with Chapter 9 institutions, other Departments; and
  • Report on national and international obligations.

(1) In order to create the enabling environment to address GBV and rape cases in Universities the Department has published the Policy Framework to address Gender-based Violence in the Post-School Education and Training System (Government Gazette No 43575, 31 July 2020). The purpose of the Policy Framework is to create an enabling environment for the eradication of GBV and instil respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No 108 of 1996). The Policy Framework intends to assist PSET institutions to address the occurrence of GBV and to provide a monitoring instrument to the Department to assess the implementation of the Policy Framework.

The Policy Framework aims to:

  • Conceptualise GBV and define its manifestation in terms of existing laws and policies;
  • Detail the international and national regulatory framework compelling institutional and departmental responses to GBV;
  • Provide guidance around the structures, mechanisms and processes that PSET institutions must put in place to address GBV;
  • Compel PSET institutions to both create awareness of GBV policies and prevent incidents of GBV; and
  • Set out a framework for oversight of the DHET and PSET institutions’ development and implementation of policy.

The Policy Framework has 3 strategic objectives, including:

  • Create an enabling environment in the Department and PSET institutions to ensure the effective implementation of the Policy Framework, actions and programmes;
  • Promote the safety of all students and staff by putting in place comprehensive prevention and awareness programmes intended to raise the importance of policies and services addressing GBV, as well as other measures aimed at preventing incidents of GBV; and
  • Provide comprehensive support, assistance to victims and refer them appropriately to specialised support and assistance in line with the National Instructions, National Directives, List of Designated Health Establishments and Additional Services directives under the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act (SORMA) (Act 32 of 2007). 

It is the responsibility of PSET institutions to implement the Policy Framework with the support of the Department and HIGHER HEALTH. 

Following the release of the Policy Framework and as part of its work, the Ministerial Task Team on GBV in Universities held a series of engagements with university communities across various institutions.  Amongst others the aim was to establish how universities respond to sexual harassment and GBV and harm, and what support is needed from the Department to enable effective implementation of the Policy Framework.

It has been established that not all universities have sufficient means to deal with GBV, and the Department and HIGHER HEALTH aim to support these universities and campuses in addressing the problem. The Ministerial Task Team, as soon as the report is released. will advise on areas requiring improvement in institutional responses to GBV violence and sexual harassment and appropriate levels of support needed for the implementation of the National Policy Framework to address gender-based violence by universities.

The Department furthermore plays an oversight role, monitoring institutions to ensure that they take full responsibility for addressing GBV on their campuses.

The Department supports institutions in implementation, monitors the implementation of the Policy Framework and is now finalising the Social inclusion Review and Implementation Model (SI-RIM) that is a mechanism to provide information on what to include in addressing GBV and also for reporting purposes.

The Department, HIGHER HEALTH, in collaboration with several Departments (such as Health, Justice and Constitutional Development, South African Police Service (SAPD) and others), experts and institutions developed institutional implementation Guidelines and supporting protocols and standards for Institutions to address GBV. 

HIGHER HEALTH, through the Department has furthermore released a set of instruments that will strengthen the realisation of the Policy Framework. These instruments include directives to all institutions and Management to put the necessary infrastructure towards a comprehensive response on cases of sexual and gender misconduct, rape, sexual assaults across all our campuses. The procedural guidelines and protocols on rape, code of ethics ensure that reporting of cases, disciplinary systems, safeguarding evidence, provision of rape kits, psychosocial support services and survivor friendly infrastructure is developed across campuses.

The Department is supporting institutions to develop and implement policies and protocols on GBV.  All universities have measures in place to raise awareness, and offer guidance and advice on GBV related matters. These include, but are not limited to:  workshops or presentations during orientation weeks and during various parts of the year for students; roadshows; training; production and dissemination of brochures and other literature for the university community; and information on institutional websites. In addition to these initiatives, a large number of students have completed a curriculum on GBV prevention and mitigation via HIGHER HEALTH, empowering them with knowledge and understanding of GBV and related matters. Higher Health is the Department’s implementing agency for student health, wellness and development in the post-school sector.

(2)  The Department through HIGHER HEALTH follows up on cases reported to the university to ensure that the processes it follows are equitable and sensitive to victims.  

HIGHER HEALTH provides psycho-social support services through two main modalities: (1) through the HIGHER HEALTH toll-free helpline, and (2) through interventions provided by counselling and clinical psychologists. HIGHER HEALTH is also providing support to victims through trained mentors and they are also running a comprehensive awareness programme through several focussed campus activities, campus radio programmes and peer support mechanisms.

HIGER HEALTH works closely with psychosocial support structures on and off-campus.  Victims are supported on campus through trained mentors and staff, as well as specialist support personnel such as counselling and clinical psychologists.  They also assist victims through the reporting processes and refer them to specialist psychosocial support off-campus.  Thorough follow-up is being made to support victims throughout the process of reporting and rehabilitation.

HIGHER HEALTH is implementing a comprehensive and integrated programme promoting health and wellbeing of students across South Africa’s public universities and TVET colleges and provide on-campus support to PSET institutions in 7 priority areas:

This year, over 14 000 students accessed the various HIGHER HEALTH models of psychosocial support. Academic stress and anxiety (30%), general stress and substance abuse (22%) depression and suicide (18%) and sexual, physical and emotional abuse (19%) present the main reasons for accessing support care.

HIGHER HEALTH has set up campus and community radio stations to engage young students routinely on matters related to Sexual and Gender Based Violence and mental health as a matter of priority. There is also HIGHER HEALTH's 24-hour toll-free helpline available in all 11 official languages.  The line offers health, wellness and psychosocial risk assessment toolkits for early screening, empowerment and referral related to gender-based violence, mental health, HIV, TB and other matters.

(3)  Through HIGHER HEALTH he Department offers legal and/or psychological support to victims going through reporting and legal processes. Universities also have their own systems and processes to support students and staff in these areas.

30 September 2022 - NW2711

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Zondo, Mr S S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Considering the addition of specialised medical occupations such as chemists, specialist nurse educators, anaesthesiologists and dentists to the critical skills list, in addition to the Republic’s shortage of doctors and nurses, what is the reason that he is not prioritising the establishment of colleges to absorb more medical students?

Reply:

In 2011, the Minister of Health appointed a Ministerial Task Team on Nursing Education and Training following the National Nursing Summit of April 2011. The Ministerial Task Team report, which was finalised in August 2012, made several recommendations, including that nursing colleges be declared as higher education institutions in compliance with the Constitution and provisions of the Higher Education Act (101 of 1997, as amended). The Ministerial Task Team also recommended that while nursing education and training should be regarded as a national competence, it should account to the Director-General of Health, rather than Higher Education and Training.

The priority at the time was to align the nursing qualifications to the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation has designated that the 10 public Nursing Colleges and 9 public Emergency Medical Services Colleges can offer qualifications on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework leading to Certificates, Diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees until such time as they are declared an institutional type contemplated in the Higher Education Act. These qualifications must be accredited by the Council on Higher Education and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority on the National Qualifications Framework.

30 September 2022 - NW2628

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

What total number of (a) black, (b) coloured, (c) white and (d) Indian students were enrolled at each of the 26 public universities in the (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021 and (v) 2022 academic years?

Reply:

The table below provides a breakdown of enrolments based on the audit data received from public universities for the 2018 to 2020 academic years. The Department is currently verifying the audited 2021 enrolment data and this information will be available in October 2022. Similarly, information on the 2022 academic year will be available in October 2023.

30 September 2022 - NW2626

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

(1)(a) On what date did the practical studies on (i) the new university of science and innovation in Ekurhuleni and (ii) the new crime detection university in Hammanskraal commence and (b) what is the timeline for completion of the studies; (2) whether the universities will be classified as university colleges or full universities; if so, what (a)(i) is the reason for the classification in each case and (ii) are the further relevant details and (b) is the estimated cost to establish the universities?

Reply:

1. The process of establishing the two new higher education institutions commenced in April 2021 with the appointment of a Project Steering Committee constituted by stakeholder representatives from various organisations and sectors.

The two feasibility studies are expected to be completed and submitted to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation by 31 October 2022.

2. The classification of these two new higher education institutions as university colleges or universities will only be known once the feasibility studies have been completed.

30 September 2022 - NW2627

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

In what way is the process to establish (a) technical and vocational education and training centres and (b) new colleges or college campuses the same as the process to establish universities?

Reply:

The process to establish Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College is outlined on Chapter 2 of the Continuing Education and Training Act, Act 16 of 2006 which says the Minister, after consultation with the institution, may, by notice in the Gazette and from money appropriated for this purpose, establish a public-

(a) Technical and Vocational Education and Training College; or

(b) Community Education and Training College.

The notice in the Gazette must set out -

(a) The date of the establishment of the College:

(b) Whether the college is a technical and vocational education and training college or the college is a community education and training college;

(c) The name of the College; and 

(d) The physical location and address of the college.

The University is established in terms of Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 which says on chapter 3 the Minister may after consulting Council on Higher Education, by notice in the Gazette and from money appropriated for this purpose by Parliament, establish a university. 

b) new colleges or college campuses the same as the process to establish universities?

The process of establishing a new university is the responsibility of the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation.  It should be noted that the cost of developing a new university is very high and will require Cabinet approval and the appropriation of funds through the National Treasury process. At this time in South Africa’s development trajectory, there are many competing needs and given the current fiscal constraints, funding for new universities is limited and will require more feasibility studies to ascertain the probabilities of establishing new institutions in the future, more so in remote areas to limit the influx and movement of students into cities. 

Cabinet has approved the establishment of new universities in Ekurhuleni and Hammanskraal. A feasibility study is underway in this regard, and this will advise on the size and shape of these two institutions.

In respect to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, the process of establishing new colleges or college campuses is exactly the same as that set out for Universities.

At present the Department is implementing new infrastructure for TVET Colleges as follows:

Msinga Campus   of UMgungundlovu TVET College at Cwaka 

Greytown Campus of Umgungundlovu TVET College at Greytown

Umzimkhulu Campus of Esayidi TVET College at Umzimkhulu 

Bhambanana Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Bhambanana

Nkandla A Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Nkandla Town

Nkandla B Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Nkumgamathe

Vryheid Engineering Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Vryheid

Nongoma Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Nongoma

Kwagqikasi Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Nongoma

Giyani Campus of Letaba TVET College at Giyani

Balfour Campus of Gert Sibande TVET College at Balfour

Aliwal North Campus of Ikhala TVET College at Aliwal North

Sterkspruit Campus TVET College of Ikhala at Sterkspruit

Ngqungqushe Campus of Ingwe TVET College at Lusikisiki

Graaff Reneitt Campus of East Cape Midlands at Graaff Reneitt

Thabazimbi Campus of Waterberg TVET College at Thabazimbi.

At present there are no further funds to construct new campuses or colleges.

30 September 2022 - NW2998

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Marais, Mr EJ to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether he and/or his department submitted a policy review document and/or any other government policy document to structures outside of the Government, either to private and/or external structures or structures of any political affiliation during the past five years; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) will he furnish Mr E J Marais with copies of all such documents and (b) what are the reasons that the Government documents were provided to each structure?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and its precursor, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have shared policy documents and policy review documents with structures outside of government during the past five years. Examples of such policy and policy review documents are given below:

  • The 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
  • The 2020 Ministerial Review of the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Institutional Landscape (HESTIIL Review)
  • The Draft 2022 Science, Technology and Innovation Decadal Plan

In addition, policies and reviews are regularly made available on the DSI Website where these can be accessed widely. Finally, when the DSI organises science engagements, conferences (for instance the upcoming World Science Forum to be hosted in South Africa) and exhibitions of South African science and innovation advances and technological progress, copies of policies and other documents relevant to the topic under discussion, are also provided to the attendees.

a) The copies of the documents referred to above are attached to this reply.

b) It is the mandate of the DSI to steer the national system of innovation (NSI) in South Africa. For the NSI to function optimally the flow of information across South African society is critical. Innovation is driven by the private sector, with the role of government being to create and enabling environment for innovation and to set the regulatory parameters for innovation-related activity in the NSI. For instance, the government provides financial support to undertake research linked to the national priorities and global opportunities for economic growth for instance in the Digital and the Circular Economies. The government further supports the necessary education and skills development, and the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge and innovation infrastructure to help South African research organisations and universities compete on the global stage. However, because of fiscal strain, the government cannot fund all of the research and education needs of South Africa. Funding is also derived from investments in the South African NSI by private sector firms, and foreign governments. The private sector is the main driver of innovation performance in the country, and the government needs to ensure that it responds to the needs of industry and society in developing policies and regulations, for instance proposed procurement of locally developed technologies and business incentives to stimulate innovation in South Africa.

Therefore, it is necessary to involve all of the NSI actors (academia, industry, government and civil society, including labour) in the development of science and innovation policies. It is for these purposes that policy reviews and policy documents are regularly shared with stakeholders such as the following:

  • Business associations (for instance the Manufacturing Circle and the Minerals Council South Africa);
  • Universities (for instance through USAf, Universities South Africa and the Deputy Vice-Chancellors: Research of South African universities);
  • Public research organisations (for instance the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Medical Research Council, as well as the Committee of Heads of Research and Technology Organisations, COHORT);
  • Foreign governments (for instance through the British Council, aid organisations and multilateral organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD);
  • Civil society organisations (for instance through the South African Local Government Association, SALGA, the Engineering Council of South Africa, ECSA; and activist non-governmental organisations such as Section 27 in the health field), and finally
  • Labour organisations (for instance through NEDLAC).

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The Department submits policy documents to stakeholders within and outside of government as part of the consultation process.  The relevant policies are:

  1. The Recognition of Prior Learning Coordination Policy (2016);
  2. Articulation Policy for the Post-School Education and Training System of South Africa (2017);
  3. The National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) (2019);
  4. The SETA Landscape’ (2019); and
  5. Skills Strategy to support Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP)’ (2022).

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Coordination Policy provides a strong enabling policy environment for the further development and implementation of RPL across the Post -School Education and Training System (PSET), and across all levels of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). It guides the implementation of RPL, especially concerning the roles and functions of the Department, the South African Qualifications Framework (SAQA), the Quality Councils, the national coordinating mechanism, and the funding mechanisms for RPL implementation.

The Articulation Policy establishes the overarching conceptual structure, principles, and policy statements to support the implementation of credible approaches to articulation within the South African PSET system.

Prior to the publication of these policies in a gazette, SAQA, the Quality Councils, and other relevant stakeholders were consulted as they have a role to play in the implementation of RPL and Articulation.  

The RPL Policy is currently under review and consultations with SAQA, and the Quality Councils were held through meetings including the Chief Executive Committees (CEO) meetings. An online consultative workshop on the Review of the RPL Coordination Policy took place with stakeholders including government; universities; Private Higher Education Institutions; Universities South Africa; SAQA; Quality Councils; Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs); Professional Bodies; DHET Regional Offices; Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); and Community Education and Training (CET) Colleges.

The overarching purpose of the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) is to build the capability of South African citizens through the provision of quality education and skills development thereby contributing to economic growth, employment creation and social development in South Africa.

The New SETA landscape was ushered in on 1 April 2020 by the NSDP and the re-establishment of the SETAs by the Department. In this new dispensation, the role of the SETA’s has been streamlined and re-focussed in order to strengthen their ability to successfully contribute towards the achievement of the NSDP outcomes.

The Skills Strategy has been designed to ensure that skills are available to support the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP). The strategy identifies the skills implications of the ERRP and outlines ways in which the PSET system, together with other key role-players, will ensure that the skills required to implement this plan are available.

The Department consulted with National Skills Authority (NSA) and social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) since these stakeholders have an interest in Skills Development Act and related policy documents. Such consultations were conducted to solicit further inputs since the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP), SETA Landscape and ERRP have implications for Organised Labour, Organised Business and Community Constituency.

22 September 2022 - NW2517

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

(1)(a) What (i) total number of employees of his department are currently working from home, (ii) number of such employees have special permission to work from home and (iii) are the reasons for granting such special permission and (b) on what date will such workers return to their respective offices; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

1. (a) What (i) total number of employees of his department are currently working from home?

The Department has 377 employees as of 1 September 2022 of which 50% (188) work remotely at any given day while the other 189 report to the office at any given day. Employees rotate reporting to the office and maintain 50% attendance. Senior Management Service (SMS) are required to report the office 3 days per week and 2 days for non-SMS.

(ii) Number of such employees have special permission to work from home?

There are 2 employees who have applied for reasonable accommodation to work from home due to ill-heath in line with the Policy and Procedure on Incapacity and ill-heath Retirement. Their applications are currently being processed for consideration and therefore work from home until the outcome of their applications.

(iii) Are the reasons for granting such special permission?

The Department has approved a staggered return to the office with a 50% rotation in line with Code of Practice on Managing SARS-COV2 in the Workplace and the Environmental regulations for Workplaces. In ensuring that the department does not expose employees to unconducive working conditions, it has maintained the staggered reporting to the office as a mitigation. There is a long-term project registered with the Department of Public Works to upgrade the building.

(b) On what date will such workers return to their respective offices?

Employees will continue reporting to the office in the staggered manner until the department has secured an alternative office which is June 2023. Employees who have applied for reasonable accommodation due to ill-heath will work from home until the outcome of their applications as recommended by the Health Risk Manager.

2. Whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Not applicable.

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

CORPORATE SERVICES BRANCH

a) BRANCH:

CORPORATE SERVICES (ALL DIRECTORATES)

i) Total number of employees currently working from home

0

ii) Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

0

iii) Reasons for granting such special permission

Not Applicable

b) What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

Not Applicable

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND DIRECTORATES/UNITS REDERING DESIGNATED FUNCTIONS UNDER ITS AUSPICES

a) Directorate:

Chief financial Officer

Financial Management

Supply Chain Management

Development Support

Public Entities

i) Total number of employees currently working from home

0

0

0

0

0

ii) Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

0

0

0

0

0

iii) Reasons for granting such special permission

None

None

None

None

None

b) What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

Not Applicable

PLANNING, POLICY AND STRATEGY BRANCH

a) BRANCH:

PLANNING, POLICY AND STRATEGY (ALL DIRECTORATES)

i) Total number of employees currently working from home

0

ii) Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

0

iii) Reasons for granting such special permission

Not Applicable

b) What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

Not Applicable

COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING BRANCH

a) BRANCH:

COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND TRAINING BRANCH (ALL DIRECTORATES)

i) Total number of employees currently working from home

0

ii) Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

0

iii) Reasons for granting such special permission

Not Applicable

b) What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

Not Applicable

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT BRANCH

a) BRANCH:

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT BRANCH CHIEF DIRECTORATES: INDLELA, NSA AND SETA COORDINATION

i) Total number of employees currently working from home

1 employee is currently working hybrid (from home and office) at SETA Coordination.

ii) Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

1 employee stated above was given special permission to work hybrid.

iii) Reasons for granting such special permission

She was granted special permission due to her critical but stable condition with comorbidity (lung problem).

b) What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

It is not possible to specify when she will fully return to office since her ill-health and state of vulnerability is unpredictable. She needs to be given reasonable accommodation to continue working.

BRANCH:

University Education

Total number of employees currently working from home

2

Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

2

Reasons for granting such special permission

Ill-health and family responsibility

What date will such workers return to their respective offices?

It is not possible to specify when they will fully return to office since her ill-health

BRANCH:

TVET

Total number of employees currently working from home

0

Number of employees who have special permission to work from home

0

Reasons for granting such special permission

N/A

What date will such workers return to their respective offices?: N/A

22 September 2022 - NW2733

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Whether, with reference to the University of Pretoria that has recently increased its registration fees by around 50%, his department intends to set a benchmark which would prevent institutions of higher learning from implementing exorbitant fee increases, which many South Africans cannot afford; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? MEMORANDUM FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR WRITTEN REPLY QUESTION 2733 DATE OF PUBLICATION OF INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 2/09/2022 INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 29 OF 2022 Mrs N I Tarabella Marchesi (DA) to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation: [ê457] [Question submitted for oral reply now placed for written reply because it is in excess of quota (Rule 137(8))]: Whether, with reference to the University of Pretoria that has recently increased its registration fees by around 50%, his department intends to set a benchmark which would prevent institutions of higher learning from implementing exorbitant fee increases, which many South Africans cannot afford; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW3302E REPLY: In March 2016, the Minister requested the CHE to advise him on a “framework for managing future university fee structures through which increases should be developed and agreed upon”. The CHE undertook the work in two phases: the first phase to make recommendations for increases for the 2017 academic year, and the second phase to recommend a framework for the longer term. The Department with the support of Universities South Africa (USAf) established a Working Group in 2019 and has developed a first draft of a proposal towards a national framework for regulating fees. The proposed proposal towards a framework outlines the background and need for a fee regulation framework as well as the advice received from the CHE to the Minister in 2017. However, the framework requires further engagements with the Minister.  Work is currently continuing on the draft policy framework in 2022, aiming for a final framework and three-year agreement to be approved by the Minister by December 2022.

Reply:

In March 2016, the Minister requested the CHE to advise him on a “framework for managing future university fee structures through which increases should be developed and agreed upon”. The CHE undertook the work in two phases: the first phase to make recommendations for increases for the 2017 academic year, and the second phase to recommend a framework for the longer term.

The Department with the support of Universities South Africa (USAf) established a Working Group in 2019 and has developed a first draft of a proposal towards a national framework for regulating fees. The proposed proposal towards a framework outlines the background and need for a fee regulation framework as well as the advice received from the CHE to the Minister in 2017. However, the framework requires further engagements with the Minister.  Work is currently continuing on the draft policy framework in 2022, aiming for a final framework and three-year agreement to be approved by the Minister by December 2022.

22 September 2022 - NW2732

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation:

Whether, with reference to a surge in the number of calls received by the SA Depression and Anxiety Group from students who are experiencing mental health challenges in relation to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in view of the shocking number of student suicides that are witnessed in the Republic, his department has taken any steps to capacitate institutions of higher learning to deal with the crises; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

Reply:

The Department acknowledges the surge in the number of students who are experiencing mental health challenges, especially in relation to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the number of student suicides that are reported. The Department regards addressing mental health is part of a holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of staff and students.  Therefore, the Department is funding HIGHER HEALTH to the tune of R20,604 million (2022/3); R27,530 million (2023/4); R28,440 million (2024/5) and R29,714 million (2025/6) to implement a comprehensive and integrated programme promoting health and well-being of students and staff additional to the allocated budget in the baseline for each institution.

HIGHER HEALTH is the implementation arm of the Department to implement a comprehensive and integrated programme promoting health and wellbeing of students across South Africa’s public universities and TVET colleges and provide on-campus support to PSET institutions in 7 priority areas:

Mental Health, as seen in the diagram is central to the approach.  HIGHER HEALTH is skilled in facilitating both first and second curriculum activities in the form of peer-to-peer education and in-classroom interventions through the integration of general health and wellness, addressing the wide range of social and health challenges experienced by staff and students.  It is done at all campuses of universities and TVET colleges.

HIGHER HEALTH provides psycho-social support services through several means, including: (1) pro-active screening; (2) prevention and awareness programmes (3) organised programmes such as first-thing-first and second curriculum activities (4) the HIGHER HEALTH toll-free helpline, and (2) through interventions provided by on-campus and off-campus counselling and clinical psychologists. HIGHER HEALTH's activities also include focussed campus activities, campus radio programmes and peer support mechanisms. HIGHER HEALTH has set up campus and community radio stations to engage young students routinely on matters related to specific Sexual and Gender Based Violence and mental health as a matter of priority. There is also HIGHER HEALTH's 24-hour toll-free helpline available in all 11 official languages.  The line offers health, wellness and psychosocial risk assessment toolkits for early screening, empowerment and referral related to gender-based violence, mental health, HIV, TB and other matters.

This year, over 14 000 students accessed the various HIGHER HEALTH models of psychosocial support. Academic stress and anxiety (30%), general stress and substance abuse (22%) depression and suicide (18%) and sexual, physical and emotional abuse (19%) present the main reasons for accessing support care.  The Honourable Member also asked what are the relevant details in each case.  Information on individual reported cases are captured by institutions and HIGHER HEALTH, and reported in aggregated form to the Department's University Branch.  Information on each case is confidential and cannot be shared.

INSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVES

All universities and TVET Colleges have measures in place to raise awareness, offer guidance and advice and support students and staff through Campus Services and Student Support Services. These include, but are not limited to:  workshops or presentations during orientation weeks and during various parts of the year for students; roadshows; training; production and dissemination of brochures and other literature for the university community; and information on institutional websites.

The Department plays an oversight role, monitoring institutions to ensure that institutions take full responsibility for addressing health and well-being of students and staff on their campuses.

22 September 2022 - NW2723

Profile picture: King, Ms C

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

With reference to his department’s Draft Policy for the Recognition of South African Higher Education Institutional Types published on 8 August 2022, how will technical and vocational education and training colleges be classified since the draft policy only refers to universities, university colleges and higher education colleges?

Reply:

The Policy for the Recognition of South African Higher Education Institutional Types will have no bearing on the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges. The policy is directed at higher education institutions only. The TVET colleges will remain as they are and
operate in the same manner they are operating currently. However, my Department is working on improving articulation between TVET colleges and universities and the introduction of Higher Education Colleges and University Colleges by institutional types policy should add impetus
towards that improvement.

22 September 2022 - NW2449

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Marawu, Ms TL to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

What total amount in student loans do students from both (a) private and (b) public tertiary institutions owe to South African banks?

Reply:

The Department does not collect data on student loans of students from both (a) private and (b) public tertiary institutions who owe South African banks. South African financial institutions are the owners of loan contracts between students/parents and guardians and subsequently the requested data.  Financial institutions should have such data.

14 September 2022 - NW2669

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Malatsi, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)On what date did he last attend a meeting outside the structures of the Government to determine the deployment of personnel in public sector positions; (2) whether any appointments to public sector positions were discussed and determined during his appearance at any forum that is private and external to the structures of the Government; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the details on which appointments were discussed and (b) other government matters were discussed during his last meeting at any such forum?

Reply:

  1. I have not attended any such a meeting.
  2. (a) and (b) not applicable.

08 August 2022 - NW2034

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Madokwe, Ms P to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)Whether, with regard to the commitment made by the President of the Republic, Mr M C Ramaphosa, that his department would be approached to rename one of the colleges in the Eastern Cape after struggle stalwart and the first woman in the Republic to make education fashionable, Mme Charlotte Maxeke, and in light of the fact that it has been over a year since that commitment was made, his department has been approached to rename any college; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether his department has considered giving similar honour to Mme Maxeke; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

  1. My Department will follow the standard procedure of changing place names as guided by the South African Geographical Names Act of 1998;
  2. All name changes have to be approved by the South African Geographical names in South Africa.

25 July 2022 - NW1733

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

(1)Whether his department has been informed that graduates are not inspired to build careers in the water and sanitation sector; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether his department has put mechanisms and/or plans in place to attract students to the study of and interest in the specified sector; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of Higher Education and Training is not aware of graduates within the higher education sector who are not inspired to build careers in the water and sanitation sector.

The Department’s role is to ensure that there is an enabling environment for institutions to provide the necessary training and skills required for the water management sector and ensure that students are supported with the necessary means, where appropriate, to pursue their careers.

There are several higher education institutions that offer disciplines in Water Resources Engineering and caters for the vocational pathway in terms of the Higher Certificate and Diploma qualifications, as well as the Bachelor of Science in Hydrology and Water Resources Management for an academic and research pathway (please see attached list).

The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) plays a key role in developing skills needed in the water and energy sector.

25 July 2022 - NW2419

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

Noting the ongoing crisis in relation to student accommodation, (a) what total number of projects are currently underway that are facilitated and/or paid for by his department to provide sufficient accommodation for students in higher education and (b) which institutions are included in the specified projects?

Reply:

There are currently 76 student housing projects underway. The total funding allocated to these projects amount to R4.547 billion which is made of R3.842 billion from the Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant (IEG), R523 million from the Budget Facility for Infrastructure (BFI), and R182 million from the Sibusiso Bengu Development Grant. From the total funding of R4.547 billion, 56% (R2.544) billion went to the 8 institutions under the Sibusiso Bengu Development Programme. These universities constitute 31% of the total number of public universities in the country.

The institutions involved in these projects are as listed below:

  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Central University of Technology
  • Durban University of Technology
  • Mangosuthu University of Technology
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • North-West University
  • Rhodes University
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of Johannesburg
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Limpopo
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Western Cape
  • University of Venda
  • University of Zululand
  • Vaal University of Technology
  • Walter Sisulu University