ATC190320: Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on its activities during the 5th Parliament (May 2014 – March 2019)

Higher Education, Science and Technology

 

Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training on its activities during the 5th Parliament (May 2014 – March 2019)

 

Key highlights

 

  1. Reflection on the Committee programmes over the 5-year period and on whether the objectives of such programmes were achieved or not

 

The work of the Committee covered a five-year period and was informed by the following policy priorities:

 

1.1. The National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030: The NDP provides the framework for achieving the radical socio-economic agenda for the country. The Plan recognises the need for a capable and developmental state, a thriving business sector and strong civil society institutions with shared and complementary responsibilities. It also identifies decent work, education and the capacity of the state as particularly important priorities. It further highlights the need to improve the quality of the administration of many government activities. For the post-school education and training sector (PSET), the NDP envisages that by 2030, South Africans should have access to education and training of the highest quality. The education, training and innovation system should cater for different needs and should produce highly skilled individuals; and graduates of the post-school system should have adequate skills and possess knowledge to meet the current and future needs of the economy and society.

 

1.2. The White Paper for Post-School Education and Training: The White Paper articulates a vision for an integrated system of post-school education and training, with all institutions playing their role as different parts of a coherent but differentiated system. The White Paper seeks to set out strategies to expand the current provision of education and training in South Africa, to improve its quality, and to integrate the various strands of the post-school system. There are interventions set out in the White Paper for the implementation by different sectors of the Post-School Education and Training. Flowing from the White Paper, the Department planned to develop a National Plan for Post School Education and Training (NPSET) that will be an implementation plan consisting of measurable targets for each sub-system of the sector. The main policy objectives are:

  • a post-school system that can assist in building a fair, equitable, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa;
  • a single, coordinated post-school education and training system, expanded access, improved quality and increased diversity of provision; and
  • a post-school education and training that is responsive to the needs of individual citizens, to the needs of employers in both public and private sectors, as well as to broader societal and development objectives.

 

1.3. 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA): On 17 February 2014, the former President of the country, Mr Zuma, addressed the South African citizens during his State of the Nation Address, outlining government’s strategic priorities for the five years, 2014 – 2019. This was to give effect to the strategic priorities spelled out in the electoral mandate of the fifth democratic government. For education, the President reiterated that education remained an apex priority for government. The President stressed the government’s commitment to expanding access to higher education. In building two new universities, the University of Mpumalanga and the Sol Plaatje University, the President indicated that contractors were to move on site in September 2014 to commence with the construction thereof.  The President also announced the establishment of the ninth Medical School at the University of Limpopo, indicating that, the first intake of medical students would be enrolled at the new Medical School by 2015.

 

In expanding the geographical spread of education and training institutions so as to increase access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the President announced that 12 TVET College Campuses would be built to expand the mix of technical skills in the country.

 

1.4. The Department of Higher Education and Training’s 2015 /16 – 2019/20 Strategic Plan: the 5th Parliament received from the Executive the 2015/16 - 2019/20 Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan outlined the strategic activities in terms of policy priorities to be implemented over a five-year period to meet Outcome 5: “A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path”. The work of the Committee was geared towards monitoring and assessing the progress by the Department of Higher Education and Training (herein referred to as the Department) in working towards achieving its targets as set for the MTSF (2014 – 2019) period.

 

1.5. Legislation: The Committee also monitored and assessed the implementation of the legislation of the DHET. This included the: Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No.101 of 1997), National Student Financial Aid Scheme Act, 1999 (Act No. 56 of 1999), Continuing Education and Training Act, 2006 (Act No. 16 of 2006), National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act No. 67 of 2008), Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998), Skills Development Levies Act, 1999 (Act No. 9 of 1999) and the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act, 2001 (Act No. 58 of 2001). The Department of Higher Education and Training oversees the SETAs and the National Skills Fund (NSF) in terms of the Skills Development Act and the Skills Levies Act.

 

1.6. Strategic priorities of the 5th Parliament, which were:

 

(i) Strengthening oversight and accountability;

(ii) Strengthening legislative capacity;

(iii) Enhancing public involvement and participation;

(iv) Deepening engagement in the international fora; and

(v) Strengthening co-operative governance to improve intergovernmental relations.

 

In July 2014, the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Hon Mbete, announced that the 5th Parliament had an opportunity to refine a new form of social compact, toward realising the development goals of the South African people, to entrench democracy and contribute towards nation building.

 

1.7. Portfolio Committee on Higher Education Strategic Plan 2015/16 - 2019/20

Arising from the above policy priorities, the Committee developed and implemented its five-year strategic plan 2015/16 - 2019/20 to guide its oversight activities for the Medium-Term Strategic Framework.  The Committee’s Strategic Plan was subsequently revised in accordance with the priorities the Committee had identified during its Mid-Term Review workshop held on 17-18 August 2016. The Committee exercised its oversight mandate regarding the implementation of legislation by the Department of Higher Education and Training, as well as overseeing the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) through the 2014 – 2019 Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for the Post-School Education and Training sector.

 

Besides the priorities outlined in the Strategic Plan, and annual programmes, the Committee followed up on the recommendations contained in the Fourth Parliament’s Legacy Report, as well as attending to outstanding issues outlined below such as the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) certification backlog, funding for the post-school education and training sector, transformation in higher education, student protests, and the rollout of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) new Student-Centred Model.

 

The Committee implemented its five-year strategic plan successfully and achieved its strategic objectives.

 

  1. The Committee’s focus areas during the 5th Parliament

 

In implementing its strategic priorities, the Committee took a decision to focus on the following:

 

 

 

 

2.1. Universities

  • Transformation: demographic profile of students, demographic profile of staff, including the monitoring of the success of the implementation of the Staffing South Africa’s Universities Framework (SSAUF) New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP), language policy, institutional culture, racism, discrimination and tolerance.
  • Funding for students in need (including the efficient and optimal use of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) loans and bursaries and the success of NSFAS to strengthen and expand its resources through its own funds thus ensuring that NSFAS supported students in need across all institutions in PSET and governance and management across all institutions in PSET, including the eradication of corruption and cronyism wherever it occurred.
  • Access and success.
  • Articulation between the different sections and institutions across the PSET sector, improved implementation of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and intake of graduates from TVET colleges.
  • Quality and throughput to be monitored: it is not sufficient to focus on the improvement of throughput rates and pass rates only, it is equally important to focus on the quality of the graduates. The quality of the PSET system cannot be measured only in terms of quantitative indicators such as low drop-out rates, high retention rates, high pass rates, and a high percentage of students graduating in the minimum regulation time (“time to degree”). While such indicators can serve as a proxy for quality, the measurement of quality must also include qualitative information such as peer review reports on the standards of courses and assessment (e.g. external examiner reports and benchmarking the standards with appropriate international standards), feedback reports from supervisors of students’ performance during work integrated learning (WIL) opportunities, success of graduates in finding employment appropriate to the level of their qualifications, and feedback from employers.
  • Critical skills for economic and social development across the PSET sector involving the alignment of skills planning with economic development.
  • Institutional autonomy, academic freedom and accountability, including paying attention to the impact that regulations have on institutions in helping/hindering them to achieve their goals, the responsiveness of institutions to national policy imperatives, recognition of improvements in institutional performance and setting realistic student fees.
  • Infrastructure roll-out pertaining to student accommodation and safety, lecture halls, capital works; increased access for and success of people with disabilities in the PSET institutions, and meeting the minimum standards required for infrastructure.
  • Remuneration and conditions of service of university staff; the harmonisation of conditions of service of staff particularly in merged institutions to be prioritised; to ensure teacher development universities should prioritise the development of teachers by offering a TVET college lecturer qualification to improve their pedagogy and the quality of educator training for the schooling sector
  • Compliance with legislation in the competence of the Minister of Higher Education and Training, as well as other relevant legislation such as the Employment Equity Act, (No. 55 of 1998) and the Protection of Personal Information Act, No. 4 of 2013) and other relevant legislation.

 

2.2. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges

  • Critical skills for economic and social development across the PSET sector.
  • Monitoring the progress with the establishment of 12 new TVET college campuses.
  • Monitoring governance and management.
  • TVET college lecturer training and the development of TVET staff, including giving lecturers exposure to occupational and business programmes so they can be appraised of the latest industrial technology and new developments.
  • The role of colleges in the training and development of artisans in partnership with SETAs.
  • Migration process of the nursing and agricultural colleges.
  • Infrastructure roll-out, capital works, investigate possible under-utilized facilities.
  • Articulation across the PSET sector.
  • Eradication of the certification backlog.
  • Monitoring student academic performance.
  • Partnerships between the TVET colleges and industry for work-integrated learning (WIL).
  • Audit outcomes of the TVET colleges.

 

2.3. Community Education and Training (CET) Colleges

  • Monitoring the progress with the migration and merging of provincially managed Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) centres into 9 new community colleges, one per province.
  • The training of CET college lecturers.
  • Articulation across the PSET sector.
  • Funding of the CET colleges to realise their mandate.
  • Governance and management of CET colleges.
  • Outstanding migration issues, especially the finalisation of staff establishments and the harmonisation of conditions of service of lecturers.
  • Certification backlog.
  • Student academic performance.

 

2.4. Skills Development: Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS) and the National Skills Fund (NSF)

  • Critical skills for economic and social development across the PSET sector.
  • Monitoring of transitional arrangements by means of a 2-year extension of the SETA licensing.
  • Articulation across the PSET sector.
  • Governance and management of SETAs.
  • Audit outcomes of SETAs.
  • Critical skills for economic and social development across the PSET sector.
  • Maximum utilization of skills levies.
  • Access to artisan training, cost drivers, the compatibility of the training provided with the expectations of employers.

 

2.5. Funding PSET

  • The Committee to lobbied Treasury and other role-players to raise funding levels for PSET.

 

2.6. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

 

  • Efficiency and effectiveness specifically with regard to the administration of NSFAS loans and bursaries.
  • A fundraising strategy involving partnerships with the private sector to contribute to student funding.
  • The need for NSFAS to vastly improve its debt recovery strategy to recoup monies owed by former students.
  • Payment of upfront allocations to institutions and disbursement of allowances to students.
  • Governance and management at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

 

2.7. DHET Administration

  • Capacity development in DHET, particularly for the monitoring and evaluation of all PSET institutions.
  • Integration and breaking down silos.

 

3. Implementation of the Committee’s 2015 – 2019 Strategic Plan

 

During the period under review, the Committee focused its activities on ensuring that South African youth and adults obtain access to education and training of the highest quality as provided for in the National Development Plan and that the constitutional imperative of the right to accessible further education and training, which the government must make available progressively by means of reasonable measures.

 

This was done through the implementation of the 5th Parliament Strategic Priorities in the following ways:

 

3.1. Strategic Priority 1: Strengthening oversight and accountability

Section 55(2) of the Constitution enjoins the National Assembly to maintain oversight over the Executive. Parliament must prioritise specific outcomes for oversight in its 5th term. This serves to demonstrate at the end of the term how Parliament, through its oversight function, has ensured a more responsive government and accelerated the pace of service delivery.

 

3.1.1. Ensuring that all government plans and budgets are informed by and aligned with the NDP

 

As part of its mandate to hold the Executive to account, the Committee enhanced its oversight function over the work of the Department of Higher Education and Training and its entities to ensure that the five-year targets set in the 2015 – 2019 Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plans meet the objectives of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 – 2019 and are fully implemented. For Outcome 5: Skilled and capable and skilled workforce to support inclusive growth path.

 

3.1.2. Strategic Objective 1: Influencing budget and expenditure policy decisions through effective implementation of the Money Bills with the aim of improving the financial resources of the Department and its entities.

 

3.1.2.1. Budget oversight:

 

(i) Consideration of Budget Votes, Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans of the DHET and its entities

 

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training as an extension of the National Assembly is mandated by Section 27(4) of the Public Finance Management Act, No. 29 of 1999, to interrogate the Department and its entities’ Budget Vote and annual Performance Plans (APPs). In performing its oversight function, the Committee was able to identify inadequate funding as a contributory factor to the underperformance in most areas of the sectors. For the period under review, the Committee also dedicated much of its efforts to influence the budget and expenditure policy decisions with the aim of improving financial resources for the expanded mandate of the Department and the PSET institutions. The Committee convened 11 meetings to consider the Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans of the Department and the four entities (the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the Council on Higher Education, the South African Qualifications Authority and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) which received voted funds. The Committee held annual meetings with the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) to receive briefings on the audit outcomes of the Higher Education and Training Portfolio in relation to the Annual Performance Plans. In addition, the Committee invited the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) to have an independent assessment done by the Commission on the budget of the Department of Higher Education and Training and its entities. The Committee scrutinised the plans of the Department, to assess alignment of the plans with the 2014 - 2019 MTSF given the allocated financial resources and the impact of inadequate funding on the Post-School Education and Training Sector. Whilst the Department maintained its five-year targets for the University, Skills Development and the Community Education and Training sectors, the targets for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training were adversely affected by funding constraints. Consequently, some of targets, namely TVET lecturers being exposed to their respective industries for specified hours every two years from 2019, providing accommodation for 5000 Students in public TVET colleges and enrolling 5 000 students in foundation programmes were discontinued for the remainder of the MTSF. Other targets such as the headcount enrolment and certification rates were significantly reduced.

 

The TVET colleges did not receive an infrastructure development grant to refurbish and maintain their existing infrastructure, as well as to build new infrastructure. Such grants were only paid out to the university sector. On-site visit to TVET colleges’ teaching and learning infrastructure, including simulation rooms and practical workshops, had revealed various challenges relating to the health and occupational safety of the facilities, outdated workshop equipment which was not compatible with industry standards and uninhabitable student accommodation. TVET Colleges only received 54 percent of the recommended 80 percent programme funding, which contributed to the capping of student numbers below the MTSF target. The allocation of student funding for TVET college students was insufficient to allow for the funding of all the eligible students. Of serious concern to the Committee was that the TVET sector, which has been tasked to produce mid-level and artisanal skills to support economic growth and thereby contribute to reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality, was seriously underfunded. The Committee also found that the CHE, SAQA, QCTO were inadequately funded to execute their mandates. The CHE’s budget constraints affected its ability to fulfil this critical mandate effectively as observed in the prior years, and the loss of key personnel in critical posts is an ongoing concern. In addition, capacity constraints constituted a major challenge that affected the overall performance of the CHE.

 

The Committee undertook to ensure effective and efficient utilisation of the skills development levies by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the National Skills Fund (NSF) for skills development interventions. For the skills development sector, the NDP/MTSF set targets to produce 24 000 artisans per annum by 2019, to have 30 per cent of TVET college lecturers placed in the workplace on an annual basis to acquire workplace exposure by 2019, to improve interface between SETAs, for workplaces and education and training institutions to support greater opportunities for work-based training and experience, to have 140 000 work-based learning opportunities planned for 2019 and to have increased partnerships between SETAs and employers for placement. The Committee convened 11 meetings in Parliament and undertook oversight visits to monitor the implementation of the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). Between 2014 and 2018, the Committee was able to engage the following entities: The National Skills Fund (NSF), Education, Training and Development Professionals SETA (ETDP SETA), Banking SETA, Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport SETA, Construction SETA, Chemical Industries SETA, Energy & Water SETA, Finance & Accounting Services SETA, Food & Beverages SETA, Health & Welfare SETA, Insurance SETA, Local Government SETA, Mining Qualifications Authority, Safety & Security SETA, Services SETA, Transport Education and Training Authority and Wholesale and Retail SETA.

 

(ii) Consideration of Section 32 Reports

 

The Committee continued to scrutinize the Department’s quarterly reports to monitor service delivery and financial performance in terms of Section 32 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). This was done to assess in-year service delivery and expenditure against government targets to identify possible challenges and make recommendations for improvement. During the period under review, the committee convened 15 meetings to consider the quarterly service delivery and financial performance reports of the Department. This process ensured effective and robust monitoring of the Department’s performance and follow-up on commitments made to address the underperformance. When the Committee commenced its work in 2014, the performance of the Department measured against its set targets was 65 percent for the 2013/14 financial year. System targets performance for the TVET sector was 48.7 percent during the same time. Through the Committee’s dedicated efforts, the Department’s performance improved by 26 percent from 67.6 percent in 2013/14 to 94 percent in 2017/18. In addition, the Department recorded a significant improvement in the system targets from 48.7 percent in 2013/14 to 80 percent in 2017/18. The work of the Committee was recognised by the Auditor-General of South Africa. In his report, the AG noted that the Portfolio Committee provided a 100 percent assurance of accountability regarding the monitoring of financial and service delivery performance of the Department.

 

(iii) Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR)

 

Section 5(1) of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009), enjoins the National Assembly, through its committees, to conduct annual assessments of the performance of each national department. The Committee also focused on the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) process as provided for by Section 5 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009). The Committee convened annual meetings with the AGSA to receive the audit outcomes on the annual performance of the DHET and its entities. The Committee also invited the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to provide an assessment of the outcomes of the performance of the Department and NSFAS. 16 meetings with AGSA, DHET, NSFAS, the CHE, the SAQA and the QCTO were convened between 2014 and 2019 to consider Annual Reports.

 

Arising from the annual scrutiny of the budget votes, consideration of section 32 reports (quarterly assessment of the DHET financial and service delivery performance) and the annual reports of the DHET and its entities that received voted funds, the Committee made the following findings:

 

  • The demand for financial aid outstripped the available financial resources prior the implementation of fee-free education policy.
  • NSFAS was owed more than R2 billion by its eligible debtors and the loan recovery systems implemented by the entity were slow and ineffective. The Portfolio Committee noted that NSFAS had a serious budget shortfall and more emphasis had to be placed on recovering debts owed by former student to supplement the budget shortfall.
  • The Department expressed its concern that the investment made in higher education was insufficient to cater for the number of students enrolled and the projected NDP targets were in danger of not being achieved unless there was a huge injection of funds into the sector. The TVET sector was underfunded and had R3 billion funding shortfall based on the 2015 enrolment figures and this had a negative impact on its expansion as envisaged in the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (WPSET).
  • Prior the 2018 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF), the TVET colleges did not have dedicated infrastructure grants.
  • The CET programme received a total budget of R2.147 billion for the 2017/18 financial year. 92.9 percent of the programme’s budget was allocated for expenditure on compensation of employees. Expenditure on goods and services amounted to R36.828 million and expenditure on transfers and subsidies amounted to R110.096 million. The NDP has identified the limited budget allocation for the adult education and training was limited and below international standards. The Department also noted that the challenge of the CET sector was gross underfunding, improvement of performance on system indicators translate into improving quality of provision through adequate and relevant Learning and Teaching Support Material, programme diversification to move away from purely academic programmes, suitable infrastructure and standardised conditions of service for the lecturers. The issues indicated require adequate funding, which was currently not available.

 

Having considered the Strategic Plans and APPs of the SETAs, the Committee observed the following:

 

  • High vacancy rate in the SETAs, which was as a result of uncertainties caused by the delay in the finalisation of the new SETA landscape.
  • Increased spending on outsourced functions that could be performed in-house.
  • Governance and management challenges with some SETAs, specifically the Safety and Security SETA and Wholesale and Retail SETA.
  • Lack of collaboration on similar functional areas, which resulted in duplication of services.
  • An increase in the allocation for legal fees.
  • Low targets for completion and certification.
  • Inadequate monitoring and evaluation of funded skills development programmes.

 

Despite the above-mentioned challenges, the Committee also found that there was good governance and management in some SETAS, such as the Insurance SETA, BANK SETA, FASSET, and Health and Welfare SETA. The Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans of the Department and its entities were aligned to the National Development Plan, Medium-Term Strategic Framework and the White Paper on Post-School Education and Training.

 

The Committee made the following recommendations:

 

  • That additional funding to cover the Department’s operations, the funding requirements for NSFAS, the shortfall in TVET examination services, the implementation of the National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA), and the TVET college infrastructure.
  • The Minister should increase funding to meet the 2030 NDP targets for expansion of the TVET and Community College system, especially regarding NSFAS, subsidies, college infrastructure and equipment.
  • The Minister should significantly increase the allocation for university infrastructure, especially for student residences.
  • The Minister should realistically increase the budget of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme over the medium term period to enable all academically capable, but financially needy students to access higher education and technical vocational education and training and to cover the full cost of study through loans and bursaries as proposed in the NDP and to accommodate for an incremental increase in student enrolment through the new universities and the envisaged 12 new TVET college campuses;
  • The Minister should consider making available bridging funds to NSFAS for allocations for tuition fees and other living expenses for students at the beginning of the academic year, necessitated by the misalignment of the academic year and financial year.
  • The Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) has noted that the share of government spending in higher education subsidies has been declining, while the number of poor students accessing higher education and training as well as the costs of running the universities have increased. The FFC also noted that there is a need to adequately fund the TVET and CET sectors, which have been historically underfunded. The Government subsidy programme for the TVET colleges for 2016/17 was R6.6 billion, which was insufficient for the number of students enrolled. A shortfall of over R4 billion was expected in the programme budget in 2016. This amount increased year on year and was projected at R12.5 billion in 2019.

 

Notwithstanding time constraints to assess the annual reports of the Department and entities, the Committee convened meetings to consider the annual reports of the SETAs and the NSF. Between July 2014 and December 2018, the Committee considered the annual reports of the following entities: NSF, LG SETA, SASSETA, PSETA, CATHSSETA, MICTSETA and FoodBEV SETA.

 

The Committee conferred and referred its budgetary recommendations for additional funding for the sector to the Standing Committees on Appropriations and Finance for consideration. The 2018 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) saw a significant increase in the allocation of funds to the TVET sector. The funding was mainly for infrastructure efficiency grants for the refurbishment and maintenance of existing infrastructure and the acquisition of modern workshop equipment. Additional funds were allocated to increase programme funding, as well as the NSFAS allocation being made to the TVET sector. Of great concern was that there was no additional funding made available to the sector to increase headcount enrolment and to accommodate 5 000 (beds) in student accommodation, as well as to enrol students in foundation programmes to improve throughput rates of under-prepared students. The CET sector had not received increases in the budget allocation to address the deficiencies and to ensure that the sector delivers in terms of its legislative and policy mandate. Over 90 percent of the CET sector budget is for compensation of employees.

 

Another success recorded by the Committee was the increase in government spending on universities a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Government has made commitment to increase university subsidies from 0.68 percent to 1 percent of the GDP over the next five years.

 

 

  • Issues to be followed-up by the 6th Parliament
  • The 6th Parliament should continue to lobby with the Standing Committees on Appropriations and Finance for an increase in the allocation made to the TVET and CET sector in terms of the provisions of Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009) to address the funding shortages so that these sectors would be able to implement their mandates effectively.
  • The 6th Parliament should consider the DHET’s 2018/19 third and fourth quarter financial and service delivery performance.
  • The 6th Parliament should monitor implementation of the recommendations made in the first and second quarterly reports.
  • Monitoring of the Department’s improvement plan regarding the Community Education and Training colleges.
  • Monitoring of the CET sector to deliver on its legislative and policy mandate and to implement skills development programmes in partnerships with the Sector Education and Training Authorities and the National Skills Fund.

 

3.1.2. Strategic objective 2: Strengthening oversight over the Department and its entities through effective implementation of legislation

 

3.1.2.1. Migration of the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges and Adult Education and Training (AET)

A Presidential proclamation issued in July 2009 assigned the execution of the provisions contained in the Further Education and Training Colleges Act, 2006 (Act 16 of 2006) (FETCA) and the Adult Education and Training Act, 2000 (Act 52 of 2000) (AETA) to the Minister of Higher Education and Training. The Proclamation transferred the administration functions relating to the Adult Education and Training (AET) and the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges to the Minister of Higher Education and Training. This meant that functions previously performed by the nine (9) provincial MECs were transferred to the Minister of Higher Education and Training and the functions previously performed by nine provincial Heads of Departments were transferred to the Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Notwithstanding the signed implementation protocols, delays were experienced in the implementation of the shift in functions. Such delays were the result of a lack of cooperation from some of the provincial departments in the timeous submission of the requisite information regarding staff to be migrated, as well an unwillingness to surrender the budgets allocated to the two functions. The Committee resolved to focus its attention on ensuring that the process of the function shift would be successfully completed and that Community Colleges would be established in line with the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (WPPSET). The Committee convened several meetings to monitor progress in this regard and invited Heads of Provincial Departments of Education (Northern Cape and North West) that were not in compliance with the signed implementation protocols. Stakeholders affected by the function shift, especially the AET educators’ unions were also invited to raise their concerns and to get an update on the actual position of the matters at that time and the way forward.

 

The function shift of the TVET colleges and staff migration were completed and the disciplinary cases inherited from the provincial departments were resolved overtime. However, there are still challenges that were mentioned by labour unions with regard to outstanding migration issues. These included, 63 percent cap on the Colleges wage bill and the impact of this policy on ability of Colleges to employ both academic and administrative staff, inadequate implementation of collective agreements and disparities in benefits for staff employed on DHET Persal those employed by Councils. Notwithstanding the successful migration of the AET function, there were still challenges that were experienced in the sector, in particular, the harmonisation of conditions of service of lecturers.

 

  • Issues to be followed-up by the 6th Parliament

 

  • The 6th Parliament should monitor that the commitments made by the Department to address the disparities in conditions of service are implemented and related challenges resolved.
  • The issue of lecturers working as both school educators and CET lecturers, especially in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, must be addressed and unemployed graduates with relevant qualifications should be reskilled and employed.
  • Outstanding migration issues as alluded to by labour unions during oversight visits in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and Free State provinces should be addressed.
  • Development of TVET College post-establishment norms should be expedited.
  • The plea by the TVET sector unions to have a dedicated Bargaining Chamber for the TVET sector should be attended to in collaboration with the relevant departments.

 

3.1.2.2. Eradication of the National Certificate Vocational [NC(V)] backlog

The 4th Parliament had recommended that the 5th Parliament should follow-up on the certification backlog of the National Certificate Vocational [NC(V)] to ensure that the Department and other role players dedicate their efforts to addressing the backlog. Many Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges graduates could not access employment or even further their studies due to the certificates not having been issued. Individual members of the Committee were informed of this challenge in their respective constituencies. All the Committee’s oversight visits both in the 4th and 5th Parliament raised concerns about this matter and had made recommendations to the Minister of Higher Education and Training on resolving the matter. The issue of certification backlog, specifically pertaining to the NC(V) Level 2 – 4, were expressed by different stakeholders during oversight visits to TVET colleges. A total of 236 815 [NC(V)] certificates were outstanding dating back to 2007. This was due to reported Information Technology (IT) related challenges, namely the instability contained in datasets submitted by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to Umalusi which were not compatible with the IT system used for the [NC(V)] qualification certification, inadequate human resources allocated by the SITA for the TVET colleges examination system; challenges relating to data consolidation for candidates who had sat for multiple examinations and blame shifting by the Department, Umalusi and the SITA. The Committee convened 13 briefings, including quarterly meetings between June 2015 and November 2018 to assess and monitor progress on the issuance of outstanding certificates. Significant progress was made in addressing the backlog where outstanding certificates for the period November 2007 to March 2016 had been certified on 08 January 2018. The Department was meeting the 3-month target for issuing certificates after the release of examination results from November 2017 exam cycle.

 

Furthermore, this process also helped to identify a new backlog of the National Accredited Technical Education Diploma (NATED) records impacting 15 862 candidates for the period between November 2002 – November 2016, 4 828 for November 2017 and 1 152 candidates between April 2018 to June 2018 exams. This was due to the SITA’s inability to resolve the IT processing challenges that had been plaguing the consolidation process of exam data written in multiple exam cycles for the past several years.

 

Another certification backlog identified, was with regard to the General Education and Training Certificates (GETC) for the Community Education and Training. The ICT challenges with regard to data consolidation of multiple exam cycles was identified as a contributing factor to certification backlog. Efforts were made by the Department to address the matter. As at 21 November 2018, certification backlog had been reduced from 1 112 to 966 for the 2016 cohort and to 4 413 for the 2017 cohort of students. Work was underway to address the backlog caused by a challenge with combined certification extraction program for candidates who sat for examinations from November 2001 to June 2018 across different provinces.

 

  • Issues to be followed-up by the 6th Parliament:
    • A new backlog of NATED certificates impacting 15 862 candidates for the period November 2002 to November 2016 was identified, including 5 980 between November 2017 to June 2018 amounting to. The backlog is due to IT system errors. The 6th Parliament should follow-up to ensure that the Department and role players develop and implement a plan with attached timeframes to address this backlog.
    • The Department and the role players should procure a new IT system to address the challenges of consolidation of student examination data from different examination cycles.
    • The review of the TVET college examination cycle should be prioritised by the Department.

 

3.1.2.3. Transformation in the higher education sector

 

The Education White Paper (3 of 1997) envisages a higher education system that promotes equal access and a fair chance of success    for individuals seeking to realise their potential through higher education, while at the same time eradicating all forms of unfair discrimination and advancing redress for past inequalities. The new White Paper for Post-School Education and Training also places emphasis on the vision of a post-school education and training sector that is fair, equitable, non-racial and non-sexist. During the period under review, the Committee dedicated time to address issues of transformation in the higher education sector. This was necessitated by reported incidents of racism and discrimination at some universities. The Committee held several briefing sessions in Parliament, as well as oversight visits to institutions of higher learning regarding these issues. On September 2014, the Committee conducted an oversight visit to the North-West University (NWU), where reports of alleged initiation practices and incidents of racism, particularly at the Potchefstroom Campus. The University used a Federal Management System which did not enable the institution to achieve one of the goals of the merger, namely to address racial divisions. It was reported that the Potchefstroom Campus of the University continued to be the preserve of the White Afrikaners and the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, and this alienated Black students and staff members. Despite its academic challenges, there were reports of high attrition of black staff.

 

In 2015 September, the Committee convened a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and Training and Stellenbosch University and university stakeholders to address alleged incidents of racism and discrimination at the University following the widely publicised “Luister” video. The video detailed experiences of students, particularly black students and lecturers relating to racial intolerance and the language policy of the institution that perpetuated racial divide. The University was called to appear before the Committee to explain how the alleged incidences had been allowed to happen under its watch and how it intended to put mechanisms in place to curb the occurrence of similar incidences in future. The Committee requested the Minister to explain how the Department planned to put mechanisms in place to ensure that all universities had transformation policies and that they would implement such plans. In March 2016, the Committee followed up this meeting with an oversight visit to Stellenbosch University to receive a progress report on the implementation of the recommendations it had made to the University. 

 

The Committee attended the 2nd National Higher Education Transformation Summit in October 2015, where stakeholders in the higher education sector convened to discuss progress made by the sector in addressing transformation, challenges, successes and proposals relating to areas requiring transformation. The Summit resolved that the following required immediate attention: student funding and student debt should be resolved as a matter of urgency; institutions should be more transparent and consultative regarding fee structures and increments; strengthening of NSFAS to support improvements in student funding for the poor;  improved recovery and repayment rates; the development of transformation goals and transformation indicators and putting mechanisms in place to hold institutions accountable for progress made in achieving such goals.

 

For the medium–term period, the Summit resolved that: all stakeholders should work together to increase the funding allocated to universities; work to progressively introduce free quality education for the poor should be intensified and fast-tracked; the possibility of developing regulatory frameworks in the area of fee increments should be explored; the role of universities should be strengthened to ensure the development of democratic citizenship and building an institutional culture based on the right to dignity; flexible curriculum pathways should be applied; the use of data analytics should be improved to enhance student success rate and that research and dialogue on curriculum transformation must be supported.

During the oversight visits to universities, the Committee was informed by stakeholders that there were slow implementation of transformation policies and employment equity plans of universities and that Black academic staff, especially women  found it difficult to be appointed at senior management level. There were reported allegations that black South African academics were replaced by black academics who were not South Africans when senior management positions were advertised. This was reported at the University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and UNISA.

The Committee has also engaged with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) regarding transformation at universities.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC): On 25 April 2018, the Committee had a meeting with the SAHRC to engage on the findings and recommendations contained in its Report on Transformation at Public Universities in South Africa as referred by the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) in terms of NA Rule 338. The Commission conducted transformation hearings at universities following reported incidents and allegations of racism and unfair discrimination, including incidents of undesirable initiation/orientation practices which resulted in tragic deaths of students. The Commission found that public universities had not sufficiently transformed in the last 20 years (1996 to 2016) with regard to race, gender, culture, language, disability and sexual orientation. Inequalities, patterns of systematic exclusion, marginalisation and subtle forms of discrimination had continued to persist in public universities. Access to and success at public universities had also continued to be stratified along racial lines. This was also reported at the Committee’s recent (January 2019) oversight visit to the University of the Free State (UFS) that achievement gap between black and white students was slightly larger.

Significant progress has been made since the release of the SAHRC report. Universities have developed policies to abolish initiation practices and have put systems in place to build new institutional cultures, for example, in university residences, language policies of some universities such as the Stellenbosch University, the University of Pretoria and the University of the Free State had been reviewed to enhance inclusion, equity and redress and to provide every student with a fair chance of success. The Department is implementing a new Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) targeting 100 first-entrants (black and women) into the academic workforce annually.

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE): On 25 May 2018, the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) referred the CGE Report on Gender Transformation in Tertiary Institutions Hearings 2017/18 to the Committee in terms of Rule 338 of the National Assembly Rules for consideration and reporting in terms of Rule 339 and 340 respectively. The CGE Report emanated from complaints of gender discrimination and a lack of adequate response from the universities in order to address issues of gender transformation received by the Commission. The Commission conducted transformation hearings at the University of Johannesburg, the University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University in 2017/18. Similar hearings were conducted at other 10 universities from 2011 to 2016.

Arising from the engagement on the Report, the Committee observed the following: inadequate gender representation at senior management level of universities; a lack of existing policies at universities to promote gender equality and to protect women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) persons against gender-based violence and discrimination; inadequate budgets in order to promote transformation and gender equity; the Institutional Forums (IFs)’s inability to fulfil their legislative mandate of promoting transformation at universities and a failure of the system to promote a safe environment for women and LGBTIQ persons to live freely from any form of violence and prejudice.

The Committee recommended to the Minister and the Department to:

  • consider the possibility of compelling universities to put more financial resources towards gender transformation in order to promote equity.
  • expedite the development of a policy framework on gender-based violence and discrimination against women and LGBTIQ persons, and to compel universities to develop and implement policies which seeks to protect the rights of women and LGBTIQ persons against gender-based violence and discrimination as well as to implement consequence management where there is non-compliance.
  • address the marginilisation of female students and staff and LGBTIQ persons at institutions of higher learning.

 

  • Issues to be followed-up by the 6th Parliament:
  • Monitoring the implementation of transformation policies, including gender-based violence policies and employment equity plans of universities.
  • Following up on the Department’s written response on the findings and the recommendations of the CGE report.
  • Monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations made by both Commissions to the Universities and to further engage with them on issues of transformation.
  • Engaging with the Department’s Transformation Oversight Committee (TOC) on its monitoring and evaluation of transformation at universities.
  • Engaging with the SAHRC on its report of racism and discrimination at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
  • Conferring with the Portfolio Committee on Women on the issue of transformation and gender equity at post-school and training institutions.
  • Follow-up on the development of gender-based violence and gender transformation policies by universities.

3.1.2.4. The rollout of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme New Student-Centred Model

 

The Ministerial Committee Review of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme recommended that the funding model should be reviewed and a higher education student financial aid model be developed that would progressively provide free higher education at undergraduate level for students from poor and working class communities. The model had to provide student loans on favourable terms to higher education students from lower to middle-income families. The Review Committee recommended the adoption of the proposed further education and training (FET) student financial aid model that would provide fully-subsidised bursaries for all National Certificate Vocational NC(V) students at FET colleges. In 2014, the NSFAS commenced with the pilot of the new student-centred model at 12 institutions (7 universities and 5 TVET colleges). The aim was to ensure that the NSFAS had a direct relationship with students and that students would apply once for the duration of their study period and that the disbursement of student allowances would be efficient.

 

The Committee continued to monitor this process through oversight visits to the NSFAS offices; quarterly meetings in Parliament and during assessments of the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans and Annual Reports of the NSFAS. Whilst progress had been made in rolling out the new model, the Committee continued to observe unprecedented instability in the higher education and TVET colleges sectors. Factors contributing to the instability were delays in the disbursements of student allowances through the sBux system, the lack of integration of the NSFAS ICT systems with the institutions and students not signing the loan agreement forms/ schedule of particulars (LAFSOPs). The Committee noted that there was a blame shifting between the stakeholders and that nobody wanted to take responsibility for the failures of the system.

 

After several engagements with stakeholders that did not yield the desired outcomes, the Committee resolved to conduct its own investigation into the allocation of upfront payment and disbursement of allowances to students. The Committee found amongst others:

  • The disbursement of upfront payments by the NSFAS to universities and TVET colleges were made without sending the list of students who qualified for funding. This resulted in delays with the processing of students’ living allowances and consequently caused disruptions to teaching and learning by protesting students.
  • Inadequate integration of the NSFAS ICT systems with that of universities and TVET colleges. In addition, the inability of the NSFAS ICT system to cope with the large volume of applications from students was also noted as a concern. The Committee was of the view that the NSFAS should have undertaken an assessment of its business systems to determine its capabilities;
  • Poor communication between the NSFAS and stakeholders was noted as a serious concern. Compounding the situation was the inability of the NSFAS call centre to handle student queries while students had to make such calls at their own expense.
  • Continuous changes had been made to the DHET TVET college bursary rules and guidelines and that TVET colleges were not informed of such changes on time.

 

  • The Committee made the following recommendations:
  • The Department in cooperation with the NSFAS should develop policy guidelines for the administration of bursaries for disabled students.
  • The Department should ensure that regulations were published to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the institutions and the NSFAS in the roll-out of the student-centred model.
  • The Department should provide additional funding to the TVET colleges to improve their ICT systems for better integration with the NSFAS ICT system.
  • The South African Further Education and Training Students Association (SAFETSA) in cooperation with all TVET Colleges SRCs should assist with advocacy programmes to support disabled students;
  • The NSFAS should address the delays in the processing of funding applications for disabled students and ensure that assistive devices were purchased timeously.
  • The NSFAS should ensure that outstanding financial claims by universities and colleges for the 2017/18 academic years be paid;
  • The NSFAS should improve its human resources and IT capacity to handle the processing of new applications.
  • The NSFAS should finalise the confirmation of all students for funding for the 2018 academic year and expedite the sending of remittance advices to universities and colleges.
  • The implementation of the new policy on fee-free higher education should address the funding shortfall that the NSFAS experienced over the years.

 

3.1.2.5. Student protests in the higher education sector and stakeholder engagements

 

During the period under review, the PSET sector, especially the higher education sector, experienced an increase in student protests from July 2014 to October 2019. These protests were sparked mainly by insufficient NSFAS allocations to universities that contributed to student historic debt, the demand for the implementation of fee-free quality education, the demand for the decolonisation of the curriculum and shortage of student accommodation. Of serious concern to the Portfolio Committee were the widely reported incidents of violence accompanying these protests resulting in substantial damage to universities’ infrastructure and disruptions of teaching and learning.

 

The Committee invited the University of Limpopo, Mangosuthu University of Technology and the University of Fort Hare to Parliament between August and September 2014. These Universities experienced several protests which resulted in substantial damage to property and impacted on academic programmes. The main concern raised by students of these institutions was the inability of the NSFAS to assist all eligible needy students for the 2014 academic year. The budget of the NSFAS for the 2014/15 financial year amounted to R9.7 billion for more than 430 000 students at all 25 public universities and 50 TVET colleges. The Committee noted that though the budget of the NSFAS had increased significantly from R3.1 billion in 2009 to R8.3 billion in 2013, it was still not sufficient to cater for the number of academically deserving and needy students who required financial assistance to gain access to and succeed in higher education and training institutions. The shortage of funds for all eligible students at universities for the 2014 academic year was estimated to be R3 billion. Despite the budget increases, the NSFAS was unable to fully fund all eligible students. Moreover, student debt increased due to the top-slicing policy applied by universities.

 

The Committee recommended that the university stakeholders should collaborate to address challenges faced by both students and universities in regard to the shortfall in funding; that additional resources should be allocated to the NSFAS to assist universities that attract the majority of their students from disadvantaged family backgrounds and to address the challenge of student historic debts; that the Department should ensure that allocations for tuition fees and other living allowances for students should be made available at the beginning of the academic year.

 

At the request of the Student Representative Councils, the Committee convened a Round-Table discussion with Student Representative Councils of all universities, the Minister of Higher Education and Training and the NSFAS at Gauteng on 3 December 2015. The objectives of the Round-Table discussion were: the highlights of the 2015 academic year and projections for 2016; the NSFAS funding plans for the 2016 academic year; the role of SRCs in stabilising the 2016 academic registration processes and the stabilisation of the university environment for teaching and learning. The Minister made a commitment to increase the number of stakeholder engagements with student leadership and political organisations. Students requested the Ministry to provide an action plan/roadmap with timelines for the realisation of fee-free quality higher education in their lifetime. The NSFAS was requested to communicate the 2016 allocation projections to universities timeously.  SRCs demanded that the Department and the NSFAS should take over student debt accumulated as a result of the NSFAS funding shortfall so that student results and certificates could be issued by universities and that the NSFAS should address delays in the turnaround time for the reallocation of unclaimed funds from institutions.

 

The Committee attended a Multi-Stakeholders Forum meeting on disruptions at institutions of higher learning hosted by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) at the Emperors Palace Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 3 October 2016. Issues emerging from that meeting were that a long-term solution should be found to address the challenge of university fees; that additional support should be provided to the Presidential Commission on higher education funding to complete its work as soon as possible and that violence and destruction of property should be prevented.

 

The Committee held a meeting in Parliament with the Higher Education Parents Dialogue (HEParD) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC) on 12 October 2016. The organisations played the role of mediators in the higher education sector to bring all stakeholders together to find solutions to the unrest crisis across the country during that period. Subsequent to the meeting with HEParD and the SACC, the Committee conducted a joint oversight visit with the Select Committee on Education and Recreation from 17 to 21 October 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for saving the 2016 academic year and to strengthen dialogue to enable new entrants to the institutions in 2017 and to allow graduates to be placed in a way that would address the need for scarce skills in 2017. The Committee also met with the Council on Higher Education to hold talks on the future proposals on university fees.

 

On 13 September 2017, the Committee invited the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to a meeting in Parliament discuss the protracted protests by both students and staff. The University had been one of the institutions that had experienced protracted protests between 2015 and 2017 academic years. The Committee was informed that said protests were related to the demands by students to have the charges against students who had been implicated in acts of criminality be dropped. There were also concerns relating to the shortage of student accommodation and the shortage of lecturing staff. The Committee was concerned about vandalism on the university campus.

 

On 09 November 2017, the Committee conducted an urgent oversight visit to the University of Cape Town to discuss the student protests that had started on 25 October 2017 with the university management and stakeholders. The objective of the oversight visit was to bring stakeholders together to restore stability at the institution so that teaching and learning could continue without further disruptions and to ensure a successful completion of the academic programme.

 

Following the call for the shutdown of universities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province and subsequent violent student protests that resulted in the death of a student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and another call by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) to shut down all universities, the Committee convened a stakeholder meeting with the DHET, the Universities of South Africa (USAf), the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on 13 January 2019. The meeting was aimed at discussing the impasse at the institutions of higher learning caused by amongst others; historic debt, the demand for student accommodation, high fee increases, safety and security at universities, solutions for the missing middle, postgraduate funding, etc.

 

3.1.2.6. The Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Heher Commission)

During the 2015 academic year, student protests started at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) sparked by the proposed 10.6 percent fee increment for the 2016 academic year. The protests quickly spread to other universities that had announced fee increases for 2016 and a national shutdown under the #FeesMustFall campaign was declared country wide. Students across institutions demanded the implementation of fee-free quality higher education for the poor in their lifetime, the scrapping of historic debts, adequate student housing, funding for the missing middle, the scrapping of registration fees and zero-percent fee increases, the decolonisation of curriculum and the transformation in higher education insourcing of staff. University management also raised their concerns with regard to inadequate subsidies from government, dwindling university financial reserves, rising student debts, and shortage of student accommodation, amongst others. Subsequent to an urgent stakeholder engagement convened by the President at the Union Building at the request of the universities Vice-Chancellors on 23 October 2015, the President announced concessions that were made, which included a zero percent fee increase for the 2016 academic year, and an extension of examination period. The President also announced that he would establish a Judicial Commission of inquiry into higher education and that further discussions would continue on student debts and institutional autonomy.

 

On 14 January 2016, the President appointed the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The Commission’s terms of reference were to enquire into, make findings, report on and make recommendations on the following: (i) the feasibility of making higher education and training (higher education) fee-free in South Africa, having regard to: (a) the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, all relevant higher and basic legislation, all findings and recommendations of the various presidential and ministerial task teams as well as all relevant educational policies reports and guidelines; (b) the multiple facets of financial sustainability, analysing and assessing the role of government together with its agencies, students, institutions, business sector and employers in funding higher education and training; and (c) the institutional independence and autonomy which should occur visa-vis the financial funding model.

 

The Commission completed its report and submitted it to the President on 30 August 2017 for consideration and for further action. The President released the Report to the public on 13 November 2017 and announced the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Higher Education Funding lead by the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Radebe, and the Presidential Fiscal Committee led by the Minister of Finance, Mr Gigaba, to process the Report and to make recommendations to the President and subsequent pronouncement.

 

On 17 December 2017, the President pronounced the following:

  • Fully subsidized free higher education and training for the poor and working class South African undergraduate students starting in 2018 with students in their first year of study at public universities. Students defined as poor and working class (earning an annual family gross salary of not more than R350 000) will be funded and supported through government grants and not loans.
  • Government spending on universities as per percentage of GDP would increase from 0.68 percent to 1 percent over the next five years.
  • NSFAS packages already allocated to existing NSFAS students in their further years of study would be converted from loans to 100 percent grants, effectively immediately.
  • Grants for poor and working class South African students at universities and TVET Colleges would continue to be managed and administered by NSFAS through the Student-Centred Model.
  • Historic Debts: The management of historic debts would be dealt with by the Minister of Higher Education and Training after due diligence had been undertaken by the DHET; The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and National Treasury were to determine the quantum of funding required.

 

The implementation of the policy at universities started with the first-year entering students in the 2018 academic year.

 

  • Issues for follow-up by the 6th Parliament:

 

  • It is critical to note that the fee-free higher education policy would be phased in over a period of five-years and that 2019 is the second year of its implementation. Regular monitoring of the implementation of this policy would therefore be critical.
  • Motoring of the management of historic debts of NSFAS funded continuing students by the DHET and universities would be critical, as this is a contentious issue and can contribute to protests.
  • Monitoring of the development and implementation of fee-free regulation policy framework by the DHET and NSFAS.
  • Monitoring of the development and implementation of a policy on graduate community service by the DHET.
  • Development and implementation of a policy to fund students with disabilities, especially at TVET Colleges.
  • Monitoring the envisaged increase of spending on higher education to 1 percent of the GDP.

 

3.1.2.7. Oversight visits outside Parliamentary precincts

 

The Committee enhanced its oversight function to monitor the implementation of the NDP and the 2014 – 2019 MTSF targets. The Committee endeavoured to interact with all the 26 public Universities in the PSET system during the term of the 5th Parliament (either by means of oversight visits or by means of meetings with representatives of universities during scheduled Committee meetings on the premises of Parliament) and with as many as possible TVET and Community Education and Training Colleges and SETAs. The annual cycle for oversight visits according to the annual parliamentary programme consisted of three slots: end January - February, March, July and November. This meant that the Committee had been able to conduct oversight visit to universities and colleges. Despite this provision, some of the visits were cancelled due to changes in the Parliamentary programme. This eventuality had impacted on the number of institutions the Committee could visit during the period under review. Seeing that the Committee had overseen more than 100 entities, it resolved that, during an oversight visit, both universities and colleges would be visited. The CET Colleges were established in 2015 and the Committee’s oversight objectives was to assess their governance and management, policies, funding and the programmes being offered.

 

During the period under review, the Committee undertook 18 oversight visits to post-school education and training institutions and these visits covered all the nine provinces. In the higher education sector, the Committee visited 19 universities, which represented 73 percent of all the universities and 18 (36 percent) TVET Colleges. The Committee managed to visit only one CET College in Gauteng and its two learning centres, PQ Vundla and Setlakalane Molapo Community Learning Centres. In September 2018, the Committee planned to visit the Western Cape CET College and its learning centres, however, due to the centres operating in the evening and the reported taxi violence during that period, the Committee was not able to embark on such a visit.

 

3.1.2.8. Oversight in Parliament

During its strategic planning workshop in September 2015, the Committee took a decision to invite to Parliament those universities that had experienced challenges on its scheduled Wednesday meetings. The Committee also committed to respond quickly to crisis situations in the system, which could not wait for a scheduled oversight visit as the citizens would expect Parliament to respond. Between 2014 – 2018, the Committee invited the following universities in Parliament:

  • 27 August and 10 September 2014: University of Limpopo, Fort Hare University, Mangosuthu University of Technology and University of Fort Hare. These universities experienced student protests and the Committee engaged with them on the contributory factors for these protests as well as on finding mitigation strategies to address such student grievances.
  • 01 September 2015: The Stellenbosch University on the “Luister” Video and incidents of racism and discrimination at the University.
  • June 2015: The University of KwaZulu-Natal on its transformation plans.
  • 07 September 2016: The University of Fort Hare and the University of Zululand on governance and administration and finances.
  • 06 September 2017: Walter Sisulu on IntelliMali matter where a student was erroneously paid R14 million NSFAS allowance.
  • 13 September 2017: Cape Peninsula University of Technology on the challenges of student accommodation and the plans that were put in place to mitigate these challenges, their employment policy and the method of filling vacancies; challenges of the Vice-Chancellor been placed on leave and challenges being experienced by students in receiving their lectures; update on the student protests; University of Zululand (UniZulu) on progress made in addressing the issues raised by stakeholders during the oversight visit in January 2017 and to engage on progress made by the University during its post-administration period and the challenges experienced as well as steps taken in terms of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No. 1 of 1997), to ensure that the institution adheres to its legislative and constitutional responsibilities; Walter Sisulu University and NSFAS and the DHET to engage with them on the findings of the investigation into the irregular payment of R14 million into a student’s account, the outsourcing of the disbursement of student allowances with NSFAS implementing the s-Bux system, and strategies to be put into place in order to prevent the recurrence of such errors;  and the Mangosuthu University on progress made with regard to the appointment of senior executives and other vacancies and infrastructure rollout, progress on completion and challenges and strategies put in place to mitigate the challenges.
  • 19 April 2018: Cape Peninsula University of Technology on the role the University Council played in terms of section 27 of the Higher Education Act, 1997, to govern the University and to ensure that there was stability and that both teaching and learning had not been interrupted, filling of vacancies, oversight over implementation of policies by management, progress made in addressing students and labour issues as well as the implementation of recommendations made in various investigations and commission reports.

 

During its Mid-Term Review workshop in September 2016, the Committee took a decision to include visits to inspect the skills development projects in Gauteng to:

 

  • assess whether the funded projects are making an impact, particularly in the lives of young unemployed people;
  • assess whether the training facilities are optimally used for training;
  • assess and monitor how the collaborations between the SETAs and industry contributed to the production of skills to support the economic sectors identified in the Presidential Nine Point Plan; in particular, agriculture and rural development, oceans economy, mining and mineral beneficiation to grow the economy and to create jobs;
  • assess partnerships between the SETAs, employers and education and training institutions in increasing training, work-integrated learning (WIL), lecturer work-based exposure, internships, and broadening of access to artisan training, including Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL), learnerships and apprenticeship opportunities; and
  • assess progress made in the implementation of the National Skills Accord.

 

For the first time since the commencement of the 5th Parliament, the Committee was able to conduct oversight visits to the skills development projects in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Between September 2016 and February 2017, the Committee visited the following skills projects and a trade test centre: Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand; the Institute for the Development of Learnerships, Employment, Skills, and Labour Assessments (INDLELA); Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) / PUTCO Bus Company; Education, Training and Development Practices SETA / Edutel in Gauteng. In the KwaZulu-Natal Province, the Committee visited the Manufacturing, Engineering and Other Related Services SETA (MERSETA) and Southern African Shipyards – Ship Building Apprenticeship Partnership, the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) and the Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) Pty Ltd Partnership and the Agriculture Sector Education and Training Authority (AGRISETA) and Citrus Academy Partnership.

 

Having interacted with different stakeholders at the skills development projects, the Committee made the following observations:

  • The partnership between the National Skills Fund (NSF) and Eskom in artisan training to increase the number of artisans to meet the industry needs and grow the economy is commendable.
  • Eskom Academy of Learning trained world class professional welders accredited nationally and internationally.
  • The increase in the number of black female artisans, particularly in the previously male dominated welding trade was highly commended.
  • PUTCO Bus was commended for its good apprenticeship programme for Diesel Mechanics, Auto Electricians, placements of TVET College and university students and graduates for work-integrated learning and internship.
  • The PSETA was commended for funding the Refrigeration Mechanic artisan programme since it was in demand and formed part of the scarce and critical skill list.
  • The Committee noted that the partnerships between the MERSETA and SA Shipyards was one of the pockets of excellence in the production of skills to support the growth of the oceans economy.
  • The MERSETA and SA Shipyards partnership was commended for providing life changing opportunities for unemployed youths, particularly those from rural and disadvantaged areas.
  • The MERSETA had partnered with six TVET Colleges in KZN to provide lecturer development and work exposure. This was meant to improve the role and performance of TVET Colleges in providing quality vocational education and training. The support of 200 TVET College NC(V) Level 4 learners to obtain trade test was commendable, including placement opportunities for TVET College students.
  • The MQA struggled with an adequate strategy to respond to the needs of beneficiation, owing to lack of implementation plan for the Beneficiation Strategy of 2011.
  • The inadequate workplaces in the mining and minerals sector had an impact on expanding the WIL programme for learners from the TVET College sector, and this was concerning.
  • The MQA noted that the employment of people with disabilities remained a serious challenge in the mining sector.
  • The work done by the Citrus Academy in partnering with the AGRISETA and noted that it was an example of excellence in skills development to support economic growth was commended.
  • The budget of the AGRISETA was inadequate to meet the skills demands in its sector.
  • The AGRISETA indicated that shortage of teaching of agricultural subjects at schools impacted on the pipeline of skills production for the sector. The Citrus Academy indicated that there was a misalignment on what was taught at the post-school education and training institutions and industry. Universities were unwilling to update their curriculum to be aligned with industry.

 

General recommendations made by the Committee on the oversight visits between 2014 – 2019

 

  • Universities
  • Universities should strengthen their student support services to assist students who are experiencing difficulties in their academic work so as to improve success and throughput rates.
  • Additional funding should be allocated to universities in order to address the shortage of student housing.
  • The low representation of black academic staff, particularly at senior management of the colleges and universities, is of serious concern. Post-school education and training institutions, should particularly comply with employment equity targets of South Africa in the appointment of senior managers, and the DHET should closely monitor the appointment of new staff at these institutions.
  • The resolutions of the 2nd National Higher Education Transformation Summit should be incorporated in the transformation plan of the Universities.
  • The Department should review the role and the mandate of the Institutional Forums (IFs) in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), since their existence was generally overlooked by University Councils.
  • The police should exercise maximum restraint and should operate within the parameters of the law when dealing with student protests.
  • The South African Police Service (SAPS) should provide training to the Police on demobilizing protesters without firing rubber bullets.
  • The Committee should further engage with the Department and the Universities South Africa (USAf) on outstanding matters regarding the mergers of universities and this issue has been expressly mentioned by most merged universities.

 

  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges

 

  • TVET Colleges had an acute shortage of student accommodation and had alarmingly decaying infrastructure. Colleges had been allocated infrastructure grants for the maintenance and refurbishment of existing infrastructure from 2018/19 onwards. Notwithstanding the fact that vast resources have been made available for the TVET Sector, the Committee had noted that there was still a need to ensure that future budgets should consider an improved allocation to address the areas of urgent intervention like construction of new infrastructure to accommodate growth in student numbers, student recreational facilities and especially WIFI connectivity. The Department should explore innovative funding mechanisms for infrastructure expansion at TVET Colleges.
  • The Department should prioritise the issuing of outstanding NC(V) certificates and results as this remains a serious challenge in the sector. The Committee recommended that the Department should investigate the reasons for challenges relating to all outstanding certificates.
  • The increase in student numbers in TVET Colleges should be accompanied by increased funding to address the severe inadequate funding in Colleges.
  • The Department should consider allocating additional funds to assist TVET Colleges in alleviating the shortage of student housing which affected the entire sector.
  • TVET College labour unions complained about salary disparities of staff employed on the Department’s Persal system and those appointed by the college councils. Furthermore, the unions noted that there were outstanding migration issues that the Department had not addressed and those are causing discontentment among staff. The Department should engage the TVET College councils on the salary disparities of staff and should address the outstanding migration issues in order to ensure stability at the colleges.
  • The colleges expressed a concern about the challenges experienced by TVET College graduates in articulating to universities. Articulation should not be dependent on a “gentlemen’s agreement”. The Department should ensure that the National Articulation Policy, developed by the South African Qualifications Authority, is implemented by all universities. Consequence management should be implemented where contraventions are found to occur.
  • The TVET Colleges raised concerns about the sharing of facilities with the Limpopo Department of Education which impacted on teaching and learning. These facilities were the former Teacher Training Colleges and belonged to the Provincial Department of Education and Public Works. The Colleges were unable to fully utilise these facilities since they were under the jurisdiction of these departments. The Committee recommended that the Provincial Departments of Education and Public Works report on steps taken to implement agreements between themselves and the Department on the transfer of vacant buildings and land towards the Colleges as well steps taken by the Department to ensure the implementation of such agreements.
  • The finalisation of the TVET sector curriculum review should be prioritised.

 

  • Community Education and Training Colleges
  • Additional funding should be allocated to the CET sector to support its expansion.
  • The conditions of service for the CET lecturers should be improved to reduce the high staff turnover.
  • The Department should engage with the Gauteng provincial government to resolve the historic debts inherited by the Community Learning Centres (CLCs) due to the migration process.

 

  • Skills development
  • The observation of the Committee was that the commitment towards the implementation of the National Skills Accord by the social partners and government was lacking. The private sector functioned on an ad hoc basis when it comes to skills development. The private sector needs to re-align its objectives to be in line with its commitment to the National Skills Accord. The Minister should look into the private sector’s commitment towards skills development.
  • There should be better coordination with regard to the training of artisans, particularly by the State Owned Companies (SOCs), and including the exit plans for artisan learners.
  • The Department should consider developing a programme for the development of a new generation of suitably qualified artisan instructors and assessors and should consider to develop an efficient succession plan for trainers, given the high number of ageing artisan trainers.
  • The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems of INDLELA should be upgraded to eliminate the use of manual system and to prevent corruption and fraudulent activities in trade assessment from recurring.
  • The ETDP SETA should partner with the DHET in developing a curriculum suitable to the needs of adults and youth in the Community Education and Training (CET) sector

 

  • Articulation and Recognition of Prior Learning: The Committee also planned to focus on the implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and articulation across the PSET sector as well as to focus on critical and scarce skills for economic and social development. For this purpose, the Committee convened four meetings, during which, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) presented on the implementation of RPL in 2016 and on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the articulation across the PSET sector and the plans by the Minister to establish the Articulation Ombuds in 2017.

 

The Committee convened two meetings (in May and September 2017) with Human Science Research Council (HSRC) / Labour Market Intelligence Partnership to engage on Labour Market Intelligence Report in order to get insight into skills planning: supply and demand. The study conducted by the HSRC/LMIP found that:

 

  • Educational attainment in South Africa was lower than most economically productive countries. The key constraint was the level of basic education.
  • The mathematics competencies gained at school did not provide enough students with mathematical skills to progress to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes at the tertiary level or sufficient numeracy and problem solving skills for the job market.
  • The trajectory of the economy required workers to have analytical and mathematical skills.
  • At the professional level there was a demand for STEM graduates for management occupations; engineering, medical; as well as teaching professions.

 

The Human Sciences Research Council / Labour Market Intelligence Partnhership recommended the following:

 

  • Improving in basic education, especially in the Numeracy/ Mathematics and Literacy/Languages areas. 
  • Recognition of the importance of school mathematical knowledge and skills.
  • Increasing the pace of change in achieving quality educational outcomes for all learners.
  • Attracting more learners to science-based careers.
  • Increasing the STEM enrolment targets at tertiary institutions from 30 percent to 35 percent.
  • Improving workplace conditions for science-based jobs, so that more graduates work in their field of study.

 

  • Issues for follow-up by the 6th Parliament:

 

  • Establishment and operationalisation of the skills planning unit within the Department.
  • Conferral with PC on Basic Education on increasing enrolments and pass rates in Mathematics and Science subjects.
  • The skills planning for the PSET should be presented to the PC on Basic Education.
  • Implementation of the recommendations of the Labour Market Intelligence Report.
  • Monitoring of the implementation of both RPL and Articulation policies.
  • Transfer of some TVET college campuses from provincial and other owners to the TVET colleges.

 

Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDC-SA): The HRDC-SA is a national advisory body established by Cabinet and was launched in March 2010. The Council advises government on the Human Resource Development Strategy towards 2030 and its priorities, identifies blockages and provides solutions to unblock these blockages, and monitors the implementation thereof, to co-ordinates the efforts of government departments and social partners in the implementation of the strategy, to monitor and report on the implementation of the strategy and to evaluate the impact of the strategy against agreed indicators. The Committee engaged with the Council on 21 November 2018, mainly to understand its mandate and role in the skills development within the PSET system.

 

  • Issue for follow-up by the 6th Parliament
  • The 6th Parliament should engage with the HRDC-SA on its work/activities with regard to supporting the skills development through the implementation of its HRDC Strategy towards 2030.

 

High Level Panel (HLP) on assessment of key legislation and the acceleration of fundamental change: On 06 June 2018, the Speaker of the National Assembly referred the High Level Panel Report to the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training in terms of Rule 338 of the National Assembly Rules for consideration and reporting in terms of Rules 339 and 340 respectively. The High Level Panel was established by Parliament in 2016 to review legislation, assess implementation, identify gaps and propose action steps that would impact on the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, including the creation and equitable distribution of wealth. The review was expected to lead to the identification of legislation that impedes the transformational goals of the country. The Panel identified nine areas of legislative review, one being Skills Development.

 

For the Post-School Education and Training sector, the Panel made findings and 14 recommendations that Parliament, through its Committees, should consider. The recommendations that were made, related to creating a track system that would channel the majority of learners to vocational educational career paths. In countries with low youth unemployment (Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands), around 50 percent of learners pursue a vocational track; reducing the classroom blocks in TVET Colleges to allow more on-the-job experience from the first year of study, i.e. one-day classroom training linked to four days’ apprenticeship training in a workplace; reviewing qualification content regularly with employer/industry bodies to ensure that the curricula meet industry requirements; re-adjusting the subsidy system of universities to prioritise scarce skill qualifications; stablishing higher academic institutions with a mandate on graduate output not just the current mandate on teaching and research – this would improve throughput and increase the rate of students entering tertiary education; setting policy goals that explicitly aim to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment in skills legislation; relooking the high number of bodies responsible for quality assurance and a high number of bodies with planning, monitoring and/or advisory responsibilities, amongst others.

 

In considering the HLP Report, the Committee convened a meeting with the Department of Higher Education and Training on 15 August 2018 to get its response to the findings and recommendations of the HLP. The Department indicated that almost all the recommendations were part of its five-year strategic plan and most of the findings by the HLP were contained in the White Paper for Post-School Education and Training. The Committee requested the Department to submit a detailed written response.

 

  • Issues for follow-up by the 6th Parliament:

 

  • Monitoring of progress made by the DHET on implementation of the HLP recommendations.
  • Monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations emanating from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act Implementation Evaluation was undertaken by the DHET in partnership with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) with the purpose of identifying successes and challenges in the implementation of the Act and its policies.

 

3.1.2.9. Progress towards achieving the 2014 SONA priorities

 

The two new universities, University of Mpumalanga and Sol Plaatje University, became operational in 2014. Government had achieved its target to expand the geographical spread of higher education institutions, so as to make higher education easily accessible. Funding in the form of earmarked grants and subsidies was allocated to the universities for both operational costs and infrastructure development. Government would continue to fund these universities through earmarked grants and subsidies during the 10-year development programme as these new universities develop their capacity to generate and maintain an income base. Funding for start-up capital development was made available to both universities. Between November 2014 and January 2015, the Portfolio Committee conducted oversight visits to both the universities to assess progress in terms of infrastructure development too. Both the Universities are in their sixth year of operation. In January 2019, the Committee conducted a follow-up oversight visit to Sol Plaatje University. The Committee commended the progress that was made at the University regarding the expansion of new infrastructure to accommodate the growth in student numbers. During its on-site visit around the university, the Committee noticed impressive state of the art teaching and learning buildings. In 2018/19 financial year, the universities received a combined total of R1 billion for capital expenditure. Total capital and operational costs were estimated to be about R6.6 billion for the Northern Cape (5 000 Full Time Equivalents students) and about R10.3 billion for Mpumalanga (15 000 FTE students).

 

The first intake of medical students at the new Medical School at the University of Limpopo was planned for the 2015 academic year. However, this could not be achieved in 2015, but was subsequently achieved in 2016 with the first intake of 60 students. This School is linked to the Presidential Infrastructure Project of building an academic hospital in Limpopo.

 

In February 2014, the President announced that twelve TVET College Campuses would be built to expand the technical skills mix in the country, so as to expand the geographical spread of education and training institutions and to increase access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). In addition to the 12 campuses announced by the President, the Department added another four campuses which brought the total to 16. These new campuses were targeted to be in the rural and semi-rural areas spread evenly through the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces and to be linked to the existing TVET Colleges. Funding for building the new TVET College Campuses was not allocated from the voted fund. The Department secured funding amounting to R2.5 billion, made up of R1.5 billion from the National Skills Fund (NSF) and R1 billion contribution from the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAS) for the construction of the new TVET College Campuses. The Department delayed with the procurement process to construct the 16 TVET College Campuses. The construction of six TVET Colleges was included as a target in the Department’s 2015/16 APP. However, this could not be achieved at the end of the financial year, citing delays in the procurement process. From 2015, the Department started with a project to construct three of the new TVET College campuses, Thabazimbi at the Waterberg TVET College in Limpopo, Bambanani and Nkandla A both at Umfolozi TVET College in KwaZulu-Natal.

 

The Committee noted that there were no voted funds allocated for the operational costs of these three new campuses as they were funded from the skills levies. The Committee expressed a concern about funding sustainability for their operational costs and the impact in rolling out the skills development interventions. In 2017 Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report, the Committee recommended that voted funds be provided for sustainable ways of funding the operationalisation of all other new TVET College Campuses. Funding from National Treasury had been secured from 2019/20 MTEF onwards for the three current sites (approximately R400 million from year 1). The remaining still needs to have a sustainable operational budget secured.

 

Table 1: Update on the construction of 16 college campuses as at 06 March 2019

 

Site

 

Physical progress

 

Time lapsed

 

Financial progress

 

Construction balance

 

Anticipated completion Date

Aliwal North

21%

32.7%

46.4%

R 78 641 624

17 September 2019

Balfour

0%

1.3%

N/A

R 106 937 317

To be confirmed

Graaff-Reinet

31%

29.6%

50.1%

R 76 104 672

13 September 2019

Greytown

7%

3.1%

26.75%

R 110 015 764

31 December 2019

Kwagqikazi

2%

6.9%

25%

R 94 835 920

13 January 2020

Msinga

27%

16.5%

50.5%

R 108 775 148

14 September 2019

Ngqungqushe

11%

11.7%

50%

R 137 955 719

12 September 2019

Nongoma

5%

7%

39%

R 116 973 030

08 November 2019

Sterkspruit

24%

22%

49.4%

R 118 175 600

21 September 2019

Umzimkhulu

37%

38.3%

50%

R 65 325 196

13 September 2019

Vryheid

Not Awarded

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nkandla B

Not Awarded

Not Awarded

N/A

N/A

N/A

Giyani

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nkandla A

98.9%

99.9%

172%

R 224 606

31 May 2019

Thabazimbi

99.9%

95.4%

445.75%

R 8 501 018

To be confirmed

Bhambanani

80%

78%

109%

R 45 243 042

To be confirmed

Source: DHET, 06 March 2019

 

The Department had reported that there were no suitable contractors identified for Nkandla B and Vryheid, whilst in the post-contract award period, the contractors at both Giyani and Balfour were not able to meet their contractual obligations. For the Balfour Campus, tender bids were being evaluated to determine whether a suitable contractor could be appointed from the original tender. Giyani, Nkandla B and Vryheid were in the process of being assessed for construction support through alternative funding and would no longer form part of the funding management process at the National Skills Fund Grant.

 

  • Issues for follow-up by the 6th Parliament:

 

  • The 6th Parliament should ensure that the Department pursues discussions with National Treasury and other funders (for example SETAs) to secure the required funding for the operational costs of the remaining campuses and progress reports are submitted to the Committee.
  • The 6th Parliament should monitor progress on the tender process for the Balfour Campus as well as to monitor that funding is secured for the construction of Giyani, Nkandla B and Vryheid Campuses.
  • Oversight visits should be conducted to the Campuses to monitor progress on construction and assess the quality of the newly constructed infrastructure and its utilisation, especially at the three campuses, Nkandla A, Thabazimbi and Bhambanani.

 

3.2.  Strategic Priority 2: Strengthening the legislative capacity

 

One of the strategic outcomes-oriented goals and strategy of the 5th Parliament the last five years was to enhance the ability of Parliament to exercise its legislative power through consolidation and the implementation of integrated legislative process in order to fulfil its constitutional responsibility. The Committee committed to the consideration and processing of all legislations that had been referred to it in the current term of Parliament. During this period under review, the Committee received two section 75 Bills, the Higher Education Amendment Bill [B36 – 2015] and the National Qualifications Framework Bill [B20 – 2018] to process. These Bills were successfully processed, with the Higher Education Amendment Bill been enacted into law in 2017. The NQF Bill was referred to the National Council of Provinces for processing in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.

 

The Department was in the process of reconfiguring and re-establishing the SETA landscape and the development of the new National Skills Development Plan in line with the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training. The SETAs licensing, which term has expired in March 2016, was extended twice from 2016 to 2018 and from 2018 to 2020. The NSDS III was also extended for the same period on 31 March 2016. The licensing extension was implemented in order to allow for the development and completion of the new National Skills Development Plan. The Committee had convened meetings to get progress on the development of the new SETA landscape and the new National Skills Development Strategy IV. The Committee noted with grave concern the delays by the Department regarding the finalisation of the new SETA landscape as well as the impact that it had on the implementation of skills development interventions and stability within the SETAs sector. The Committee was concerned about the inconsistencies that occurred with regard to the draft plans each time the Department had presented such. 

 

3.4. Strategic Priority 3: Enhancing public involvement and participation

 

The Committee had conducted public hearings during the processing of all legislations. The Committee invited written public submissions and had also listened to oral submissions in Parliament. In ensuring that the Bills adverts had reached the wider population, these Bills were advertised in all official languages in social media adverts; emails were sent to relevant stakeholders and radio interviews were conducted with the leadership of the Committee. The Committee had ensured that all of its meetings were open to the public and media.

 

3.5. Strategic Priority 4: Deepening engagement in the international fora

 

Parliament is required to increase its capacity to represent the interests of South Africans in the international arena; to build strategic partnerships around mutual interests and solidarity; to prioritise its focus towards promoting African Agenda, especially with regard to its role in regional and continental integration, manifesting in the formation of a Southern African development Community (SADC) Parliament, and transformation of the Pan-African Parliament as regards its legislative powers; and to strengthen mechanisms for negotiation and ratification of international agreements, and to establish mechanisms to monitor South Africa’s obligations.

 

  • International delegations: The Committee had a joint meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology with the Norwegian Standing Committee on Education, Research and Churches on 28 January 2016. The Norwegian Committee visited South Africa to forge partnerships with the Department of Higher Education and Training on matters of research and knowledge production. At this meeting, these two Committees, including the Department of Higher Education and Training, shared the education systems of both countries and their funding models.

 

  • International Agreements: The Committee committed to enhance oversight over the DHET on the implementation and monitoring of international agreements. During the period under review, the Committee convened a meeting on 2 November 2016 with the DHET to receive a briefing on progress made with regard to implementation of international agreements. On 14 February 2018, the Committee considered the Revised Addis Convention on Recognition of studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African State. The Revised Addis Convention sought to, amongst others: facilitate the exchange and greater mobility of students, teachers and researchers of the continent, setup high level joint training and research programmes, improve and reinforce the collection and exchange of information, contribute to the harmonisation of qualifications taking into account current global trends, strengthen and promote multilateralism and international cooperation.

 

  • International study tour: In enhancing Parliamentary international engagement and co-operation, the Committees conducted a study tour to the Russian Federation on 14- 21 September 2018. The Committee embarked on its own independent research and benchmarking exercise in order to look into the following areas: Financing of the education system in Russia, its successes and challenges; the contribution of vocational education and training and higher education to sustainable economic growth and development; the skills planning: supply and demand; challenges experienced within the post-school education and training sector and the mitigation strategies; and how consensus on education and funding matters is reached between students, government, parents, industry and other role players in education.

 

  • Issues to be followed-up by the 6th Parliament

 

  • The 6th Parliament should monitor the implementation of the international agreements by the DHET;
  • The 6th Parliament should monitor the implementation of the recommendation of the Study Tour Report to the Russian Federation by the DHET;
  • Arising from the Study Tour Report to the Russian Federation, the 6th Parliament should confer with the Portfolio Committees on Health and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Departments of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in order to understand their role in foreign studies of South African students, especially with regard to medical and veterinary sciences programmes.

 

3.6. Strategic Priority 5: Strengthening co-operative government to improve inter-governmental relations

Parliament’s 5-year strategic plan obliges the Institution to improve its internal co-ordination and intra-institutional co-operation between committees of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces as a prerequisite for ensuring improved oversight. Specific priorities include:

  • developing a co-operative government mechanism and integrating principles of co-operative government in the functions of Parliament;
  • developing more efficient models of governance at Executive level and to mirror these in the legislative sector for purposes of increasing oversight and accountability;
  • engaging with local government on legislation that could result in unfunded mandates; and
  • ensuring a greater legislative sector in the House and committee co-operation and co-ordination.

 

Higher Education and Training is not a concurrent function. Schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa clearly states that education at all levels, excluding tertiary education, is a functional area of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence.  Further, Section 41 (1) (h) of the Constitution states that: All spheres of government and all organs of state within each sphere must co-operate with one another in mutual trust and good faith by - (i) fostering relations, (ii) assisting and support one another, (iii) informing one another of, and consulting one another, on matters of common interest. The Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, 2005 (Act No 13 of 2005) provides for the relations of different spheres of government.

 

The Committee always strove to strengthen co-operative government to improve inter-governmental relation. In September 2015, the Committee invited the Provincial Departments of Education of Northern Cape and North West to engage on their non-compliance with protocols on the migration of TVET Colleges and Adult Education and Training from provincial to national competence. The Committee invited the Select Committee on Education and Recreation to a meeting where Provincial Education Departments were invited to account to the Committee for not submitting required information to the DHET about the migration of TVET and Adult Education and Training centres. The Select Committee could not attend due to its pre-planned meeting. This intervention by the Committee had ensured that all provinces had complied with protocols and had provided the DHET with the required information to make informed decisions in order to ensure a successful migration process.

 

The Committee conferred with the Select Committee on Education and Recreation to consider the audit outcomes of the 2016/17 Annual Reports of the Higher Education and Training Portfolio and specifically, the Annual Report of the Department of Higher Education and Training on 12 October 2016. On this day, the two Committees also engaged with the Higher Education and Parents Dialogue (HEParD) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC) on the national shutdown of universities due to the #FeesMustFall protests as well as strategies to reach national consensus on the matter.

 

On 17 – 21 October 2016, the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training and the Select Committee on Education and Training undertook a joint oversight visit to Gauteng to engage various stakeholders in the post-school education and training sector on plans to save the 2016 academic year as well as to strengthen dialogue amongst stakeholders following the unrelenting student protests. The Committee met with various stakeholders, Universities South Africa, the Council on Higher Education, the Higher Education Parents Dialogue, the South African Union of Students, Business Unity South Africa, the National Business Initiatives and the National Board of Convocation and Alumni during this visit.

 

On 03 May 2017, the two Committees had a joint meeting to consider the 2015/16 Revised Strategic Plan and 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Despite the time constraints, the Committee had made efforts to strengthen inter-governmental relations.

 

Conferral with other Parliamentary Committees

 

Rule 169 (1) of the Rules of the National Assembly provides that a committee may confer with any other committee of the Assembly. During the period under review, the Committee conferred with other Parliamentary committees as follows:

  • In 2015 and 2016 the Committee conferral with the PC on Basic Education on the Initial Teacher Education programme and Continuing Professional Teacher Development.
  • A joint meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology to receive briefings by the Department of Higher Education and Training on Staffing South African Universities Framework (SSAUF), National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Technology on postgraduate funding in South African universities. The purpose of the meeting was to assess progress in the implementation of the NDP goals and MTSF 2014-2019 priorities. The Committee welcomed the efforts by both the Department of Higher Education and Training and universities in providing funding for staffing South African Universities to address the challenge of unfavourable student: staff ratios, inequality of representation among existing staff, ageing professoriate; NRF to provide funding to increase postgraduate pipeline, in particular scarce skills areas.
  • A joint meeting with the PC on Health and PC on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries regarding the migration of Agricultural and Nursing Colleges from the provincial competency to the department of Higher Education and Training. The meeting was about the feasibility study to assess whether it would be possible to migrate the colleges to the Department of Higher Education and Training. Follow-up meetings should be convened to receive presentations on the recommendations of the Interdepartmental Task Team.
  • A joint meeting with the Standing Committee on Appropriations, Council on Higher Education, DHET and National Treasury on university funding.
  • A joint meeting with the PC on Trade and Industry regarding the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) research funding for institutions of higher education and post-graduate students.
  • A Joint meeting with the PC on Police regarding Police involvement in student protests, Private Security Industry Regulation Agency (PSIRA) on University Security.

 

4. Workshops and conferences

 

In empowering the Committee members and staff, the Committee planned to have capacity building sessions facilitated by experts on areas of interests to the Committee as well as to attend conferences and seminars on sector issues.

 

  • In 2014, the Committee organized a capacity building workshop with the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Auditor-General South Africa and Human Resource Development Council of South Africa in Pretoria. The aim of the workshop was to empower Members with in-depth knowledge and the vision of the Department regarding the post-school education and training sector.
  • On 15-16 September 2015, the Committee held a strategic planning workshop to develop its five-year strategic plan to inform its oversight and legislative activities for the MTSF period.
  • The Committee also attended the 2nd National Higher Education Transformation Summit held in Durban in October 2015.
  • On September 2016, the Committee held a two-day Mid-Term Review workshop to assess progress it made in the implementation of its five-year strategic plan and to identify new focus areas for the remainder of the MTSF period.
  • On 22 March 2017, the Committee attended a workshop with the Department of Higher Education and Training on the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training. During this workshop, the Committee got an opportunity to view a detailed presentation on the different grants for the higher education sector, including their implementation by institutions.
  • On 23 – 24 March 2017, the Committee attended a two-day National Skills Conference in Gauteng.

 

5. Key areas for future work

 

The Committee should explore the following in its future work:

 

  • Conferring with other Committees (Basic Education, Science and Technology, Health, Justice, Police, Women, Human Settlements) on areas of similar interest.
  • Consideration of outstanding legislation that will be referred by the Department.
  • Meeting with the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).
  • Meeting with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) regarding the training of medical professionals locally and abroad.
  • Meeting with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) regarding the training of engineering students from the TVET sector.
  • Undertaking oversight visits to the 9 CET colleges in the country.
  • Closely monitor the implementation of fee-free higher education for the poor as well as those students who come from working class families.
  • Engaging the Department on progress with the migration of the nursing and agricultural colleges.
  • Finalisation and implementation of the National Plan for Post-School Education and Training, including the National Skills Development Plan.
  • Monitoring the development and implementation of the gender transformation and gender-based violence policies at universities and TVET colleges.
  • Monitoring the performance of the TVET sector with respect to certification and throughput rates.
  • Working closely with stakeholders in the PSET sector and offer them a platform to express their concerns and proposals.

 

6. Key challenges emerging

 

The following were the main challenges encountered by the Committee during the 5th Parliament.

  • The Committee experienced delays by the Department in responding to its key decisions and recommendations from reports.
  • The certification backlog still remains a challenge, especially the historic NATED diplomas that have not cleared as yet.
  • The TVET college examination leaks have compromised the credibility of the TVET sector and have also contributed to delays in releasing results.
  • The Committee were not provided with sufficient time to scrutinise the annual reports or annual performance plans of all the entities of the Department as a result of a very short or limited parliamentary programme.
  • The poor audit outcomes of TVET colleges were of serious concern to the Committee.
  • The Committee had operated without a full-time researcher for a period of three years and this had affected the ability of the Committee to exercise sufficient oversight over the institutions in the PSET sector.
  • The shortage of student housing at universities and TVET colleges remains of serious concern.
  • The student protests as a result of NSFAS deficiencies is of serious concern.

 

7. Recommendations

 

The Committee recommends the following:

 

  • The Department should prioritise the tabling of legislation that needs to be considered by Parliament.
  • Additional funding should be allocated to the Department so that it should be able to fulfil its mandate effectively.
  • The filling of outstanding vacancies within the Department and its entities should be prioritised.
  • The Department should improve its monitoring and evaluation functions over the PSET institutions.
  • The Department should improve its communication with the PSET institutions with respect to policies for implementation.
  • Consequence management should be implemented against officials who transgress the PFMA regulations at various PSET institutions, including the Department.
  • The 6th Parliament should monitor the implementation of the NSFAS Action Plan to address the 2017/18 audit findings as well as progress by the AG on NSFAS interim audit.
  • The SETA landscape and the new Skills Development Plan should be finalised to bring certainty in the future skills commitments of the SETAs.
  • The Department should work closely with the AGSA to improve the audit outcomes of TVET colleges.
  • Funding to enable the urgent implementation of the National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA) should be made available.
  • A review of the TVET college exam cycle should be prioritised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

  1. Department/s and Entities falling within the committee’s portfolio

 

  1. Department of Higher Education and Training

 

Core mandate/strategic objectives:

 

The mandate of the Department originates from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, all post-school education and training related legislation passed by Parliament, and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTEF) of government which requires post-school education and training to be transformed and democratised in accordance with the values of human dignity, equality, human rights and freedom, non-racism and non-sexism.

The vision of the Department is of South Africa in which we have a differentiated and fully inclusive post-school education and training system that allows all South Africans to access and succeed in relevant post-school education and training institutions, in order to fulfil the economic and social goals of participation in an inclusive economy and society.

The following forms the key functions of the Department:

  • Increasing the rate at which the key skills necessary for economic growth and social development are delivered;
  •  Serving the growing number of young people and adults;
  •  Providing alternative entry points into and pathways through the learning system;
  •  Providing quality post-school learning irrespective of where learning takes place (i.e. college, university or workplace); and
  • Providing easy pathways across the various learning sites.
  1. Entities:

 

Name of Entity

Role of Entity

Council on Higher Education

To provide advice to the Minister on all higher education policy matters on request and on its own initiative, to develop and implement a system of quality assurance for all higher education institutions, to monitor the state of the higher education system and contributes to the development of higher education through intellectual engagement

 

National Student Financial Aid Scheme

To administer and allocate loans and bursaries to eligible students, develop criteria and conditions for the granting of loans and bursaries to eligible students in consultations at all public universities and TVET colleges throughout the country

 

Quality Council for Trades and Occupations

To develop and quality assure occupational qualifications that are responsive to labour market and developmental state initiatives

 

South African Qualifications Authority

To further develop and implement the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which includes upholding the principles and objectives of the National Qualification Framework, ensuring access, quality, redress and development for all learners, through an integrated national framework of learning achievements

 

Agriculture SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in both primary and secondary agriculture sectors

 

Banking SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in in the banking and micro finance sectors

 

Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the culture, arts, tourism and hospitality sector

 

Construction SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the construction sector

 

Chemical Industries SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the chemical industries sector

 

Education, Training & Development Practices SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the education, training and development practices sector

 

Energy & Water SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the energy and water sector

 

Finance & Accounting Services SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the finance and accounting services sector

 

Food & Beverages SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the food and beverages sector

 

Fibre Processing & Manufacturing SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the fibre processing and manufacturing sector

 

Health & Welfare SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the health and welfare sector

 

Insurance SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the insurance sector

 

Local Government SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the local government sector

 

Mining Qualifications Authority

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the mining sector

 

Manufacturing, Engineering and Other Related Services SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the manufacturing and engineering sector

 

Media Information and Communication Technologies SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the media and ICT sector

Public Service SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the public service sector

 

Safety & Security SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the safety and security sector

 

Services SETA

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the services sector

 

Transport Education and Training Authority

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the transport sector

 

Wholesale & Retail SETA

 

 

Provision of relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in the wholesale and retail sector

 

 

 

 

  1. Functions of committee:

 

Parliamentary committees are mandated to:

 

  • To consider legislation referred to it and to facilitate public participation;
  • To conduct oversight of any organ of state and constitutional institution falling within its portfolio;
  • To consider international agreements; and
  • To consider the budget of the department and entities falling within its portfolio.

 

  1. Method of work of the committee

The Committee meets on Wednesdays only and applies for permission to sit any other day.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Purpose of the report

 

The purpose of this report is to provide an account of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training’s work during the 5th Parliament and to inform the members of the new Parliament of key outstanding issues pertaining to the oversight and legislative programme of the Department of Higher Education and Training and its entities.

 

This report provides an overview of the activities that the Committee undertook during the 5th Parliament, the outcome of key activities, as well as any challenges that emerged during the period under review and issues that should be considered for follow up during the 6th Parliament. It summarises the key issues for follow-up and concludes with recommendations to strengthen operational and procedural processes to enhance the committee’s oversight and legislative roles in future.

 

  1. Key statistics

 

The table below provides an overview of the number of meetings held, legislation and international agreements processed and the number of oversight trips and study tours undertaken by the committee, as well as any statutory appointments the committee made, during the 5th Parliament:

Activity

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total

Meetings held

19

25

28

28

33

1

135

Legislation processed

N/A

N/A

1

N/A

1

N/A

2

Oversight trips undertaken

3

3

2

5

2

1

18

Study tours undertaken

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

1

N/A

1

International agreements processed

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

1

N/A

1

Statutory appointments made

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Interventions considered

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Petitions considered

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

  1. Stakeholders:

 

The Committee oversees 21 SETAs, 50 TVET colleges, 9 CET colleges, 21 universities and 3 Quality Councils. The Committee had several engagements with the PSET sector stakeholders, in particular engagements on protests in higher education, funding for the VET sector and NSFAS allocation of upfront payments and disbursements to students.

 

  1. Briefings and/or public hearings

 

{Any critical issues that were focused on, challenges and/or issues arising from these that needs to be followed up}

 

  1. Legislation

 

The following pieces of legislation were referred to the committee and processed during the 5th Parliament:

 

Year

Name of Legislation

Tagging

Objectives

Completed/Not Completed

 

 

 

 

 

2014

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

2015

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

2016

Higher Education Amendment Bill [B36 – 2015]

 

 

Section 75

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Higher Education Act, 1997, so as to provide for: the insertion of new definitions; determination of transformation goals and oversight mechanisms for the public higher education system; the development of articulation and recognition of prior learning frameworks; the conversion of public higher education institutions; the powers of the council of a public higher education institution to invest funds; the issuing of Ministerial directives; indemnification of an independent assessor; indemnification and termination of the term of office of an administrator; different categories of registration of private higher education institutions and the associated rights; withdrawal and revocation of qualifications by public higher education institutions.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

2017

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

2018

National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill (B20 – 2018)

Section75

The Bill seeks to amend the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008, so as to amend and insert certain definitions; to provide for the verification of all qualifications or part-qualifications by the SAQA; to provide for the formulation of criteria for evaluating foreign qualifications; to provide for the establishment and maintenance of separate registers of misrepresented or fraudulent qualifications; to provide for a separate register for professional designations; to provide for the referral of qualifications or part-qualifications to SAQA for verification and evaluation; to provide for offences and penalties which have a bearing on fraudulent qualifications; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Completed

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the processing of legislation:

 

  • The Committee did not experience challenges in processing legislation. The Committee provided an opportunity to the public to have their voices heard by submitting written submission on the Bills as well as to make oral presentations. The Committee considered both the written and oral submissions in the amendment of the Bill.

 

  1. Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following:

 

  • The envisaged amendment of the NQF Act informed by the NQF implementation Review Report recommendations and the High Level Panel recommendations.
  • The Committee should make follow-up with regard to the outstanding legislation due for tabling in Parliament by the Department.

 

  1. Oversight trips undertaken

 

The following oversight trips were undertaken:

 

Date

Area Visited

Objective

Recommendations

Responses to Recommendations

Follow-up Issues

Status of Report

17 September 2014

Western Cape

To assess the  new student-centred model that will be used by the NSFAS to disburse loans and bursaries to students

The Committee recommended that:

 

The NSFAS should engage on a robust fund raising framework with the private sector to increase its sources of funding. A comprehensive loan recovery strategy should be developed to maximise the recovery of outstanding loans from eligible students. The shortcomings of the new student-centred model should be address. The processing of outstanding claims from universities should be prioritised. The NSFAS should improve its accessibility and visibility to the public

 

The NSFAS promised to pilot the new student-centred model to a selected universities so that it could identify the shortcomings of the new model before the full roll-out could be implemented

The Committee should continuously engage with the NSFAS to ensure that the entity disburses funding and students living allowances effectively

Published and adopted by the NA

23 September 2014

North West

To investigate the alleged initiation practices and racism at the North West University and the transformation policy of the University. To assess the governance, administration and finances of Vuselela TVET college

The Committee recommended that:

 

The Department should ensure that the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at the Potchefstroom Campus is not a barrier to access to non-Afrikaans speaking students. The University should ban all initiation rituals and demeaning practices during orientation. The protection and promotion of human rights should form part of the University’s core business.

 

The college should improve its academic performance. The Department should urgently fill the outstanding senior management posts.

 

The University indicated that the allegations of human rights abuses at its residences were investigated and the initiation practices during orientation were abolished.

 

The Department indicated that it did not have adequate funding to allocate to TVET college for infrastructure. Moreover, the demand for student funding far exceeded the funding of the NSFAS

The Committee should undertake a follow-up oversight visit to the University to assess the progress made with respect to the implementation of the transformation policy.

 

 

Published and adopted by the NA

25 – 26 November 2014

 

Northern Cape

To monitor and assess the Sol Plaatje University, National Institute of Higher Education (NIHE) and Northern Cape Urban TVET College on: governance and administration, infrastructure plans, student enrolment, academic performance, partnership with industries and funding of students

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The Department should explore the possibility of engaging National Treasury for additional funding to expand TVET college infrastructure. Additional funding should be made available for NSFAS to assist more eligible students at colleges. The Department should ensure that the closure of NIHE does not affect the students in the pipeline.

 

The NIHE indicated that the students that were studying during the closure of the institute would be enrolled at the new University and the staff would also be migrated to the new University

The Committee should undertake a follow-up oversight visit to SPU to assess the progress that has been made with the construction of the University

Published and adopted by the NA

03 – 06 February 2015

 

 

 

 

Mpumalanga & Gauteng:

To monitor and assess the University of Mpumalanga, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Soshanguve Campus, Ehlanzeni TVET College and Tshwane North TVET College on: governance and administration, infrastructure plans, student enrolment, academic performance, partnership with industries and funding of students

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The DHET should prioritise the issuing of outstanding certificates due to students. Additional funding is needed to support the increasing enrolment in the TVET sector and shortage of student housing.

 

The DHET should submit quarterly report on progress with the construction of the University of Mpumalanga.

 

The appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor for the University should be prioritised. The management should deal with student grievances effectively

 

The Department indicated that the University would be developed over the years to become a fully-fledged University.

 

TUT indicated that the Soshanguve Campus was vulnerable to student protests and disruptions of the academic programme

 

TNC undertook to closely monitor the governance and administration at TNC given the allegation of financial mismanagement

The Committee should undertake a follow-up oversight visit to assess the progress with the construction of the University.

 

The Committee should undertake a follow-up oversight visit to TUT Soshanguve Campus to assess teaching and learning and the relationship between management and student leadership.

 

The Committee should invite the TNC to account on its governance, management and administration

 

Published and adopted by the NA

21 – 24 July 2015

 

 

Western Cape

To monitor the governance, administration and finances of the TVET colleges (False Bay and Cape Town TVET college) and University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

The Committee recommended that:

 

The issuance of the outstanding NC(V) certificates should be prioritised. The throughput and certification rates of TVET colleges should be improved.  TVET colleges should have dedicated infrastructure funding to alleviate the acute shortage of student housing in the TVET sector

 

The universities were requested to expand their student accommodation to accommodate the increasing demands for student residences

 

The Department indicated that it did not have the requisite funding to support the financial difficulties of TVET colleges. The Department also indicated that it was committed in eradicating the certification backlog

 

The Department indicated that it allocates infrastructure efficiency grants to universities to expand the student housing

The Committee should continuously engage with the Department with respect to the underfunding of the TVET sector

 

The Committee undertake a follow-up oversight visit to the UWC and CPUT to assess the progress made with the expansion of student housing

Published and adopted by the NA

17 – 18 September 2015

Western Cape

To assess the governance, administration and finances of the West Coast and Northlink TVET college

The Committee recommended that:

 

The DHET and AGSA should conduct workshops with colleges to explain the new accounting and reporting requirements for auditing. The funding of colleges should take into account the rurality of colleges. The DHET should review the curriculum of the Report 191 programme

 

The Department indicated that it did not have the requisite funding to support the financial difficulties of TVET colleges. The Department also indicated that it was committed in eradicating the certification backlog

The Committee should continuously engage with the Department with respect to the underfunding of the TVET sector

Published and adopted by the NA

03 December 2015

Gauteng

To have a Round-Table discussion with the Student Representative Councils (SRCs) of all universities to engage on:

Highlights of 2015 academic year and projections for 2016; NSFAS funding plans for 2016; and the role of SRCs in stabilising the 2016 registration processes and normalisation of the university      environment for teaching and learning

The student leadership should allow the work that is underway by the Presidential Task Team to address the issues raised to be finalised and communicated.

The outcomes of the Presidential Task Team should be communicated to the universities and students as soon as they become available, preferably before the commencement of the registration period.

NSFAS should regularly monitor institutions to ensure that they adhere to non-payment of registration fees by NSFAS beneficiaries. Furthermore, NSFAS should ensure that institutions adhere to timeframes for the submissions of claims forms to ensure timeous transfer of funding allocation to universities and subsequently timeous payment of allowances. 

A follow-up meeting with the Department and NSFAS was convened by the Committee on readiness for 2016 academic regarding funding by NSFAS and registration by universities and TVET colleges.

Monitoring of funding allocations to universities and disbursement of allowances to universities.

Published and adopted by the NA

16 March 2016

 

Western Cape

To assess the governance, administration, transformation and finances of the Stellenbosch University

The Committee recommended that:

 

The University should improve the staff demographics to reflect the realities of broader society. The safety and security of students should be prioritised

 

A follow-up visit was conducted to the University  to assess progress on the implementation of the recommendations of previous oversight

The Committee should continue to monitor progress

Published and adopted by the NA

19 – 23 September 2016

 

Gauteng

To assess the impact of the skills development projects funded by the National Skills Fund at Eskom and SETAs (Transport SETA, Public Service SETA, Education and Training Development Practices SETA). To visit the CET colleges of Gauteng and assess them on governance, teaching and learning, and their finances. To assess the training and assessment of artisan learners at INDLELA. To assess governance, administration and finances of the South West Gauteng TVET college

 

The Committee recommended that;

 

Better coordination of skills development programmes between the SETAs and state owned companies was required. The Department should facilitate a dialogue between the SWG college management and stakeholders to bring stability to the college. Additional funding should be allocated to the CET sector so that it can fulfil its mandate

The Department indicated that it did not have the requisite funding to assist the CET sector with infrastructure and other operational needs.

The Committee should continuously engage with the Department with respect to the underfunding of the CET sector.

 

The Committee should continue with its oversight visits to the skills development programmes funded by the NSF in other provinces.

 

The Committee should continuously engage with the Department with respect to the training of artisans to grow the economy

 

Published and adopted by the NA

17 – 21 October 2016

 

Gauteng

To engage with the stakeholders in the higher education (Council on Higher Education, Higher Education Parents Dialogue, South African Union of Students, Universities South Africa, Business Unity South Africa and National Business Initiative) sector on disruptions in universities and plans to save the 2016 academic year

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The resumption of teaching and learning at universities should be prioritised to prevent the possible loss of the 2016 academic year. The police should exercise maximum restraint and operate within the parameters of law when dealing with student protests. There should be a mediation process to rebuild the broken trust between the university management and student leadership

 

There was a commitment made by the stakeholders to ensure that teaching and learning at universities is not disrupted due to student protests

The Committee should continuously engage with stakeholders in higher education to ensure stability in the sector

Published and adopted by the NA

31 January – 03 February 2017

KwaZulu-Natal

 

 

 

To undertake an oversight visit to universities (University of Zululand and University of KwaZulu-Natal), TVET colleges (Coastal TVET college) of KwaZulu-Natal and to assess them on governance, administration and finances. To assess the skills development initiatives (SA Shipyard, Mining Qualifications Authority and Manufacturing and Engineering SETA)

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The Minister should intervene at UniZulu to bring stability and ensure that teaching and learning commences without further disruptions.

 

The harmonisation of the conditions of service at UKZN should be prioritised. SETAs should work together in coordinating the skills development programmes for the PSET sector.

 

TVET colleges should be assisted with infrastructure grants and the Department should expedite the issuance of outstanding certificates due to students.

 

The Department indicated that it was engaging with the University to restore its stability.

 

The Department indicated that the CHE was undertaking a special audit of the University

The Committee should undertake a follow-up oversight visit to UniZulu (Main Campus) to assess the relationship between management and stakeholders

 

To Committee should undertake oversight visit to skills development programmes of the SETAs in other provinces

Published and adopted by the NA

28 February – 31 March 2017

 

Limpopo

 

 

 

To assess the governance, administration and finances of universities (University of Venda and University of Limpopo) and TVET colleges (Sekhukhune and Waterberg TVET college)

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The NSFAS should expedite the payment of outstanding allowances due to students.

 

Universities and TVET colleges. The Department should assist TVET colleges with infrastructure grants and the transfer of unutilised infrastructure by the provincial government to the DHET should be fast tracked.

 

The NSFAS undertook to correct its IT systems to ensure that students receive their allowances timeously

 

The Department indicated that it did not have the requisite funding to address the funding shortfall in the TVET sector

The Committee engages with the NSFAS on a quarterly basis as part of its resolution

 

The Committee should get a progress report with respect to the progress in the transfer of unutilised infrastructure to the DHET

 

The Committee should continuously engage with the Department on funding for the TVET sector

 

Published and adopted by the NA

01 – 04 August 2017

 

 

 

 

Gauteng

To assess the skills development programmes aimed at empowering young people by the SETAs (Transport SETA, Media Information and Communication Technologies SETA, Public Service SETA and Food and Beverages SETA. To assess the governance and administration of Sefako Makgatho University. To assess the progress report with eradication of the certification backlog by the Department of Higher Education and Training, Umalusi and the State Information Technology Agency.

 

The Committee recommended that:

 

The Committee commended the progress made by the DHET, Umalusi and the SETA in eradicating the certification backlog and requested the entities to ensure that their IT system are improved so that students can get their certificates three after completing their exams.

 

The Department was requested to source additional funding for the Sefako Makgatho University to reduce the institution’s deficit and improve its financial sustainability.

 

The Committee recommended for improvements in the coordination of the skills developments programmes of the SETAs.

 

The Department indicated Sefako Makgatho University  would receive additional funding for its operations as a newly established institution

The Committee should continue with its oversight visit to the skills development programmes by the SETAs in other provinces

The Committee should get a progress report with respect to the funding of SMU

 

Published and adopted by the NA

10 August 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Western Cape

To assess the student accommodation challenges at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and plans by the University in addressing this challenge. To assess the progress made by the NSFAS in the disbursement of outstanding funding and allowances due to students and to conduct a site visit of the NSFAS

The Committee recommended that:

 

The University should urgently find alternative accommodation for students living in unutilised building. The NSFAS should fast-track the payment of outstanding allowances dues to students.

The University found the off-campus accommodation for the students that were accommodated in the unutilised building.

The Committee should continuously engage with the NSFAS regarding the outstanding payment of allowances due to students

Published and adopted by the NA

09 November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Western Cape

To assess the disruptions caused by student protests at the University and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) plan to save the remainder 2017 academic year

 

The Committee recommended that: The University should ensure that teaching and learning is not disrupted any further to save the 2017 academic year.

 

The University managed to save the 2017 academic year and teaching and learning at the University was not disrupted after the oversight visit of the Committee

The Committee should continue its interaction with the University with respect to transformation especially at senior academic level of the University and the  complaints of students regarding the institutional culture that was not welcoming to people of different races

Published and adopted by the NA

23 – 26 January 2018

 

Eastern Cape

The objectives of the oversight visit were to assess the readiness of the higher education institutions (Walter Sisulu University and University of Fort Hare) and TVET colleges (King Sabatha Dalindyebo and Buffalo City) of the Eastern Cape with respect to the registration of students for the 2018 academic year and the progress with the payment of allowances by the NSFAS to eligible students

 

The Committee recommended that the payment of outstanding allowances due to students by the NSFAS at universities and TVET colleges should be fast-tracked; students should sign the outstanding loan agreement forms and schedule of particulars to expedite the payment of allowances to students; students should not resort to violence and destruction of infrastructure during their protests; there should be dedicated infrastructure grants for TVET colleges

 

An administrator was appointed at the NSFAS in August 2018 to deal with the deficiencies in the disbursement of funding to students at universities and TVET colleges.

The Department is yet to submit a response on other recommendations in the report.

To assess whether the NSFAS paid students all the allowances due to them

Published and adopted by the NA

30 January – 01 February 2018

 

Gauteng

The objectives of the oversight visit were to assess the readiness of the higher education institutions (University of South Africa, University of Pretoria and University of Johannesburg) of Gauteng with respect to the registration of students for the 2018 academic year and the progress with the payment of allowances by NSFAS to eligible students

 

The Committee recommended that the payment of outstanding allowances due to students be expedited including the signing of loan agreement forms and schedule of particulars; UNISA should improve its IT systems to enable students to register online; UJ  should provide the Committee with the update with respect to the fraud case (R25 million) involving the involving the former Vice-Chancellor, Chairperson of Council and other senior managers

An administrator was appointed at the NSFAS in August 2018 to deal with the deficiencies in the disbursement of funding to students.

The Department is yet to submit a response on other recommendations in the report

To assess whether NSFAS paid students all the allowances due to them; to assess whether UJ recovered the R25 million that was siphoned from the institution’s accounts

Published and adopted by the NA

28 March 2018

 

Western Cape

The oversight visit was a follow-up to the meeting of the Committee with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to obtain more input from the stakeholders of the university with regard to their challenges

The Committee recommended that the University should expedite the appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor, the Minister should intervene given the inadequate role played by Council in discharging its fiduciary duties; the harmonisation of the conditions of employees should be fastracked and the University should establish a platform for the consideration of stakeholders’ grievances

The University appointed a new Vice-Chancellor and submitted a written response to the Committee’s recommendations and other related issues

To assess whether the institution is stable  and whether the harmonisation of the conditions of service of employees has been implemented

Published and adopted by the NA

28 January – 01 February 2019

Gauteng (NSFAS)

Northern Cape (Northern Cape Rural TVET, Sol Plaatje University) and Free State (Goldfields & Motheo TVET College and University of the Free State)

Assess the following:  2019 registration process; the state of readiness of the institutions to implement the 2019 academic programmes; the 2018 overall academic performance of students; to

undertake site visits to infrastructure projects, student accommodation and registration facilities, and to assess the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s plans to improve the disbursement of funding to universities and payment of allowances to students.

 

The Committee observed that there was a significant decline in the NC(V) enrolment at TVE Colleges, including high dropout rates and low certification rates. The Committee recommended that NC(V) and NATED curriculum review should be expedited so that there could be value on government’s investment in the sector.

 

The TVET Colleges should develop and implement a policy on students returning their textbooks once they have completed their programmes.

 

The Department engage with relevant provincial departments to expedite the transfer of properties to TVET College ownership.

 

The Department should expedite the development and implementation of post-establishment norms for TVET Colleges

 

The Minister of HET should expedite the process of the appointment of TVET College Councils members so that they can exercise their fiduciary duties.

 

The Department should ensure that Sol Plaatje University amends its Institutional Statute to make provision for the representation of non-academic employees on Council

Still to be considered by the House

Still to be considered by the House

Adopted and published

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the oversight visit:

 

  • The TVET colleges expressed concerns with respect to the overall underfunding of the TVET sector.
  • The delays with the disbursement of bursaries and allowances by the NSFAS to eligible students was the main concern that was raised by students at universities and TVET colleges, as well as the delays by students in signing Schedule of Particulars.
  • The delays with release of the NC(V) certificates at TVET colleges as a serious concern during the oversight visits of the Committee to TVET colleges.
  • The inadequate certification and throughput rates of students studying at TVET colleges.
  • Student protests that were associated with violence and destruction of property, especially in the higher education sector and conference with the relevant portfolio committees on the matter.
  • Poor governance at some universities was highlighted as a serious challenge by the Committee.
  • The poor relations between management, labour unions and the student leadership at some institutions of higher learning was a serious challenge.
  • The shortage of student accommodation at universities and TVET colleges and plans by the DHET and the Department of Human Settlement to address the challenge.
  • The updating of equipment at the TVET colleges workshops, given the new funding allocated to Colleges for purchasing of new workshop equipment.
  • The inadequate coordination of the skills development programmes by the SETAs.
  • The underfunding of the CET sector remains a serious concern.
  • Articulation within the post-school education and training sector remains a challenge despite the Articulation policy developed by the SAQA.
  • The high drop-out rate of university students was noted a serious concern by the Committee.
  • Slow transformation at some higher education institutions visited by the Committee was noted as a serious concern.

 

  1. Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider the following:

 

  • Engaging with TVET colleges and universities that were experiencing instabilities.
  • Following up with the Department with respect to the overall funding of the PSET sector.
  • Monitoring the progress of the Administrator at the NSFAS in stabilising the entity.
  • Monitoring the financial management of TVET colleges.
  • Following up on the finalisation of the new SETA landscape.
  • Monitoring the cost-effectiveness of training funded through SETAs.
  • Following up on the implementation of articulation and RPL in the PSET sector.
  • Following up on the progress in the construction of the outstanding TVET colleges campuses.
  • Make follow-up with respect to the allocation of infrastructure grants for the TVET sector.
  • Monitoring progress by the Department, Umalusi and SITA in eradicating the certification backlog.
  • Monitoring the overall performance of the TVET sector with respect to teaching and learning.
  • Monitoring progress by the Department in filling outstanding vacancies.

 

  1. Study tours undertaken

 

The following study tours were undertaken:

 

Date

Places Visited

Objective

Lessons Learned

Status of Report

14 – 21 September 2018

Russia

The objectives of the study tour were to assess: financing of education system in Russia, successes and challenges; the contribution of vocational education and training and higher education to sustainable economic growth and development; the skills planning: supply and demand; challenges experienced within the post-school education and training sector and the mitigation strategies; how consensus on education and funding matters is reached between students, government, parents, industry and other role players in education.

Education in Russia was taken very seriously from an early age and children as young as 3 months old have the right to access kindergarten.

 

The literacy rate in the Russian Federation was 99.9 percent and the country had the highest percent (60 percent) of the population with a bachelor’s degree. The Russian Federation had an unemployment rate of 5 percent and country was among the top ten largest economies in the world.

 

The Russian Federation had more than 800 universities and the federal government invested significantly into university education as part of developing human capital to sustain economy growth of the country. Russia was able to develop its own world class equipment and machinery using its own information technology (IT) expertise. The secondary vocation education sector in Russia provided mid-level skills and graduates from these institution were guaranteed employment after completing their studies.

Published, yet to be adopted by the NA

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the study tours:

 

The Committee did not experience any challenges during the study tour visit to the Russian Federation. The Committee could not meet with students from Mpumalanga studying at the Astrakhan University due to time constraints. The Committee resolved to confer with the relevant Parliament Committees to address the issue of Mpumalanga students. The Committee could not meet with the quality assurance body for higher education of Russia since the institutions cancelled the appointment at short notice. The Committee could not meet with the governance structures (unions, SRC and council) of the universities due to time constraints

 

  1. Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concerns that arose:

 

  • The Committee should make a follow-up with regard to the progress made by the medical students that were transferred from China to Russia.
  • The Committee should make a follow-up with regard to the challenges with the placement of South African students into study programmes abroad.

 

  1. International Agreements:

 

The following international agreements were processed and reported on:

 

Date referred

Name of International Agreement

Objective

Status of Report

Date of enforcement

 

 

Revised Addis Convention on the recognition of studies, certificates, diplomas, degrees and other academic qualifications in higher education in African countries

The Convention seeks to: facilitate the exchange and greater mobility of students, teachers and researchers of the continent, setup high level joint training and research programmes, improve and reinforce the collection and exchange of information, contribute to the harmonisation of qualifications taking into account current global trends, strengthen and promote multilateralism and international cooperation, ensure credible and reliable recognition of qualifications achieved across countries on the continent and safeguards those qualifications.

Adopted

To be confirmed

07 November 2018

 

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China on Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees, tabled in terms of section 231 (3) of the Constitution, 1996

 

For recognition of Higher Education Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China

The agreement does not require approval by the Committee

To be confirmed

07 November 2018

 

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of India on setting up of the Gandhi Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills in South Africa, tabled in terms of section 231 (3) of the Constitution, 1996

 

Setting up of the Gandhi Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills in South Africa

The agreement does not require approval by the Committee

To be confirmed

07 November 2018

Exchange of Letters between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Refurbishing of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges, tabled in terms of section 231 (3) of the Constitution, 1996

 

Refurbishing of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges

The agreement does not require approval by the Committee

To be confirmed

 

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the processing of international agreements:

 

There were no challenges experienced.

 

  1. Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concerns that arose:

 

  • The Committee should monitor implementation / enforcement of this agreement.

 

  1. Obligations conferred on committee by legislation:

 

The Money Bills Procedures and Related Matters Amendment Act (Act 9 of 2009) mandates Parliament to develop the Budget Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR). The Act sets out the process that allows Parliament to make recommendations to the Minister of Finance to amend the budget of a national department. The BRRR also acts as a source document for the Standing/Select Committees on Appropriations/Finance when they make recommendations to the Houses of Parliament on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). The comprehensive review and analysis of the previous financial year’s performance, as well as performance to date, form part of this process. A number of financial and non-financial recommendations were made by the Committee to the Ministers of Higher Education and Training and Finance throughout the tenure of the 5th Parliament.

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the statutory appointments:

 

  • Due to time constraints allocated for the BRRR process, the Committee could not consider all the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans and Annual Reports of the Entities reporting to the Department, including the TVET colleges.

 

Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concerns that arose:

 

  • To monitor implementation of the recommendations contained in the BRR Report.
  • To confer with the Standing Committees on Appropriations and Finance on the additional allocations for the TVET and CET sectors.

 

  1. Summary of outstanding issues relating to the department/entities that the committee has been grappling with

 

The following key issues are outstanding from the committee’s activities during the 5th Parliament:

 

Responsibility

Issue(s)

Department

Response on the recommendations of the High Level Panel report

Report on gender transformation and gender-based violence in higher education and TVET sector

Report on the curriculum review of the TVET sector

Report on the way forward in addressing the underfunding of the entire PSET sector

Report on the finalisation of the new SETA landscape

Response to the oversight visit reports of the Committee (Those that were communicated with the Department)

Legislation that needs to be reviewed and be tabled in Parliament

Implementation of the Central Applications Service (CAS)

Harmonisation of the conditions of service of the CET educators

Rationalisation of the CET sector

Implementation of the National Skills Development Strategy IV

Management Information System (MIS) for PSET

 

 

 

 

  1. Other matters referred by the Speaker/Chairperson (including recommendations of the High Level Panel)

 

The following other matters were referred to the committee and the resultant report was produced:

 

Date of referral

Expected report date

Content of referral

Status of Report

28 May 2018

Not specific date

Report on Gender Transformation in Tertiary Institution

Adopted and published

01 June 2018

28 September 2018

Report on the High Level Panel

Report to be considered and adopted by the Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Challenges emerging

 

The following challenges emerged during the processing of the referral:

There were no challenges experienced with the processing of the referrals.

 

  1. Issues for follow-up

 

The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concern that arose:

  • Should monitor to have a follow-up meeting with the Department on the implementation of the recommendations of the High Level Panel

 

  1. Recommendations

 

(Include possible recommendations to resolve operational and/or procedural concerns encountered during the 5th Parliament)

 

  • The Committee was allocated to sit on Wednesday only during the 5th Parliament, and it was not able to exercise sufficient oversight to all the entities in the PSET sector. Consideration should be given to the Committee to sit at least twice per week given the number of entities that report to it. The Parliamentary programme should also be designed in such a manner that it makes provision for more oversight time for Committees that oversee many entities.
  • The timeframe allocated for the consideration of the BRRR is very short, and the Committee was unable to invite more entities and consider their Annual Reports. The timeframe for the consideration of BRRR should be extended to accommodate Committees that have many entities that report to them.
  • The Committee could not implement some of its planned activities due to budgetary constraints. Parliament should consider allocating additional resources to the Committee to enable to implements its planned activities and to attend to crisis situation within the PSET sector, in particular, students and employee protests.
  • Education is an apex priority of government. The Committee oversees more than 100 entities that report to the DHET. However, the Committee operated without full staff complement for half the MTSF period (November 2015 – October 2018). The Committee should be provided with adequate support staff to enable it to function optimally in exercising its oversight mandate.
  • Engagement with industry bodies to monitor the cost-effectiveness of the training in various industries and to determine whether the training is sufficiently focused on future industry needs.

 

  1. Committee strategic plan

 

To be attached with the report.

 

  1. Master attendance list

 

To be attached with the report.

Documents

No related documents