Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised hansard

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 05 Sep 2023


No summary available.


Watch here: Plenary 


The Council met at 10:06.

The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.





The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I think it may be appropriate for me to welcome the members back. Those who have been following developments will know that election work continues, and they registered across the length and breadth of our country.
Therefore, the work of Parliament can’t wait and can’t become a second fiddle. Therefore, we have to do both as we move into the future.

Hon delegates, before we proceed, I would like to remind delegates of the rules relating to virtual and hybrid meetings and sittings, in particular subrule 21, 22 and 23 of Rule 103 which provides as follows: that the hybrid sitting constitutes a sitting of the National Council of Provinces; that delegates in the hybrid sitting enjoy the same powers and privileges that apply in a sitting of the National Council of Provinces; that for the purposes of the quorum, all delegates who are logged onto the virtual platform shall be considered present; that delegates must switch on their videos if they want to speak; that delegates should ensure that their microphones and their electronic devices are muted, and must always remain muted unless they are permitted to speak; that delegates in the Chamber may connect to the virtual platform as well as insert their cards to register on the Chamber system; that delegates who are physically in the Chamber must use the floor microphones; and that all delegates may participate in the discussions through the chat ... [Inaudible.]

... [Lost connectivity] ... interpretation services. Permanent delegates, special delegates, SA Local Government Association, Salga, representatives and members of the executives in the Chamber should use the interpretation instruments on their desks to access the interpretation facilities.

Hon members and delegates, in accordance with Council Rule 229(1), there will be notices of motion or motions without notice. We will now proceed to the questions, although I would like to take this opportunity at this moment in time to welcome the Deputy Ministers from the Social Services Cluster, especially the Deputy Minister of Basic Education and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation in absentia, I’m sure he’s on his way.

Permanent delegates, members of executive council, MECs, all special delegates and Salga representatives to the House who’s one is aware that there is a Salga Provincial Members Assembly today, but I’m sure they will find it quite correct and the right thing to do to ensure that the Salga delegates are also present at this sitting. Further, I would like to remind delegates that in terms of Rule 229 of Council Rules the time for reply by the Deputy Minister or Minister to a question is five minutes. These bases must always be emphasised because
... [Inaudible.] ... to another. Therefore, it is five minutes per question and reply. Only four supplementary questions are allowed per question. A member who asked initial question must be the first to be afforded the opportunity to ask a supplementary question. The time for asking a supplementary question is two minutes. The time for reply to supplementary question is four minutes.

Lastly, the supplementary question must emanate from the initial question. Therefore, don’t ask questions that have no relation in whatsoever to the initial question. We will now proceed to questions. The first question is Question 179. The question is on her extension policy. This question has been asked and emanate from hon Ndongeni and is directed to the Minister of Basic Education. Hon Deputy Minister, welcome, please come forward to the podium. Hon Deputy Minister, please proceed.


Question 179:

greetings to you. Let me not waste time and go straight to the question. I do not want to repeat the question as Chairperson has read it and I will just go straight to the answer. The answer is the school's policy is not in line with all departmental legislations. That is why the Gauteng provincial government decided to close the school. Thank you, Chair.

Ms N NDONGENI: Hon Chair, good morning, Minister and thank you, Minister, for your reply and we commend the action by the provincial department. Is the closure of the particular school a permanent action? If so, what happened to the learners that were in that school and what can be done to prevent any school manager to try implementing similar discriminatory policies in their schools? Thank you, Chair.

say is that the school itself, though it is called a Christian school, did not operate according to the legislation of the government. It applied and had an Education Management Information System, Emis number on a different location and with a different name. They then decided to change the name of the school and now it makes the school to be illegal. So it operated illegally with all what they did but what the department did in Gauteng is that they help parents because it is a small school. It has almost 50 learners and in the department we do not encourage such schools because the numbers are so low that they cannot get effective learning and teaching. That is why the school qualifies to be amongst the schools that we closed down. We helped the parents now to incorporate the learners to the existing nearby schools. There will be no learner that will be disadvantaged, all the

learners are incorporated. In fact, that process has started and is supposed to be concluded. Thank you so much.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Hon Chairperson, Deputy Minister, welcome, it is always a pleasure to have you in the House. However, it would have been good and it is very disappointing that we do not have the Minister today. But, hon Deputy Minister, taking into account the recent developments of the cruel Christian Academy and prior concerns dating back as far back as 2016, where the Pretoria Girls High School was in trouble for exactly the same problem. The DA then already raised the issue that the department needed to review the outdated hair policies. We now hope that the Ministry will reprioritize and expedite the finalization of the draft student hair policy that was recently introduced.

It was stated in the media that the new hair policy was recently introduced. Minister or Deputy Minister, can you please elaborate on the timeline and, more importantly, on the commitment to ensure that this policy is not only comprehensive, but that it also addresses issues related to cultural diversity, inclusivity and tolerance within our educational institutions. Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, normally odd because we operate as the Ministry in the Department of Basic Education and what the Minister would say is exactly what the Deputy Minister is saying. So, if members are not happy that the Deputy Minister is here, Deputy Minister is free to go now.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Can I just have a point of order, Chairperson?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I am sure what will people will do really is to urge for calm and I am sure all of us are interested in ensuring that the work of Parliament, especially this...

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: A point of clarity Chairperson.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: She is not disturbed in any way. So we will move on to the next question, not unless hon Christians wants to say something. I see that you are raising your hand.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Just a point of clarity, Chairperson, if the Deputy Minister listened correctly, I said welcome and it

is always a pleasure to have her here. It is disappointing, however, that the Minister is not here as she is the accounting officer of the Department of Basic Education. But nevertheless, Deputy Minister, please answer the question raised. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, can I really make an appeal to all of us that we should really proceed with the work before us. Of course, one expects Members of Parliament, you know, to somewhat digress here and there. Hon Nchabeleng can say make this comment or the other and so on, but that should not distract us from the work at hand and what we have to do.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Hon Chair, hair policy in the education of South Africa. We are fighting by all means to bring total transformation and social cohesion that we accept one another in our diversity. So, we cannot have something that will further discriminate us and have something called hair policy that will dictate because your hair is short, like mine, I must put a stretch like we used to stretch our hair in the past, wanting to look like other nations. Our learners must be accepted as such.

So, if there is a school which will have a hair policy that because your hair is short and maybe breaking so we cannot have you with your hair that will break and cause dirt. That cannot be allowed out. So, even what transpired in the Pretoria Girls High School was totally out of order and outside the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. In South Africa we accept one another as we are. Thank you, Chair.


Nks N TAFENI: Sihlalo, mandivule le vidiyo ukubonakalisa ukuba ndim ngenene kodwa ndicela ukuyivala kuba ayibambi kakuhle.


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please proceed, hon member.


Ms N TAFENI: Okay, thank you, Chairperson. Deputy Minister, this incident once again demonstrates how racism still features in our schools. Our young black children are being unfairly discriminated by this policy and it is not the first time that a school has made headlines over a racist hair policy under your watch. In light of this recurring, what form of training has the Minister put in place to ensure that school personnel enforce this policy so that young black

children never experienced such racism again and which mechanisms have been put in place to end her discrimination? I thank you, Chairperson.


department we are working together with all our stakeholders, our School Governing Bodies, SGBs national level, at provincial level and at local level to teach them what social cohesion means that when we accept learners we accept them as they are. So, we will continue. We were in KwaZulu-Natal because they still practice corporal punishment. To bring all the principals, all the circuit managers everyone together to say things that are not constitutional in South Africa should not be practised in our schools.

They should not come up with policies that are unconstitutional and that is what we are doing. We have started the road shows and we are meeting all school principals, now we are going to meet all school governing bodies because in some other instances it is the school governing bodies that come up with sinister policies which are outside the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. So, we are on top of that, making sure that all our schools are operating in a uniformed manner. Thank you, Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Okay, I hope you are done.


The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Yes, I am done because they asked what we are doing as a department. I am saying we are meeting all our stakeholders, all our principals, all our school governing bodies to workshop them on the rights of all children in South Africa and to teach them about social cohesion, to teach them about the new South Africa because there are people that live still live in the old South Africa now we live in South Africa as one, black and white, yellow, pink or whatever colour as we are, let us accept one another. Thank you, Chair.

Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Chairperson, what measures has your department undertaken to ensure that teachers are aware of how to strike a balance between upholding of school policies and but not infringing on learner’s religious and cultural practices?

Hon Deputy Minister, you might have slightly covered this part of my question in your in your recent response, but I would also wish to ask if these measures, if there are any, extended to private schools, which I believe you do not have full control of? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I did not have the last question, adult schools or the what?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Radebe, if I can ask you to repeat the last part of your question. You still have few minutes.

Mr N M HADEBE: Yes, hon Chairperson, I was asking them if these measures that the department is engaged on if are extended to private schools, which I believe the department does not have full control of. Thank you, Deputy Minister.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you, Chair. What I am talking about when I talk about the sector education, it includes both private and public schools. There is no way independent schools will claim total autonomy outside the sector. We work together, that is why when we hold meetings with SGBs, we call those SGBs of independent schools, work with them and they co-operate with us. Yes, but when they are on their own on their side, they want to change things. What we encourage as the Department of Basic Education is adherence to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Schools should not come up with policies that are outside the

legislation because when we enact legislation we make sure that they are in line with the Constitution.

So, this is what we are dissuading all schools, whether independent or public, that let us stick to the constitutional mandate of our schools and refrain from executing what is outside the Constitution. Discrimination is totally outside the Constitution, so we will never allow any school, be it a Christian, Hindu, Islam, whichever school which is an independent school, they must adhere. Though they will follow their own religious principles, but it must not be outside the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Thank you, Chair.

Question 169:

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Load shedding is a reality. We are living with load shedding and ... [Laughter]
... that’s true and does not only affect basic education. Education takes place almost during the day where illumination is naturally covered. But there are subjects that will need electricity like your computer applications subject, there must be electricity. So, we are working together with the Department of Public Works, department of electricity, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, DME as Department

of Education to say, we know there are court cases to say that schools must be given electricity, but we are working together with those departments to make sure that there is electricity in our schools. Thank you Chair.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Minister, the initial question addressed was specifically about schools in the Northern Cape where the electricity was switched off. But Minister it is evident that energy resilience is a critical concern within our education system. It is clear that the Department of Education currently lacks concrete plans or national level initiatives to ensure that schools are adequately equipped to function effectively during load shedding. While emergency reserves had been allocated for addressing area and municipal accounts in the Northern Cape, this is what happened at the schools where there was emergency reserves allocated. But still there is a glaring absence of effective monitoring or mechanisms in place to ensure the timely settlement of these accounts by provincial departments.

Now, in light of these critical issues Minister, how do you plan to hold the Northern State Department of Education accountable for the ineffective monitoring of these schools who worked without electricity for up to three days? Their

hostel was also without electricity. What steps will you take to ensure that these situations do not recur in the Northern Cape or any other province under your jurisdiction? Thank you, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair I want to ask you a question before I respond. Is it Question 169?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: This is ... yes, Question 169.




The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, schools to be energy resilient. So, it says here on my papers. I know that some questions may not quite fit in, but we have a responsibility to deal with them in the way they’ve been put forward.

respond to the question as asked. That’s why I’m asking the question because what was given to me, the Christian says, Ms DC Christians, Northern Cape DA, I think that’s where the member comes from, to ask the Minister of Basic Education: Schools to be energy resilient. Whether any plans or initiatives are in place to compel schools to be more energy

resilient on a national level as load shedding is depriving schools to function properly, details furnished. If so, what are the relevant details? I was asking the question as broad as I understood here. So, but the question ... [Inaudible] ...

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Deputy Minister, please answer the question.

answered the question as asked and I responded by saying, indeed load shedding is affecting all of us and all the schools in South Africa are affected. So, we are engaging the national departments that are responsible for electricity in the country. They are working with us. They are working with the Department of Basic Education.

However, Chair to add, we work with school governing bodies. Some school governing bodies are extremely innovative. That’s why we encourage provincial education departments to work closely with school governing bodies, SGBs. If you can go to many provinces even in rural areas, you can see that some schools have this alternative electricity, and some schools have bought generators. It is only a few schools that are remaining.

As the national department we are working with provincial departments to make sure that we help them though our resources are extremely limited. Within those limited resources, we are working with provincial departments that all schools have generators as an alternative or any other alternative of electricity, that includes Northern Cape. We are working with the Department of Education in Northern Cape like we are working with all nine other provinces. Thank you Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We now go to hon Ntsube.


The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: I request to just get my water.

Mr I NTSUBE: Chairperson of the Council, to the Deputy Minister we are encouraged and alive to the efforts by the government through the Minister of Electricity to reduce and ultimately end load shedding. Hon Deputy Minister on the issue of user education, would you be responsible for rolling out an initiative like this? Will it be left to a school management or to a provincial department? Thank you very much.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: That is exactly what I said that we are working with provincial departments, district offices because education is taking place in our districts and some districts are proactive, some lack behind. So, we are helping those districts that are lacking behind and circuits to make sure that any school that is providing subject like computer applications don’t get deprived electricity. They must have electricity for our learners to benefit. Thank you Chair.

Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Deputy Minister, I am glad that you mentioned that you are working with other departments as well, because Minister Mantashe mentioned in 2021 that, the Integrated Energy Plan, a government funded programme, the programme that was envisaged to achieve 4 200 gigawatts of electricity savings to installation of solar PV systems and the integration of energy efficient technologies in public schools, military facilities and other government buildings was supposed to be in place. But we’ve been experiencing load shedding since 2008.

Minister since we’ve been experiencing load shedding since 2008 and government was aware of the reality of load shedding and the fact that it will not just disappear, and it will be

tangible for years to come, as well as the effect that it would have on teaching hours of learners effects that we experienced during COVID-19, lost hours or children in schools and the pressure that it puts on both learners as well as the teachers. Why or can reasons be provided why government didn’t act earlier in 2021 to start looking at alternative energy solutions for schools, knowing that this would have a detrimental effect on the achievements of learners and the high dropout rate that we currently experience in this country? Thank you, Chair.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: The Department of Minerals Resources and Energy, that other department and the department of electricity is responsible for providing electricity in the country, not only in education. So, it would - I don’t think at that time in 2008 they would single out schools outside communities because schools are in communities. When there is no electricity in the community, the school is affected.

But now seeing that this load shedding has come to live with us for quite some time, we are working together now with these departments to say, just like water ... let’s not pretend hon members that we live somewhere in places where it’s not a

community. We all live in communities. If the community does not have water, automatically the school will not have water. Even if you drill and you find out that there is no water from the water table, the school cannot do any magic to provide water from the water table where there is no water.

But we work together as government, as legislatures, as social partners, including business partners. That is why on issues of electricity, some schools, businesspeople, come and offer to the school to put alternative energy, even in the rural areas. We know that some businesses will say because we operate here, we say as a department of basic education, now we no longer allow them. Same as in a gadget like this, they would go in the past to the schools of their choices to say we provide gadgets where we have business.

We engage the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy to say, look here, some other areas are remote rural, and they don’t have mines, and your mining people are only helping these, let them have funds. That is why now we have so many foundations. We have many foundations that are working with the Department of Basic Education. They come to the department to say, where is the ... yes, this percentage we will give to our local people where we operate, but we can give you this

percentage to take to the areas of your choice, which are the rural areas where there is no business taking place. That is exactly what is happening in the department.

Hon Chair, I am talking about what I know, what is happening in the department. I am not talking about hearsay. We engage all the businesspeople that they should not only support urban areas, but they also come to us to show them where they must go. And that is exactly what is happening. Some people they don’t even visit rural schools, they don’t know that some rural schools have generators. Some rural schools have the solar panels and they have alternative electricity. So, I am talking about what know, I am not talking about ... [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Du Toit I see your hand is up. On what point are you rising?

Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Chair, yes, I’ve got a clarity seeking question. It seems as if the Deputy Minister is answering another question. My question was, why the government takes so long to act since 2008 up until 2021. The Minister is focusing on support by local mines and the local economy. I don’t know if the Minister maybe misunderstood me. Thank you Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Du Toit, we all have the opportunity to ask a question and the question gets directed to the relevant Ministers. But you can’t force an answer that only talks to yourself and your particular way of understanding matters and so on. We can’t tell the Minister to answer a question in a particular way and format. She has given you an answer and that is where we should let things lie. So, we will proceed hon members to the next question by hon Mokause who is also on virtual. Hon Mokause.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Hon Chair, I will be taking all the questions of ...

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please proceed.


Mr M J MAGWALA: Siyabulisa [greetings] Deputy Minister and to the members of the House. Minister, you partially answered the question that I wanted to ask. But mine is to concentrate on these rural areas that you confirmed here when you were explaining to the hon member that, there are parts of the rural areas that are covered in terms of solar panels and generators. Now I want to ask you Minister, those ones that don’t have generators, in particular as we know that the Eastern Cape when it comes to basic education, they are very

poor in terms of infrastructure, even pit toilets that are still in schools in this new democracy that we’re living in.

What is the department doing in those schools that don’t have solar panels, don’t have generators, nothing at all since we’ve been in this pandemic? This load shedding is more than COVID-19. We have experienced it when we came into this holy House this morning. Thank you.


question that why it took so long. I started by answering that question. Members it is because when the Deputy Minister is answering some members are talking. That is why some members will think that their questions have not been answered. I started by responding exactly that, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, department of electricity is responsible for providing electricity to the whole country. But I am not opening that.

The rural provinces belong to the Department of Basic Education. Every child coming from far remote, we call them a national asset. They must receive the same as education as the urban child. We are working closely with the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape. Remember, when we say as a

national government, we are working with our provinces, we are working with our districts. Even in the Eastern Cape there are districts that are more advanced than others. So, the remote districts where there’s nothing like your Alfred Nzo, we work together with those district directors and make sure that they give us the number of schools that need support. So, we support them together.

It is not something that we’ll do overnight. Like I indicated when I started that our resources are limited, but we are gradually moving there. And that at the time one school has and the school next door does not have we encourage the twinning of the schools, that the learners will be transported to get the information on the other school that has, yet we’re still working for that rural school. On our information and communications technology, ICT connectivity and electricity, we are focusing firstly on the special schools. Secondly, on the deep rural schools. That is our programme.

Next time we come and report here, we will tell you exactly how much we have moved and how far have we moved to reaching all the rural schools. That’s why our programmes of ICT will start there. We saw that, like I indicated that our social partners are also focusing on the urban schools. So, we as the

department, we focus our resources to the far remote schools in the rural areas. I also live in the rural areas. Thank you Chair.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Chair, Chair, on a point of information. [Interjections] No, no, no, I wanted to ask from the Chair. There are some of our members who are on the virtual platform, they cannot login. I am not sure whether administrator is sleeping. Can he accept our members on virtual platform. They are struggling to be accepted Chair. That is the only thing.
Those people also want to participate.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The point is noted. We will then move to Question 180. The question is on Presidential Youth Employment Initiative. The question is from hon N E Nkosi and is directed to the Deputy Minister of Basic Education. Deputy Minister.

Question 180:

programme that was initially made for four months when it started in 2020 during COVID-19. However, seeing that this programme was so helpful in such a way that when we had to withdraw those young people from our schools, there was a huge

outcry. The outcry was not only from the young people themselves who were helping but from the schools themselves, from the community including Members of Parliament from both Houses because they saw a huge difference when they visit schools that is made by those learners.

So, since inception the learners that were given that opportunity are exceeding 1,000,000 that were appointed by the Department of Basic Education to all the 23 000 schools plus, to help. Some are general assistance and some are education assistance. They were helping our learners in all areas, helping our teachers, helping the school in general. The general assistance would even help to fix minor breakages of windows and this helps to keep the school environment to be conducive that when you pass by, you see that indeed, this is a school.

That is why when we had to withdraw them it became a national outcry. That is why the President continued to support the department to say, continue hiring these young people. Hence, this programme is still continuing. Thank you, Chair.

Ms N E NKOSI: Hon Chair, greetings to your good self, the Deputy Ministers and the members in the House. Hon Deputy

Minister, thank you very much for the detailed response in my questions. What measures has the department implemented or initiated to advance the call by the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to companies, departments and state-owned entities to remove the work experience requirement for young people seeking entry level positions? I thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: As the Department of Basic Education, we are working with the state-owned entities as well as private sector because the general assistance that I am speaking about needed training and that training was not only for them to do one, two and three. It is a training that will take them to their future and it is a training that helps them to create their own employment. So, the majority of them now have created their own self-employment, the general workers. Some have been absorbed because as they work in schools, we work with all, even from the building industry, all the industries because some of them are qualified engineers.

When we started we thought that we were addressing the unemployed youth but receiving the applications we found that we have professionals that needed experience and working in schools it helped them to acquire that experiences that is

needed by the employer and private sector. They are being helped and they are absorbed and some create their own employment. Thank you.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister. Just to remind the hon members that the question is on Presidential Youth Employment Initiative. So, we will move on to hon Radebe on the virtual platform.

Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Deputy Minister, how many permanent employment positions have been created for unemployed youth from your department’s contribution? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, this scheme did not aim at creating permanent job because it was just an alleviation of poverty. However, as a department those who are qualified teachers we have absorbed them. They are more than
10 000. As I speak, they have been permanently absorbed because they were helping teachers in the administration and even in the reading programme. Remember, when we started this it was during the time of COVID-19 where some of the curriculum was trimmed but we used this education assistance to help learners to read and understand. So, more than 10 000.

I don’t have the real numbers but what I know is that they exceed 10 000 those that are permanently employed those that are teachers. Nevertheless, there are those that are employed who are engineers by the industry, I didn’t bring those figures and don’t want to tell information that is not true. However, there are many of them who have been permanently employed by government departments as well as private sector. Thank you, Chair.

Ms M DLAMINI: Thank you, Chair. Am I audible?


Nihleka ntoni na?

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: You are audible. Please, proceed, hon Dlamini.

Ms M DLAMINI: Deputy Minister, what action has the Minister taken to ensure maximum participation from all relevant stakeholders? How is the department managing scams that are masquerading as the initiative and one of the possible root causes and how can they be better conducted? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: The root cause is people taking advantage of the rate of unemployed young people. That is the root cause for the scams. Nevertheless, immediately we detect, we activated our communications department from the district province and national to say, let them stay alert and see anything that does not come from the department that is being circulated and we immediately react and say: This is a scam.

I indicated that we work with all stakeholders. Other stakeholders we get them through the National Education Collaboration Trust, NECT. The National Education Collaboration Trust bring all the stakeholders together. We hold meetings with them. The Minister herself and the Deputy Minister will sit down with the stakeholders from business, from all, when I say all civil society bring them all under one roof. In one meeting we met with more than 250 stakeholders to say, these children we are giving them an opportunity, please, absorb them. The list we consolidate it through the National Education Collaboration Trust, NECT. We appointed a service provider that goes to communities to make sure that all young people get access to information because what is important is the information.

We make sure that schools they don’t only ... there was a cry that some principals would take their children, some this and that, but when we investigate closer, we find that that is neither here nor there. It is just that when one has not been given an opportunity would just complain to say that they took their relatives and when you come closer to the situation you find that it is not like that. Nevertheless, we are monitoring and making sure that every child in that community they get access to information. We also work with local councilors to make sure that their schools in their wards they participate and they get the relevant people from the ward. Thank you, Chair.

Mr M R BARA: Thank you Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister. Deputy Minister, the persistently high youth unemployment rate in South Africa averaging around 55,83% over the past decade presents a significant and alarming challenge. This issue does not only impacts on economic stability but also contributes to a range of social problems including the increased vulnerability to depression, drug abuse, gangsterism and other negative influences among our youth. Now, beyond the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, are there any other employment initiatives that probably you talk to with other

departments to address youth unemployment in the country? Thank you, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, our immediate department is the Department of Higher Education. We make sure that we prepare young people to be trained by the Department of Higher Education and respond to the economic needs of our country. That is what we produce as the Department of Basic Education. When we say the education sector on its own has
13 million leaners, it tells that we are taking care of

13 million young people in South Africa. The Department of Higher Education also they take care of a certain number, huge number of young people that they get the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, etc. I won’t answer for them.

However, at the same time when we do our construction work like we do, we are busy with Safe as well Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, ASIDI. We make sure that we absorb those young qualified artisans and engineers to be part of that. So, we speak to the Department of Human Settlements, we speak with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, we speak with Department of Small Business Development and work very closely with that department so that

we don’t only produce job-seekers but we produce job-makers of these young people.

Remember, in the past where we come from we were taught to be


... ek soek werk, baas.


Now, we are changing the mentality of our learners from ...


... ek soek werk, baas ...


 ... to initiating and making their own jobs and employment. That is why we are working with the Department of Small Business Development. Thank you so much, Chair.

Question 175:


question now I was saying as the Department of Basic Education, we are the base, we are the source for the

country’s economy and we sat down and we looked at those subjects that will help the economy of the Republic of South Africa and that ... [Interjections.] Must I listen to him, Chair, and respond or ... [Interjections.] She is speaking and my ear that is active is this one.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We always say colleagues that we should avoid distracting speakers and or talking in such a manner that we really in our own voices drown the speaker and or in this case the Deputy Minister as she tries to deal with the question. Deputy Minister, please focus on answering the question and don’t be side track by other things. Deputy Minister?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, my ear that is active is my left ear unfortunately so. If the noise was coming from this side I would not hear the noise but because my active ear is this one, I will go to the doctor to make sure that both ears work the same.

Chair, as the Department of Basic Education, we have a strategy for maths and science. I say for the country to move forward it needs people who have maths and science because this department is specifically for maths and science. Chair,

we also as the department establish the three stream model that some learners would not want to take the academic roads. They would take vocational. Some would want to take technical because we still need technicians in this country. We still need people that are doing other skills other than maths and science. But what will take the economy forward is maths and science.

So, we have established a fully-fledged chief directorate of maths, science and technology. And even in the provinces, we have such. We make sure that each year we increased the number of learners that are taking mathematics, science and technology and we support. We even have a specific grant for maths, science and technology to help those schools, districts and provinces. And we have schools that we pre-selected that these schools are going to be schools of specialisations of maths, science and technology. And we make sure that in each circuit, we have more than two of such schools. As a parent, if I see that my child is good in mathematics and science, I take my child to that school because I know the school is fully capacitated to do maths, science and technology. So, this is what we are doing and each circuit has more than two schools. In the past, we used to call them Dinaledi schools.
But now we call them maths, science and technology schools.

And they are highly supported. We have a team of qualified subject advisors - maths, science and technology subject advisors that are visiting those schools and supporting and we have training programmes for teachers to share information and best practices on maths, science and technology. Thank you, Chair.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Chairperson, our members are struggling log in and out raise these things before. So, it’s not our members fault that the admin is sleeping today. Deputy Minister, greetings again. I know ...

Ngiyazi lo mlungu uyakuthanda ukuphazamisa ungamnaki kakhulu.


Deputy Minister, the provision of quality education to the learners in rural and townships schools remains a challenge of your department especially in the fields of maths and science. Over the last 30 years, a number of policies have been initiated focusing on closing the achievement gap yet to date poor blacks’ students still perform below expectation. What intervention has been made particular in the primary phases of schooling to breach this gap? Why is it that to date your

efforts have not worked and we continue to see rural and townships students across the nation not achieving as well as their urban counterparts? As much as this one disturb but I think ... [Inaudible.]


cordially invite you to the announcements of the matric results in January 2024 and you must be there.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Invitation accepted, Deputy Minister.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you so much. And I will set your chair next to me so that I tell you that this is a number one learner who got not only 100%, 300 over 300, comes from a rural school and most of such learners, hon Chair, they come from schools which do not have resources. So, this notion that rural learners are not doing good in mathematics is neither here nor there. They perform in an excellent manner. When we speak of learners that are achieving a total of submitting a memorandum, they come from rural villages and in a deep rural village.

If you can look at Eastern Cape, Eastern Cape is always number last but is number one on learners of mathematics, Limpopo is

number eight, but is number two when coming to producing maths and science learners. Mpumalanga might be somewhere there. But is number one on the intake of maths and science, rural as it is. So, that’s why I say I invite members that, members please let’s visit the schools and engage with principals and get exactly what is happening. Free State is always number 1 in results but it is not number one in maths and science. But I can tell you, let’s go to Free State. There is a plan that they are establishing. All the primary schools have maths laps. But I can tell you, let’s go to Free State, there is a plan that they are establishing. All the primary schools have maths laps. It’s a 10-year plan to take, which means, from two years to come, we would see the results of what is happening at the foundation.

When I visited them they say no, Deputy Minister, we are strengthening the foundation. We want when the learners go up, they go up knowing exactly and we are not going to implement the Saturday, the night schools and the Sunday schools because they will come with the real content to the upper grades. So, we are being supported not only by government and private sector is also supporting us to make sure that our primary schools have maths laps. Our learners know exactly and when

they know they will go to the upper classes knowing what they must do.

So, I have figures like how many laptops are given to teachers. We are training teachers at foundation level. We are training subject advisors. We are training everybody. We have seen it as the department that the focusing on the higher grades is limiting our children. Let us strengthen the foundation. Then the house will be fine. Thank you.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Deputy Minister, the truth is that the educational system of South Africa is in trouble, crumbling infrastructure, teacher shortages and a concerning disparity in educational outcomes. Also, considering that 81% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. Now Deputy Minister, if learners cannot read, they cannot understand science or mathematics. Now given the substantial budget allocation of R298,1 billion, that is 4,63% of the country’s GDP for Basic Education during 2022-23, which has not seemed to translate into a substantial improvement in educational standards. It is clear that this department does not have concrete strategies to address the present challenges faced by the 80% of public schools that are not functioning adequately.

Now Deputy Minister, Minister Angie Motshekga has been the Minister of Basic Education for 14 years. I am not sure how long you have been the Deputy Minister. The ANC has been in government for 29 years and has failed the learners of this country.

Now considering these persistent issues in education, isn’t time, Deputy Minister, that the entire Ministry of Education steps down and hands over to the DA given the DA proven success in implementing effective governance? Thank you, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, this question makes my heart to bleed. It makes my heart to bleed because people will just say 29 years forgetting about the 42 years or more than 42 years of written down apartheid.

I specialised when I did and forgetting about the four or five centenaries of segregation where blacks were not even not counted as people. We want to thank the missionaries who saw that South Africa is not discovered like those who thought they discovered South Africa. There were people in South Africa who were living there. And when they came to live in our ground they did not allow South Africans to go to school.

They took the land. They pushed us and clocked us as sardines then the missionaries came, Chair. I am answering the question. The missionaries came, Chair, they took us to schools. That’s why we were attending schools in England and America because of the missionaries. They saw that there are brains in this dark skinned people. There are brains in these short hair people. They took us. They opened our eyes. They opened for us the first black university. Chair, I am talking


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can I plead with hon members to please desist from really stopping the normal standard functioning of this siting. Members, please don’t distract the Deputy Minister. This is particularly directed at hon Badenhorst. Please proceed, Deputy Minister.


the Department of Basic Education, we have numbers. We have numbers before 1994 of learners who were studying and we have numbers like I told the House that now we have 13 million South Africans that are in school and 13 million young South Africans that are at school. And in the past, Chair, we know very well that the whole country would produce only 100 matriculants. Last year, 2022, we produced 750 plus

matriculants – those who passed matric as compared with the

100 of apartheid. Yes, from Grade 1 to 12, 750 000 passed.


Chair, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education is here. Our children when we take them to the universities outside South Africa, in the world, wherever, in America, everywhere, they asked us what do you give to your children, why are they so brilliant. When we send them to Cuba, they don’t spend 10 years. They spend five years. We send them to China, they spend the right time. So, anyone who says education of South Africa is mediocre is a mediocre. Thank you, Chair.

Mr S F DU TOIT: Hon Deputy Minister, I am glad that you elaborated on your previous answer. Hon Deputy Minister in 2023, May, the SA Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2021, PIRLS, conducted by the University of Pretoria has found out that 81% of South African Grade 4 learners are struggling to read for comprehension at age 10. Your Minister Motshekga, blamed the primary schools on neglecting reading of comprehension. She blamed the primary schools like your department.

The current school system allows for a child to fail once in each of the four education cycles. That’s maybe one of the

reasons why the number of matriculants according to her has increased because the possibility is there that some of these pupils are just being pushed through not having the necessary education.

With the Minister agreeing that one of the major reasons why learners do not perform optimal at school would be because of the fact that they are not educated in their mothers’ tongue and one of the interventions government could look at to close this achievement gap is to focus on mother tongue education for all children. Thank you, Chair.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: You answered your question. But Chair, remember, this study is not a study is done for all the countries of the world. It’s a study that as South Africa, as the third world countries, let’s compare ourselves with the developed countries, with countries which are more developed than a centenary or whatever. Then our performance, it tells that we are going there. We are getting there as the country.

The reading with comprehension, maybe we don’t have a way of clarifying it. But remember, when our children start schooling, they start in their mother tongue. Then we

introduced the first additional language as they go up. And at that time, they must compete with the elite. What they get to us is good and it gives us an opportunity to say as South Africa how can we compete with the best because we don’t just compete. In Africa its only three countries. It was only South Africa. Then now at least two more countries which received civilisations more than thousands of years before South Africa received civilisation. So, the African countries that are developed are participating. To us, we participate because we want to come up with programmes that are taking the child of South Africa to the level of the best.

He says that that’s why they passed because we just pushed them. I am saying the Deputy Minister is here and she can tell you, can attest.

In South African universities when you want to do medicine or when you want to do whatever, they only take level 7 plus. But in other countries they take level 5 and level 4, and they compete more than the children of that country that is a developed country. Our level 4 mathematics and science, they compete far more than them. It tells that the education of South Africa is coming alright. It’s only a mediocre who cannot see. Thank you, Chair.

Mr M E NCHABELENG: I wonder why some members get so angry when questions are asked about the atrocities of apartheid. What is it that they are defending? But anyway, thanks for the elaborated answer by hon the Deputy Minister. We are pleased that our government is continuing to revisit with their work to improve the literacy of our young ones.

With this week being the Literacy Week, that’s 8 September being the International Literacy Day, what plans does your department have for this year to improve the nation’s literacy levels? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, South Africa is no longer as illiterate as it was. If you can ask Mr Maluleke, the Statistician-General, will tell you the exact figures.
Remember, when we started in 1994, we came up with Kha Ri Gude to make sure that even the old lady in the village gets some form of education. Now most parents ... We normally say if we have a parents meeting there at Kamajika ...


... we speak siSwati because these parents ...



... ngoba bengafundile ...



 ... and we were surprised that most of those parents from the village were having degree qualifications. So, we are continuing together with the Department of Higher Education.
Adult Basic Education and Training, Abet, is still there in the Department of Higher Education. We are educating the nation. We are not leaving the nation behind and we make sure that all the school going age children are in school, which means, in South Africa in the next five years there shall be no parent who does not have Grade 9, which is now according to the Constitution compulsory. So, having Grade 9, to me you are educated. We have piloted and is working to certificate the Grade 9 that you get a certificate that can take you to Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, to wherever. So, we are closing the gap of literacy in the country. In fact, is closing, very few, is only those who will come from somewhere illegally to our country who will find themselves in that situation but through South Africans ...


... hhayi bahamba bodwa.


Thank you, Chair.


Question 186:
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, whether the reference to the unprecedented cost of living crisis is that the question and the dependence on the National School Nutrition Programme by learners? The said programme will be expanded to provide two meals to qualifying learners on each school day. We have started with this programme. What we can say with pride is that more than nine million learners are fed and they come to school, and it makes them not to miss school. They come to school every day because they know that we are not only going to learn but will also eat. But as the department without having been pushed by anyone, we saw a need of a first meal because we live with these children, our teachers leave with these children they know exactly that this child did not eat when they arrived home.

The only meal they had is the meal they got at school. Then they came to us, those that are with our children, they say hey, these children the only meal they get is the meal that they receive at school. What can we do? We then engage our

providers and our partners - can you help us because the resources we have are extremely limited, please help us.

Some came on board; they piloted in Gauteng. As you correctly say that some will choose Gauteng because they operate in Gauteng, that they get meals and please, let’s not think that everyone in Gauteng is sufficient. There are people who live in Gauteng... sorry, Chair. Cheers! There are there are people living in Gauteng who don’t have anything, who don’t eat, who don't have anything. So, they started in those schools in the informal settlements to give them the first meal. I personally went, if you can see the children running in the morning because they have that breakfast at seven o’clock, if you see them running to get the first meal before the second meal, you will feel that indeed this is needed.

I was so fortunate, I was in Kwazulu-Natal last week. I visited a school, I came early at seven o’clock, I found them eating cornflakes, I said wow, are you giving them this and they said yes, the whole district, they are now getting the first meal before the second meal. And when I checked with the directorate responsible for school nutrition, they said mam, we are still trying to push, but our resources are limited but we are moving, we are engaging all our partners to say, can

you choose a circuit and give them breakfast, can we choose a circuit and it’s working. But not all schools are getting the first meal, but we are getting there. We are moving and our target now is rural areas where we know that ... and not just rural areas, we target, we have numbers, we know schools with more learners that are child headed, we start there. We channel our partners to start there, that in this particular school more than 100 learners live in a child headed family then we start there. Thank you, Chairperson.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Chairperson, Deputy Minister, DM, it is heartening to hear that the expanded programme for nutrition is being rolled out at some of the schools across South Africa, considering the current climate, the economic climate in the country. Now, Deputy Minister, there has been a recent report by the University of Johannesburg Centre for Social Development in Africa, as well as the Food Evolution Research Laboratory in South Africa. Now, they have suggested that the meals that are currently being provided to schools are not nutritionally balanced. And Deputy Minister, as you know, there is a distinct link between nutrition and the ability to concentrate. Now, my question is: Can you please share the department’s plans to ensure that meals are in fact nutritionally balanced, balanced and that they meet the

required dietary standards? As also, if you can explain to us if there is a timeline for rolling out your expanded programme to all schools in the country? Thank you, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chair, the timeline depends upon the availability of resources. So, I don’t want to stand here and put a timeline that is not realistic. That’s why we depend on the partners who are partnering with us. The partners, we don’t just say because you say you are going to give us breakfast for the children, go give.

Even ourselves who are good at curriculum ask us about curriculum we will tell you with our feet and eyes closed, we know nothing about nutrition. The specialists of nutrition are in the Department of Health, so we are working with the Department of Health. They are the ones who tell us that a child does not need two apples a day, a child needs one apple. We don’t know and if they eat an apple today, tomorrow they can eat an orange because they need Vitamin C, is the Department of Health who tells us about those things.

So, even our partners as they come to say education, we want to partner with you and give them breakfast we don’t just say yes go, eh, eh, we call as a team from the Department of

Health that is working on education nutrition, but they are from the Department of Health then they come, they assess the kind of breakfast that is given to the children then they approve it, then it goes.

If there’s anyone that you know who has just gone to a school without consulting with the team that is looking at the nutrition, I would appreciate to have that, so that we are correct. We don’t want our children to it something that is not good. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, what measures are in place to ensure that the system of providing extra food items to needy learners does not get abused at the end of school terms? Thank you, Chairperson.


governed by school governing bodies and the governing bodies know the vulnerable children like I indicated. Normally, we know that this school term has this number of days, so ... and the budget goes as such, that we ... but at the same time we don’t disadvantage learners who do not have food. We encourage schools that if there is a remainder, they give shares to those children that are child headed to take home with.

Our teachers are very responsible, and some teachers even take from their own pockets to support the learners. That’s why when we do psychosocial support, we also focus on the teachers. People who are not closer to schools they stand there, they criticize our teachers, they criticize them of stealing food. I remember one teacher was expelled for stealing food, when we made a follow up, we found that the teacher took the food to give to the family of the vulnerable children. He or she did not take to his or her home and the teacher was reinstated. So, we make sure that the providers know that this term has this number of school days, they deliver according to the school days. But if there’s anything remaining, for it not to rot or whatever we allow them to give to the vulnerable children. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr E Z NJADU: Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister, for the detailed response to the questions. Indeed, Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, a school is the community and thank you very much, Deputy Minister, for feeding the learners, meaning you are feeding the communities. My question, hon Deputy Minister, is what will be the department’s consideration in terms of criterion for the phased approach? Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, I think I mentioned the criteria that we look at those vulnerable children, even in Gauteng, there are communities where all the children are vulnerable, that is the criteria we start there and move to the less vulnerable. Some you find that they only have 50, some have 20 whose parents are not working, but in the rural areas and the informal settlements most parents are not working. That’s where we start. This is the criteria that we use. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Chairperson, again DM, the National School Nutrition Programme was initiated, introduced to improve school attendance and the capacity of learners from poor backgrounds. Since access to nutritious meals has the potential to improve concentration levels. However, the programme continues to experience numerous challenges in its implementation, such as lack of delivery of food items. In other cases, the delivery of food which is below standard.

In light of such challenges faced, which initiative has the Minister taken to build the capacity of this department, so that there may be improvements in the coordinating of this programme so that in the future we are able to witness its expectations? Thank you, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Chairperson, but with all fairness, the question has been answered, when I said we have a team from the Department of Health and it’s working nationally, at provincial, at the district level that assess the food. I don’t deny in the past it used to be like that, but currently we have never received such, unless one helper might be silly and try to put something to the food, yah that will be one helper. But all the food handlers, we assess them, and they are the parents of the children in the school. We don’t just get people from outside, they feed their own children like they feed them at home, the food handlers and we check them, we appoint them and those are rare cases.

I say we feed nine million learners it will only happen to 20 sometimes and it’s not always happening. It happens once in a while because we work with human beings you can control books, you can pack them you will find them where you park them but human beings sometimes, they have their own things when they work with the left leg, we don’t know what happens, but we try to monitor to say SGBs must monitor those food handlers.

And we give them training, they are trained by the national department, all of them. We give them training and the Department of Health, of course, not only education, education

and health will train our food handlers and most of the places where they cook is clean.

I invite members, when you go to schools do visit, yes, I know some of the schools don’t have kitchens, but even where the SGB has improvised, it so clean, in such a way that ... and in the budget there’s money to buy even gas stoves and ports and fill the gas cylinders per month.

So, there is no way where we will say ... some they choose to say we want to use wood, is because of the cultural background that we used to cook on those three-legged pots, so the aunties are like that, they feel like cooking on a gas stove is taking their time. But even those three-legged pots that we grew up eating food from they are clean, they are clean, they make their space where they cook, to be very clean and is monitored by health all the time. Thank you, Chairperson.

Question 181:

think this question partly we did answer it, but yes, the department is revising the reading literacy strategy. That is why I say we enter into the competition because we want to improve. If we can all recall, I don’t want to blame COVID,

please listen to me carefully. But before COVID, we had the reading programmes. Learners would come early to have a reading corner and we were promoting reading even to adults, which is led by President himself. I am happy that the President has resuscitated that reading programme that adults must read. Children do what they see their parents doing. They don’t do what their parents are telling them to do. They do what they see you doing. If they see you reading a book, they will want to please you, by coming to sit next to you, read, and keep on looking at you. That’s what my grandson does. I like reading, when he sees me opening a book - reading, he goes to take his, and reads. From time to time, he looks at me that I am looking at him that he’s reading. I pretend as if I not looking at him, but I do. Then when I finish, I say read for me what you were reading or tell me about what you were reading and that encourages him. That’s why the President himself is leading this programme of a nation - that is reading. Some of us here, if you can ask yourselves when last did you read a book, amongst ourselves as adults sitting here. Yes, to you every day, but to some – Eish! I will start - I will start. If we are honest, ... unless you are not honest to your conscience. But if you are honest to your conscience, you will know exactly that you haven’t been reading.

But we have a strategy, hon member. We are revising the reading literacy strategy and we are also working with the NECT to say all the programmes that we had before Covid, we resuscitate them. We also want the nation to read so that our children read. We have so many strategies. We have even a technical advisory group that is assessing the reading in schools whether reading is happening. So we think, we will get it right and we are going to get it. It was right. Our results before COVID were much better. We improved the 2021. If we can all remember the 2019 results were much better. There was an improvement. So, now during the trim of the curriculum, the number of days going to school, and trimming of everything did affect. Whether you blame us that we should not blame Covid, but that affected reading. So, now we are back, we will see that the next results shall be a huge improvement. Thank you.

Mr M E NCHABELENG: Chairperson, the Deputy Minister has said it all that a reading nation is a learning nation and learning nation should be leading the nation. We are bound to lead the world the way we are going, Chairperson, because we have a programme, we know where the challenges are and where we face problems. That’s why the standards drop because of the pandemic and others. But we are picking up, we are going somewhere. DM, I don’t have any other further question.

Really, to us thank you very much. You are doing well together with your team and all teachers and learners in this country. We need to hold each other’s hands, move forward. We have a country to gain. We’ve got literacy and ignorance to lose.
That's what we would like to lose. Help us lose ignorance. Thank a million.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: We will move on to the second supplementary question from hon Dlamini. Hon Dlamini of the EFF. Magwala is not here. Motsamai, I’m sure you’re happy if we pass on.

Abantu bakhe abekho.


Okay, let’s move on to the next the supplementary question from hon Du Toit.

Mr S F DU TOIT: Thank you, hon Chair, hon Deputy Minister, numerous studies performed by Unicef, and other entities have proven evidence that mother tongue education allows learners to perform better at school, comprehended complicated ideas and arguments more easily. An additional feature of the South

African language Policy is that individuals and communities have the right to choose the language of instruction for their children as the government of South Africa in 1997. While this policy has the advantage of providing space for extensive mother-tongue based learning is not implemented, Minister.
Minister, taking all of this into consideration as well as the fact that government commemorates those who fought for mother tongue education, in spite of the fact that you don’t allow mother tongue education for all 12 grades in schools in South Africa by changing ... [Inaudible.] ... from mother tongue to English as the language of institutions. When will mother tongue education for all be prioritised as the language of instruction across all schools in South Africa, allowing all learners to excel in their schooling endeavours? Thank you, Deputy Minister.


which country that is refusing mother tongue, not South Africa. Remember, we have two languages that are highly developed, that is Afrikaans and English. They are highly developed not only for 29 years. They were developed for five, six, eight decades. They were developed and education has since been in these two languages. Now what we are doing, we are promoting the mother tongue of the African languages and

at the same time protecting it. That’s why the Bela Bill. We want to protect the use of a language to prohibit some learners not to attend a particular school. The Bill is coming here I know. There are those who are protesting that they have their own special terrains. I can’t teach Siswati in the Northern Cape.


In die Noord-Kaap, praat hulle Afrikaans. Afrikaans is hulle moedertaal.


That’s how things are. We can’t just change it. Same as the Eastern Cape along the metropolitan area of Nelson Mandela, most of the people there are Afrikaans speaking and the schools are Afrikaans speaking, but we are not saying if the majority is Afrikaans speaking, you cannot deny an English child to come to that school. When they want to practice the things that they practice, they say they are your government. They tell our children that your government does not employ English teacher. I don’t have an English teach here, and yet those teachers can teach. So, what we are doing now we are promoting African languages.

Provinces are given responsibility to promote the African languages. Mpumalanga has been given a responsibility to promote Siswati and isiNdebele. KwaZulu-Natal has been given a responsibility to promote Isizulu. Eastern Cape is given isiXhosa, Free State is given to promote Sesotho. Limpopo is being given three languages to promote Tshivenda, Xitsonga and Shangani. I want to say it here, Eastern Cape is moving very fast. It is moving very fast in such a way that they have even started to teach IsiXhosa, to make IsiXhosa as a language of learning and teaching for all the subjects. They have even been working with the University of Fort Hare translating the English textbooks and Mathematics into IsiXhosa. We are piloting there. They are doing extremely well and now we’ve even took that person who was leading there to come to Head Office to support all other provinces. When you are given a specific language to promote, promote it even as a language of learning and teaching, and it is going very well. We appreciate isiXhosa, they are doing very well, and the learners are happy with it, but English will always be there or Afrikaans as a language of choice as a first additional language. Thank you, Chair.

Mr M R BARA: Thank you, Chair, Deputy Minister, the percentage of South African Grade 4 pupils who now cannot read properly

has increased from 78 to 81 since 2016. This decline predates the COVID-19 pandemic and is reflective of a systems systematic problem. The Western Cape has initiated a back on track programme to address learning losses. However, despite claims of implementation by the Department of Basic Education, DBE, there are reports suggesting that the campaign has not been effectively rolled out in all nine provinces. Deputy Minister, what is the budget allocated for the National Reading Plan and how do you plan to ensure the consistent and effective implementation of the massive reading campaign across all nine provinces, considering reported implementation issues? Thank you, Chair and Deputy Minister.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION: Thank you, Chair, it’s not only Western Cape that has a reading strategy. We have a national reading strategy. After analysing the results of the
... [Inaudible.] ... then we had a meeting with all nine provinces and presented their reading strategy. Chair, I just want to correct the reading properly. They read properly; they are so fluent in reading. What is missing and ... the understanding, Chair. If I can bring the text here, the understanding is not necessarily that the children don’t understand what they are reading, but the questions they come with implications White like what is that animal with so many

feet, not a crap - what is it? Octopus? The text was about an octopus, myself I have never seen an octopus. Then they ask our children about an octopus that the octopus lives in rocks and the octopus is pleased by this. Then the question: Why is the octopus pleased by that? That’s when ... but the children follow the story. They read fluently and follow the story. But the questions, sometimes even to ourselves, when we were asked those questions were so difficult for us to understand. If we help our children to do homework will know exactly that the education of our children is better than our education. So, that is the context. The understanding is the implied meaning not necessarily ... if the question would say: Where does the octopus live? They would get a total because it lives in stones. But why does it live in stones? How can a Grade 4 - I am not saying some would not know. But they don’t even know an octopus just like me. When I was doing Grade 4, I was asked to write a race by train. Firstly, I don’t know the language; secondly, I have never seen a train, and I’ve never been on that train. These are what our children were almost subjected to. Thank you, Chair.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, let’s give ... [Inaudible.] ... her hand. Maybe we may not take kindly to that but let’s express an appreciation for the fact that the

Deputy Minister has been able to come in person to do what she has just done, which is to answer questions. So, thank you very much, Deputy Minister, for answering our questions. We will now move on to the next set of questions to be answered by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, and I will ask hon Ngwenya to come forward to chair this session as the Deputy Minister prepares himself to go to the podium.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Deputy Minister, you can start on Question 182.

Question 182:

INNOVATION: The response to that question is that our department has been engaging with all universities on the question of accommodation, to reach a solution for students who are negatively affected by the accommodation cap, working with the University SA’s forum, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, and our department. We are expecting additional information to enable us to compute the total number of students affected by the cap.

The agreed upon date for such submission was a few days ago, which was 31 August 2O23, and until such solutions are reached, universities which have signed leases that are above the threshold must engage landlords with whom such leases were signed, to enable students to continue with their studies.
Currently, the NSFAS is reviewing the funding conditions and criteria which will set the cap for students’ accommodation. The review is dependent on a study conducted by the World Bank’s International Finance committee, IFC, to advise on the student accommodation cap and variables which would be considered in determining the cap.

In addition, our department intends to invite relevant stakeholders involved in determining municipal rates and taxes, and heads of affected institutions, to establish how university accommodation can be made more affordable.

Finally, a regulatory framework is being considered to ensure that student accommodation is more uniform and more affordable. Thank you, House Chairperson.

Mr I NTSUBE: House Chairperson, let me appreciate the response from the Deputy Minister. I just want to check with you, Deputy Minister. You have raised that you will be working with

stakeholders. In relation to that stakeholders’ meeting, will you be engaging the Competition Commission to look into price collusion regarding the student accommodation sector, particularly in cities like Cape Town, Tshwane and Durban, where the majority of students are negatively affected by the NSFAS’ cap of R45 000 on accommodation? Thank you very much, Chairperson.

INNOVATION: Yes, hon member, we will engage with the Competition Commission to help us investigate the possibility of price collusion amongst private accommodation providers.
Thank you very much for that suggestion.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Deputy Minister, student protest to Parliament followed the accommodation fee crisis and this coincided with NSFAS’ Andile Nongogo’s leave of absence due to allegations related to the bid, or including the direct payment project.

Now, the concerns raised by students include issues with the third-party company or the third-party companies responsible for disbursing allowances, which are reportedly not registered and lack experience in handling such matters. More than

600 students from Stellenbosch and other institutions, including the Northern Cape, have allegedly been defunded in the middle of the year, with no proper explanation provided for this abrupt decision.

The DA’s proposal that the administrative functions of the NSFAS be decentralised to institutions will prevent the current bungling administrative backlogs and prevent funding delays. Now, my question is as follows. Deputy Minister, how will you ensure the transparency and effectiveness of the direct payment system, and additionally, how will you solve the technical hitches that were experienced by the third-party companies responsible for disbursing the allowances? Thank you.

INNOVATION: Firstly, the appointment of the third-party companies that are responsible for disbursing funds for NSFAS beneficiaries was based on the student-centered model. This migration happened this year, and we’re quite confident as there have been calls from all quarters — universities and student formations — for us to implement a student-centered model of disbursing funds. We believe that with the 85% or

more students who have been covered, this model has been a success.

Secondly, the NSFAS board has informed our Minister that they have asked the chief executive officer, CEO, of the NSFAS to be on leave whilst they investigate some of the allegations as it relates to this process ... the appointment of the companies. I think we will look into the outcomes and recommendations that come from that process.

Thirdly, I think that we will elaborate much further on the question of the defunding of students because there is a question linked to this.

However, I think what is important for us to emphasise is the fact that there are some students who have either fraudulently applied and because of the time-lag between our verification of data from the SA Revenue Service and the Department of Home Affairs, subsequent to verification we then had to defund those students because they did not meet the criteria.

Secondly, there were students who were repeating and who did not need to apply but had applied again. I think it is about
14 000 students who have now since been reinstated.

So, we’re quite confident that the 85% or more success rate in terms of the student funding model has actually worked. Yes, we have to ensure that both universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges are able to structure their systems in such a way that they are able to respond to the new regime. In fact, actually suggesting that we decentralise has been extremely problematic for some of the TVET colleges, and the reason why there has been success in payment to students directly through this system has also been because of some of the weaknesses in terms of administration at some of the TVET colleges.

So, we believe that centralising the payment system at the NSFAS headquarters has been beneficial to students. This is the first year that we have rolled out this system. It had to have glitches but we hope that in the second year, from the lessons we’ve learnt, we will be able to eliminate some of those glitches. Thank you very much for that question.

Mr M S MOLETSANE: Chairperson, I just want to find out from the Deputy Minister whether the NSFAS intends to consider the request made by students to implement the method of direct payment of allowances to students as a solution to resolving

the challenges that students are facing in most of the cases? Thank you.

INNOVATION: Yes, that’s what we are doing. That’s what the student-centered model of payment is about. We are paying students directly. Of course, it is facilitated by third-party payments because the NSFAS has not built the capacity to be able to disburse these funds, and I must emphasise that over time this has been what has been happening, where the NSFAS pays students through various platforms and systems, using third-party facilities, and we are continuing with that.

As I have said in responding to both the original question and the follow-ups, we believe that an 85% hit rate is actually a success. We will have to make sure that we avert future glitches, from the lessons that we’ve learnt in the first year’s implementation of this system. Thank you.

Mr M A P DE BRUYN: Deputy Minister, over the years we have seen countless acts of protests and vandalism at universities all across the country as a result of unrest between students and NSFAS, and this has resulted in hundreds of millions of rand in damages to our universities and institutions. So, does

your department, NSFAS and the relevant third-party companies compensate the universities for these damages caused by the NSFAS-related protests?

Secondly, wouldn’t you agree that it will make more financial sense to proactively act against NSFAS, the third-party companies and the students, to prevent these strikes and damages? Thank you.


INNOVATION: Firstly, I think we must illustrate that the last time we had the biggest student protest in the country was in 2016 and I’m not saying this in order to downplay the fact that there were protests. This year, the major issues that students came out in protest on has been on the cap, which I said we are investigating, and they were institutions which are mainly based in the urban areas, in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.

Yes, we are quite worried that when students come out in protest, as we’ve seen at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CPUT, students even went to the extent of almost burning down a library and threatened to burn down their own accommodation. We’re quite worried that this is the case. We

are working with the SA Police Service, SAPS, and we are working with campus security to make sure that they are able to respond to public protests and that we are able to proactively respond so that there is no injuries or any form of violence directed at students.

Ideally, we would want a perfect system that does not lead to students coming out to protest or destroy property and all of that. However, we are continuing to engage with the student leadership to ensure that we minimise any potential for future protests, but as I’ve also said, we are trying to resolve all the issues that may have led to protests in the past. As to who should ultimately be responsible for damage to public property, that is something else that can probably be looked at.

However, at all material times we want to ensure that those who are perpetrators of the destruction of property, loss of life or injuries to other students or staff, are brought to book. The destruction of property, particularly university property, has cost our government a lot of money. Even now, we are still rebuilding some of the properties that were destroyed in the 2016-17 protests that we experienced. Thank you.

Question 170:

INNOVATION: We have investigated with third-party data sources such as the SA Revenue Service, Sars, and also engaged with the Auditor-General of South Africa and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, through this investigation, sought to re-evaluate some of the applications whose funding had been approved.

After this exercise, the investigation results indicated that

86 students from Sol Plaatje University were not deserving and had to be defunded as the continuation of knowingly funding individuals who do not meet the funding requirements would be going against the provisions of the funding policy while depriving deserving students. After a re-evaluation of the 86 defunded students, funding for 54 students was reinstated and
32 remained unsuccessful.


We had instances where some students had submitted fraudulent supporting documents and the data received through third parties is either outdated or inaccurate. Following the receipt of real-time data, some applicants did not deserve of the funding that they had to be instantly defunded. Thank you.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: House Chairperson, Deputy Minister, I also engaged with the university as well as the students that were affected by the issue at the university, and it appears that the risks associated with the direct payment method and the challenges arising from the lack of integration between the university databases, the NSFAS records and the third party companies, have caused these enormous disruptions to the lives of students and their families.

Students who are required to pay rent to landlords, were placed under undue pressure. They faced eviction because payments were not made. Now, Deputy Minister, it appears that NSFAS has become another cash cow for cadres. This time instead of dollars under the couch, it appears that dollars are now stashed in tenders to third-party companies.

Given these developments, including the announcement of the NSFAS CEO Andile Nongogo, taking a leave of absence amid allegations linked to conduct surrounding the awarding of these bids, particularly relating to the direct method payment and the subsequent investigation by the NSFAS board, Minister, what immediate actions does your Ministry plan to take to ensure the integrity and the transparency of the entire NSFAS operations in its current state? Thank you, Deputy Minister.


INNOVATION: Hon Christian. You've asked me a question about 86 students from Sol Plaatje University. I gave you a response about the 86 students from Sol Plaatje University. Now, how you concoct all these theories from 86 students from Sol Plaatje University boggles the mind. If you believe that there has been corruption at the National Student Financial Aid Scheme as it relates to third-party payments, I think you should approach the relevant authorities.

I'm not that relevant authority. If you want investigations in terms of the dollars you may have seen, that's something else, but what I'm going to tell you today is that the issue you raised about the 86 students from Sol Plaatje University, more than half of those students have been reinstated, 32 who have maintained their non-reinstatement because we don't believe they've met the requirements. So the rest of the other hunky dory stories that you're coming up with, I think just across the relevant university, institutions and platforms to further investigate, not me. Thank you.

Ms N NDONGENI: Chairperson ...



...ohloniphekileyo uChristians, noko uyazama torhwana, uze uncede ke, uye emapoliseni uwanike olu lwazi ukuze babanjwe abachaphazelekayo, uyeva? Hayi, uthule ke wena.


Deputy Minister, my question is, what were the main reasons that led to the reinstatement of the 54 students who were previously defunded, and what measures has the department put in place to ensure proper evaluation of the information that is received to avoid causing unnecessary stress to students who are already under immense pressure and only to find that they qualified for funding? Thanks, Deputy Minister.


INNOVATION: I think maybe let me briefly go into the application process. So a student applies for NSFAS. They give us information to show that they qualify for NSFAS. That information includes information about their parents or guardians and all of that. So we depend on SARS and the Department of Home Affairs to verify that information. If, subsequently, we find out the information they gave us does not correspond with what the Department of Home Affairs and SARS has given us, then those students will be removed from the system.

So that was the case with about 14 000 students who were defunded, but upon further checking of their data, we then reinstated their funding. In some other cases, there were continuing students who had reapplied and need not have reapplied. This was the case with the 54 students from Sol Plaatje University.

Mr N M HADEBE: House Chairperson, Hon Deputy Minister, I would like to know what measures has your department embarked on already to ensure that students who do not qualify for this funding do not get awarded funding, only to be dropped and evicted from NSFAS residences mid academic year. Thank you.


INNOVATION: Well, I mean the response is simple. If you do not meet the requirements, do not apply. Those who qualify automatically are those whose parents are SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, recipients, or they are Sassa grant recipients, those families whose joint income does not exceed R350 000, and I think the rest of the criteria explain themselves.

We have instances where children theoretically kill their parents so that they are able to access NSFAS by saying, my mother, my father has passed on, so we cannot afford and upon

further investigation and verification from the Department of Home Affairs, we find that the parents are still alive. Some of those may succeed with the application and then when they go for graduation, the parents are there. They're still alive, celebrating with them. So those are some of the instances that we have seen. So if you do not qualify, if you do not meet the criteria, please do not apply. In 2018 when we appointed an administrator to look at and turn around NFAS, billions of rand were discovered to have been fraudulently allocated to students who did not qualify. We know that some of those people were working with some people internally in NSFAS and also at the universities.

I think the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, had made some announcements as it relates to that, but also, with the work that the NSFAS itself has been doing through forensic investigations to recover that money. I think our Minister has made it clear that in this instance, we will have no choice but to pursue fraud charges against some of the perpetrators because you cannot have a situation wherein people who can afford to pay for higher education end up defrauding The system. Thank you.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Good afternoon, Deputy Minister, Hon Magwala, the fighter here, with all the problems that NSFAS has encountered in the past, now, and we predict in the near future with the ongoing administrative errors, I want to ask, what are the measures the Minister has put in place to stop these administrative errors that have happened in the past, and currently happening? Thank you.

INNOVATION: I don't know specifically what the Hon member is referring to, but I think you're referring to the third-party payment disbursement system which is student-centred. We are learning our lessons; this is the first year that we're rolling out this system and 85% of our students have been paid. I think being from the EFF you would know if we did not have the success rate that we've had in terms of payment of students’ allowances, we would have had the EFF Student Command and everybody else rendering our campuses ungovernable.

Our students, youth, and everyone would have had a lot of disquiet on our campuses had the student-centred disbursement model not been a success. Yes, we acknowledge there were challenges, but I think that on the basis of those challenges,

we believe that we can be able to sort this out. Part of the key problems - and I think it may help to summarise - firstly is, is students who fraudulently make applications, secondly, is the co-ordination of information between the university, the third-party payment providers and the NSFAS so that we know that the person who is being paid is studying.

I think the third problem which I want to use this opportunity to call on all those students who haven't received their allowances, to go into the NSFAS system and verify their details. Verify your details so that we're able to confirm that you are who you said you were in terms of the application process.

Part of the things we're looking at in the future is to have the NSFAS application window extended, being permanent because the period that we have between the application for NSFAS and the university application and also the granting of the scholarship or bursary is a very short period of time. So in the immediate future, that's one of the things that the NSFAS will be looking at so that we have a longer time to verify the details of the applicants. So hopefully that will help.

Question 183:


INNOVATION: House Chair, while the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were devastating and the scale of their impact was never experienced. They occurred during the La Nina cycle wherein rainfall is expected to be above-average and the intensity to be high. As such, the likelihood of above average rainfall in some parts of the country resulting in localised flooding was expected, especially in the low-lying areas. Both the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, and the SA Weather Service, through their weather and climate modelling teams, had forecasted this likelihood prior to the devastating KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape floods.

However, weather forecasting and climate predictions are based on mathematical models or algorithms that use probability test ratios to focus or predict weather or climate scenarios. It is, therefore, highly likely that spatial and time scales of a weather or climate event may not be accurate. The accuracy of these predictions and forecasts will continue to improve with sustained investments by the government and other partners. At a national level, the weather service is an authoritative organisation responsible for the measurements of real-time weather variables and weather forecasting, but also generates climate data and information, so does the CSIR and a host of

other leading universities, including the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria.

It must be cautioned that an event like the floods in KwaZulu- Natal and the Eastern Cape should not prematurely be labelled as climate change-induced extreme weather events. There have been high rainfall records in South Africa predating the pre- industrial era, and these above-average rainfalls may have been a result of weather and climate variability and not
human-induced climate change.

The Department of Science and Innovation has been investing significantly in environmental sustainability, specifically in the global change domain, not only to improve scientific understanding, which is knowledge generation of different
life-supporting earth systems and environmental phenomena such as climate change, biodiversity, urbanisation and so on but to also support the development of science-based solutions and innovations that assist the country to adequately respond to negative impacts of these phenomena.

Our Department of Science and Innovation is doing this using different levers ranging from policy and strategy framework which the Department of Science and Innovation derives to

strategic programmes, initiatives and interventions which are being implemented by a wide range of role-players, the National Science Council and the entities the CSIR, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, HSRC, the Technology Innovation Agency, Tia, the Water Research Commission, and the SA Weather Service, amongst others.

These include, amongst others, Centres of Excellence, the SA Research Chairs Initiative, Communities of Practice postgraduate bursaries and different research infrastructure. The Department of Science and Innovation has a suite of science, technology and innovation, STI, interventions that are responding directly and indirectly to climate change and other socioeconomic challenges facing the country. Climate change mitigation efforts are mainly addressed through our sectoral work in the form of the Energy Grand Scale, where there are focused renewable grid initiatives, RGI programmes on clean and renewable energy, energy storage and hydrogen cells.

There are also limited mitigation efforts in the bio innovation space in key sectors such as agriculture and industry. The main focus. For Global Change Grand Challenge, GCGC, and economy strategy contribute significantly to climate

change adaptation, where the focus is on innovations that will improve the resilience of society and key sectors of our economy.

Until recently, the Department of Science and Innovation has been funding global change research and associated technology development through the Global Change Grand Challenge, one of the five focus areas in the 10-year Innovation Plan with the Global Change Research Plan and Technology and Innovation Programme with waste and water Research, Development and Innovation, RDI, Roadmaps being the focus.

The introduction of the new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation, and its first decadal plan for 2022-2032 have resulted in a framework in the form of climate change and environmental sustainability, a societal grand challenge. A robust implementation plan for the global change grand challenge is currently being developed to effectively address and respond to environmental and socioeconomic challenges facing the country, Africa and the rest of the globe. Thank you.

Mr E Z NJADU: Thank you very much, Hon Deputy Minister, for a very holistic and detailed response. My question will be, to

what extent is the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Science and Technology working with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to ensure that the data generated by the department and its entities are used to empower municipalities to generate adequate disaster management plans to prevent or reduce the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters and build adequate emergency disaster and post-disaster recovery plans? Thank you very much, Hon Deputy Minister.

INNOVATION: Thank you, Hon Member, House Chair, thank you, Our Minister is part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is chaired by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, where discussions around potential disasters such as the one that happened in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cap are being discussed and information being shared as I have indicated, but also the various agencies and universities, the CSIR, the SA Weather Service makes that information publicly available and makes it a point to share the information with the relevant institutions to be able to prevent the impact of such disasters as we've seen. As I have said in my response, the predictability of the weather, I think in as much as we may want to believe in all sorts of

things, but at the end of the day, it falls into mathematical models and some of those predictions may be right. Some of those may be wrong just in terms of time, and as I have said, we're investing a lot of resources in research and the production of new knowledge and data so that we're able to be as close to accuracy as possible in terms of weather forecasting, but also in terms of potential disasters, but thank. You for that question.

Mr M A P DE BRUYN: House Chair, my question was covered by the Deputy Minister’s initial response, so I'm covered. Thank you.

INNOVATION: I hope I didn't confuse you any further.


Mnu M J MAGWALA: Siyabonga MaNgwenya, sikomuphi umbuzo MaNgwenya?

Question 183?


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): 183!

Mr M J MAGWALA: I mean there are a lot of questions to ask so

... but this is out of order from the members. It's the first time, man. Minister, which mechanisms have been put in place to predict or pick up climate change way before it occurs?
Does the department have the expertise to deal with or anticipate climate changes in the country, particularly in provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape which seems to be prone to disaster? Thank you.


INNOVATION: I think I've answered that question, Hon member, quite extensively. It's almost a repetition of the original question, so I will give you this response in writing. Thank you, Hon Member.

Mr M R BARA: Thank you, House Chair, Deputy Minister, I guess you might have touched in your response to my question, but I guess maybe you might have one or two other things to add on. [Interjections.] What is wrong? Am I protected?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Go ahead and speak my child.

Mr M R BARA: I am requesting protection. Deputy Minister, the loss of life in several of our recent disasters has been linked to poor advanced warning systems. Could you provide specific examples of the research projects, technologies and strategies that the department has funded or developed to address climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness, particularly in vulnerable areas? Thank you, Ma’am.

INNOVATION: I think he was right. He's covered. Thank you. [Laughter.]

Question 174:

INNOVATION: ... [Interjections.] ... I must answer and then you follow up. I know you already have the written follow up but ... [Interjections.] ... just have the courtesy of pretending to listen to the response before you read the prepared follow up.

House Chairperson, the college has been charged exorbitant rates by municipality which range between 400 to R600 000 per month since 2019. We have on numerous occasions complained about this but the municipality stated that the rates cannot

be changed as due process were not followed and they blatantly refused to separate rates from water, electricity and refuse removal in a consolidated invoice. The plan for the college was to ensure that we pay water and electricity whilst working on the rate charges.

The college is in no position to be just charged such huge amounts for the rural college. The college is currently sitting on debt to the municipality of close to R16 million and 80% of the debt is mainly rates. The municipality had cut off the electricity on the 21 June 2023. We have been in discussion through the college management and the local municipality due to the amount that we cannot afford that is owed to the municipality.

We are - as I said - engaging with the mayor and the different parties, but we have also put in place measures to circumvent the impact of the water and electricity cut including installing a generator which is being periodically serviced.
We are hoping that this issue will be resolved with the municipality and the Mayor of King Cetshwayo Municipality. Thank you very much.

Mr M S MOLETSANE: Deputy Minister, realising what the college is going through, are there any measures in place to ... [Inaudible.] ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Order, hon members. Hon Magwala, if you do have this follow up question ...

Mr M J MAGWALA: ... it will be pleasure, mama uNgwenya.



Siyabonga, mama.


Just to assist hon Moletsane my fellow colleague, which have been put in place to prevent municipalities from disconnecting electricity in schools as a method of recovering outstanding debt as learners should have not to suffer the incompetency of this department? ... [Interjections.] ...

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Order, hon members. Order!

Mr M J MAGWALA: No, no, no! What is this now? Are you the Minister? Are you the Deputy Minister?

Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you Mr Magwala for covering me it was a load shedding problem. Thank you very much.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Order, hon Moletsane. We are done.

Mr M S MOLETSANE: Thank you.


INNOVATION: House Chair, firstly, this was not incompetence on the part of the college, this is a dispute about how much the college, college not school, college, a Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET college, how much it must be charged in terms of rates and taxes. You know, this is a special single case. We are hoping that the discussions between the municipality and the college will lead to the resolution of this case.

We are of the view that the college should not be paying such exorbitant rates and taxes. We have asked the municipality to separate water and electricity so that we specifically pay for those and resolve the question of rates taxes. So, we are hoping for the best we will get a report from the college as soon as possible as to how has the negotiations between them

and the municipality went which has been taking place last year. As we said we have put in place measures, there is a generator and there are all sorts of interventions that we have put in place so that it does not impact negatively on the students especially in terms of learning and teaching. Thank you.

Mr M R BARA: ... [Interjections.] ... No, I am not covered this time, no, I am not. Deputy Minister, this lack of respect towards the students is a shocking reflection on the management of the TVET college. When did you call the principal to account to you? What consequences will be there for this pathetic display? Thank you, House Chair.


INNOVATION: Well, as I said, the reason why I am aware of what is happening here is because our national department is supporting the college in order for this issue to be to be dealt with. Secondly, I think we need to think deeply about this. If we were to come to this committee and report that the college have paid to the excess of R16 million in rates and services, we would be mauled by Members of Parliament. Then, I think that the proactiveness of the management of the college to question the exorbitance of the rates and taxes is actually

competent, it is actually respecting the same students. I think an important emphasis is that you know measures have been put into place to mitigate against this so that we are able to enter into an agreement with the municipality in terms of future rates and taxes. Thank you.

Mr N M HADEBE: Hon Deputy Minister, why has these interventions taken this long to be affected? Also to request the hon Deputy Minister to get closer to the matter because as far as the system goes, the rates are for the local municipality and the issue of water is the competency of the district municipality. So, if the college has a dispute with the local municipality or with the district, the issue of water should not affect the college and so far as the rates are concerned because the competencies are not the same. Thank you.

INNOVATION: Alright, we will look into that and we will ask for and to provide whatever support that the college is looking for in order for us to resolve this issue. Thank you.

Ms N E NKOSI: Deputy Minister, has the department engaged with other departments particularly the Department of Co-operative

Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, to build the tariff regime for colleges to ensure that they are not charged in the same rate regime as businesses and commercial properties especially given the 2019 High Court ruling that excluded schools in the eThekwini Municipality from paying the same tariff for municipal rates that are charged to businesses and commercial properties? Thank you.

INNOVATION: Alright, is probably something that we might have to look at. However, I must emphasise that this is a peculiar case, it does not mean that it will not affect other colleges. So, I think we will have to look at that proposal at the possibility of uniform rates. Also, I think on the other hand we will also need to think about the fact that municipalities want these rates and taxes for them to be able to service their constituency. So, a balance between the two will have to be looked at, you know. Nevertheless, thank you for that proposal. Thank you.

Question 171:


INNOVATION: Thank you. This is about student safety. Firstly, there are many factors that have been identified as causes of

safety concerns at the institutions of higher learning which includes but are not limited to the geographic location of some of the students’ residences. Where students reside in areas that are not safe. The distance from campus, where students must spend a great deal of time travelling between their place of residence. Substance abuse as one of the issues. Intolerant behaviour by students. Violent protests that have in some instances resulted in damage to university property and injuries to students and staff. Also, cases around gender-based violence and femicide.

We have been working towards finding mechanisms to address the scourge of violence on campus and residents following several engagements. Within the sector, the department undertook to develop a programme of engagement with all relevant stakeholders, with the aim of developing strategic partnerships across the sector to address issues of violence and violent cultures on campus. Just as an example, last week, the Minister had a summit with young men within the sector called Transforming MENtalities. We continue to have different engagements and dialogue with students on campus through our First Things First programme led by Higher Health and a whole range of other programmes.

But we have been working towards finding mechanisms to address the scourge of violence on campuses and residence. We have engaged with various players. This work was progressed through the workshop on safety and security held with senior security. managers from universities and Campus Protection Society of Southern Africa. The purpose of this engagement was to understand and assess the different threats experienced by universities and identify urgent matters that need to be addressed at institutions. Including identifying areas of collaboration with the different stakeholders to improve the capacity at institutional level to maintain peace and keep campuses safe and secure.

As part of the outcomes of this engagement, our department identified a need to develop a framework at national level in a form of a blueprint for universities, which will serve as a single guide to standardise the systems on physical security measures across the sector blueprint will guide on minimum norms and standards on the provision of safety and security measures in universities. This work is done in collaboration with the SA Police Services and Universities South Africa.

The roundtable held on campus safety explores the roles of different groups of stakeholders in preventing and resolving

violence on campuses and managing students protests without causing harm to the protesters. In collaboration with USAf, our department is working on improving the training of security officers deployed on the campuses.

The department requested universities to submit to the department their policies and procedures on safety and security. The aim was to identify urgent matters that need to be addressed at institutions, including the need to improve the capacity of institutions to maintain peace and keep campuses safe and secure. Universities are supported with funds through the earmarked grants to upgrade their security system. The above interventions are put in place to support university communities, especially women students and staff at these universities. Thank you.

Ms D C CHRISTIANS: Thank you Deputy Minister for your response on security initiatives and programmes of partners. However, Deputy Minister, the recent study shows that out of students surveyed, a shocking 46,7% have experienced sexual violence on campus, 36,8% of these survivors reported being victims of attempted rape, while 28,9% we counted experienced full rape, 34,6% reported having suffered both attempted and full rape.
Even more distressing is that 57.6% of survivors of full rape

were violated once, while 42.6% were subjected to trauma multiple times, 45.4% of the perpetrators of sexual gender- based violence were university friends.

This Deputy Minister emphasises that there needs to be systemic change within our educational institutions. Gender- based violence prevention is supposed to be mandated by legislation and policies, and currently there is a stark reality that the Higher Education sector is falling short of these efforts. Minister, the question is, has your department explored avenues such as mandating a module on human dignity protection and gender-based violence prevention for students to take on campus level? I think that this will ensure that the education system plays a pivotal role in eradicating this pervasive issue. Thank you.


INNOVATION: House Chair, I think it would be of interest to know the source of the statistics or survey because you didn’t mention who the source is. You just said a survey. So, we are really interested in that. But statistics in terms of the numbers that we get from Statistics SA and SA Police Service indicate that of the 10% of the overall cases reported around gender-based violence and femicide are on our campuses. It may

or may not support the numbers that you were mentioning, but we will have to look at that, and that’s what moves us. So, about 10 to 15 years ago, we then established Higher Health as an agency of our department which will look broadly at students’ health. About five years ago, we asked them to further look into the question of gender-based violence and femicide. Since they have started looking specifically at gender-based violence and femicide, we have now established various protocols.

One of those has been on campus safety, which is intended to advise universities on the measures - universities and Tvet colleges and community colleges – they need to put into place, what systems to improve, what policies to introduce so that we make effective - the response - of our institutions towards gender-based violence. So, campus safety, but also a revamp of their gender policies on campus. Simple things such as reporting sexual harassment, reporting rape, but also providing psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence and femicide and all of that.

Yes, there have been cases that have been profiled emanating from our institutions. But we believe that given the support that our department, through Higher Health, has been given to

institutions of higher learning, we have witnessed an improvement in terms of our institutions’ response to victims of gender-based violence. We have witnessed an improvement in terms of collaboration between the police, campus security, and universities, and Tvet colleges and community colleges.
Yes, we may still be experiencing those types of violence in our campuses, but we think that we have done a lot of work and will improve on that in ensuring that the post school education and training system adequately responds to issues around gender-based violence.

Your last contribution suggestion about integrating this into the education system. I think a month, well it was probably in the women’s month or the youth month, where Higher Health launched a civic education module which will cover a whole number of students in the post school, education and training sector. It is still at a pilot stage. Its intention is not only around civic education but would also include issues around gender relations and so on and so forth. We believe through that; we will be able to change the perception.

Our central message has been, especially to young men, but broadly to the campus population, we have to unlearn certain practises which reinforces gender-based violence. Certain

patriarchal entitlements included in there, certain religious, traditional and cultural practices which seeks to cement patriarchy. We need to confront all of those. We think that through the Civic Education Model we will be able to go a long way in regressing gender-based violence and violence in general in our campuses. Thank you.

Mr M A P DE BRUYN: Deputy Minister, according to studies, 10% of all gender-based violence cases in South Africa occur within institutions of higher learning and some of the effects of gender-based violence on students, includes stigma and academic performance, mental and psychological trauma as well as the high dropout rate. To name just a few. So, in light of this Deputy Minister, are all these statistics in universities being recorded on a national database on gender-based violence cases in order to assist law enforcement agencies by providing more accurate data, and if not, will it be considered by your department? Thank you.

INNOVATION: All Tvet colleges and community colleges are as a mandate as part of the policy protocol that I spoke about required to report to the police, all of these crimes reported to them. We know that there has been an issue in the past

where some of the institutions said it’s not their responsibility. But it is a requirement.

Ms N NDONGENI: Deputy Minister, I am glad that you are raising the issue of the graphic location of some of the student residents where students reside in areas that are not safe.
The distance from campus where the student must spend a great deal of time travelling between their place of residence, substance abuse and intolerance behaviour by students and violent protests that have resulted in damage to university properties and injuries to students and staff members. My question is, what long-term plans in the department putting in place to ensure safer accommodation for student, especially that those who are residing in areas that are not safe and forced to travel long distances. Thank you, Deputy Minister.


INNOVATION: Thank you so much. I mean, the response is twofold. In the first instance, we have to deal with crime in society in general because as it stands now some of the students are residing in private accommodation which is located in communities. We think that those are even more vulnerable towards crimes that occur within their communities. So, I think it’s important that we address crime broadly.

But secondly, we have been having discussions with the Deputy Minister of Police in ensuring that we promote partnerships between the between our institutions of learning and the police so that we have effectiveness in dealing with crimes based on campuses, but also crime that may affect students who are residing outside of the campuses.

Thirdly, which is I think specifically the question you asked around what we are doing in terms of basically having students residing on campus. Through the DBSA, we have been having students housing infrastructure management office and various engagements which are currently taking place with the Development Bank of South Africa, which we believe will culminate into a streamlined and accelerate student accommodation delivery and places the department at the centre of that delivery. So, we hope that through this we will have more students residing on campus.

One of the interesting things, and I won’t mention specific names, but there was a student who was a victim of femicide. That student was killed in a private residence, and questions were asked as to why this student was not residing on campus as opposed to where they were residing. When we inquired further, the student had a room on campus which they chose not

to use and decided to go and stay with their boyfriend, who was also a student on campus, gradually forcing the university to pay the student the allowance so that they share their dormitory wherever they were staying as opposed to staying on campus. And unfortunately, she became a victim of the very same boyfriend.

So, you have those instances because of the allowances that we pay, some students would rather stay off campus because if they stay on campus, we pay the university directly. So, they would rather stay off campus, pocket the money, share with somebody else or even stay at residences or accommodation that does not even meet the, the standard. So, you have all those balancing act to perform.

But I must say that over the last few years through this student housing infrastructure programme, we have been able to launch a lot of accommodation spaces directly in campuses. In fact, about 8 282 beds at a cost of 2,13 billion in various institutions, including Nelson Mandela University, Northwest University, UWC, Fort Hare, and VUT, which comprises of those
8 000 beds. In the current financial year, there’s a plan to complete a further 3 000 beds at Sefako Makgatho University, amongst others. Thank you.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Deputy Minister, I wouldn’t say you have covered this question that I am going to ask, but I know you are going to say you have covered it. Deputy Minister, the level of crime in the institution of higher learning continues to rise so much so that the fear and safety forms part of the everyday living experience for the female students. In this light, which prevention focus intervention has the Minister put in place to minimise the factors which contribute to the violence on campuses, specifically on female? Thank you.

INNOVATION: I think the hon member loves hearing my voice because that’s the gist of the question in a later response. The protocols that I spoke about. The interventions through Higher Health, the policy shifts in institutions to deal with various practices. I think at ... [Inaudible.] ... unlearning certain practises that especially men, students, and workers on campuses.

When I speak about dealing with specific things, I mean there are things such as sex for marks where lecturers were soliciting sex in exchange for good marks for students. There are instances where SRC leaders or even university staff were asking for sex in exchange for accommodation, for study

sports, and all of that. So those are some of the things which the new policies and protocols which we have tried as much as possible to ensure that they encourage uniformity.

I mean, within the post school, education and training system, those policies are able to help us to deal with questions around gender-based violence and femicide. We are hoping that lives such as Uyinenes and many others from universities and Tvet colleges and community colleges, would not be in vain because it is as a result of some of that an uproar in our society was created. So, we are continuing to work with our institutions to strengthen their security, but also to strengthen support and to put in place systems that favours the victims and survivors as opposed to the perpetrators.
Thank you.


Question 184:

INNOVATION: Hon House Chairperson, we have been involved through our department with a number of initiatives which amongst others the lists of occupations in high demand. It was published in November 2020, the sector’s skills plans, critical skills list which was made public in August 2022. And also Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan Skills Strategy

which was published in March 2022. These instruments amongst others are meant to improve the responsiveness of the postschool education and training system to the needs of the economy and to the broader developmental objectives of the country. More specifically, they are compiled to support planning processes in the ... [Inaudible.] ... system by serving a sign post for enrolment planning at universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, colleges and other education and training institutions so that we avoid the cliché of skills mismatch signalling the need for the development of new qualifications especially to respond to new and emerging occupations and skills needs, guiding and informing resource and allocation process and informing career guidance for learners and work seekers. In addition, public and private employers, employer organisation, professional bodies, career development organisations, trade unions and research organisations. I also encourage to use the list of occupations in high demand to support their own programme and intervention.

Artisan tracers’ studies conducted by our department over the years, shows that those found competent as artisans easily transition to the labour market. With the last traces’ study concluded in 2019-20 showing and absorption rate of 81% of

artisans, hence the department is prioritising artisan development as envisaged in the National Development Plan. What this says to us, is that those young people and students that the hon Deputy Minister of Basic Education was talking about, would be completing their Grade 10 or their Grade 12 should consider to go and study at TVET colleges, as the better chances of them upon qualifying as artisans or as technicians for them to be employed. As indicated by this artisan tracer studies that our department is doing.

However, over and above this, there are various Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas, that also conduct their own tracer studies. I want to pick the one done by the food and beverages manufacturing Seta which shows in its own study that those who benefitted in their skills development interventions which includes internships learnerships and so forth that 69% of those end up in employment or some form of economic activity.

The results also show that most of the employed beneficiaries work permanently in the private sector. The internship programme is relevant, effective and appropriate to the labour market as there is a correlation between the level of preparation the beneficiaries have and work.

But also during the performance cycle of 2021-22 close to

100 000 learners were registered for the workplace-based learning programmes. There were more females with 58 700 of them compared to males. Again about a 100 000 learners who were registered for the workplace-based learning programme. We have seen and if hon members want that we can give you a breakdown in terms of race and gender.

So, the work that most of our agencies are doing, are resulting into beyond average absorption rate into employment. We have launched the centres of specialisation at TVET colleges in 2017. There are 26 centres at 19ncolleges. This has expanded to 40 centres at 20 colleges. Sixteen colleges have 34 trade centres which have put us in a better advantage in the training of artisans. Most artisans are electricians.
However we also have diesel mechanics, mechanic fitters, plumbers, boiler makers, welders and so forth. We hope that this will help in having an impact as it relates to graduation absorption, but also you know a skilled workforce that is channed out from our education system. Thank you, House Chairperson.

Mr M E NCHABELENG: Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, thanks for a detailed response.

I just want to know what the specific measures are taken by the Setas and the National Skills Fund, NSF, in contributing towards the fight against unemployment in the country? Thank you.


INNOVATION: Hon House Chairperson and hon member, so that National Skills Fund is currently looking at about 68 new projects which are totalling 1,183 billion which is targeting
16 000 beneficiaries. About eight hundred million has been earmarked also to benefit about 28 000 learners following all of this process. So, there is investment by the National Skills Fund, that specifically targeted especially in those young people who are not in education or employment or any form of training. This is something that has been done over the years.

Where are these projects going to be? The ones that I am talking about both billions and the numbers. Artisan development, is one of those. Community Education and Training Programme colleges is another. Development of small businesses as another, bursaries through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS and National Research Foundation, NRF, and various other entities. And then we are also working in

support of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative. Last year the President put a target of 10 000, work-based placement for graduates. We acceded that number. This year’s target is at 20 000.

We are also working quite well on various projects with the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, but also co-funding with the various Setas that is being done by the National Skills Fund and the various other unsolicited projects whose intention is to deal with the question of employment. So, the National Skills Fund is working quite hard in this regard.

Another intervention from the National Skills Fund has been its work with the Development District Models in the Zululand District and also in the Waterberg District, Ekurhuleni and also Ugu District Municipality which is targeted at Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, SMME, and also at co-operative development in some of these districts. The NSF is actively involved in ensuring that it contributes towards employment creation. Thank you follow-up question.

Mr M J MAGWALA: Hon Minister, a few weeks ago Statistics SA, published a report outlining the unemployment rate. At least you have my source now. Of concern was the youth unemployment

rate statistics which painted a very scary picture of this country as youth aged between 15 and 24-years-old recorded the highest unemployment rate at 60%. While the 25 to 30 aged group registered 39,8% South African youth young people are in a vulnerable state of unemployment as many lack the necessary skills and work experience needed to secure employment

Do such initiatives that the Deputy Minister refers to would also include avenues that would see the nationalisation of mines and other key sectors of the economy so as to boost the unemployment? If not why? Let us nationalise, Deputy Minister. [Sizoba nemali.] So that we can have money.


INNOVATION: Alright. I will not speak about the nationalisation of mines. For that is not in any way related to our country’s education policy. However, I think just to emphasize that most of these interventions that I have mentioned especially in responding to the first follow-up question are directly targeted at young people between the ages of 15 and 30 whom we believe are more vulnerable, but also requires the necessary skill. I think that is the one part.

However, the second part is that we are going to continue to train young people. I think most people for instance who ask the questions about the unemployed graduates as though if we graduate young people as many as we do and they do not find employment therefore that skill is useless. What we have seen
- I think I have said earlier in a different question that when we trace for instance the 19 000 artisans who graduated in 2020 21, 81% of those were absorbed into employment. That is the first thing.

The second thing linked to this graduate employment is that Statistics SA reports and of course some people exaggerate this number, but Statistics SA reports that graduate unemployment has been between 10 and 11% which is the highest we have seen since 1994. It has been ranging between six and 11% in this period. However, what this shows is that there is a relationship between graduate unemployment and broad unemployment in society. I think we will begin to see the number of unemployed graduates reducing as soon as we see the economy growing and beginning to create jobs. So, what are we doing now in order to deal with those graduates who are unemployed? Intensified internships, placements of those graduates at work so that they gain experience amongst others.

So thousands of those young people are been taken care in this regard.

We also want to take this opportunity I think to encourage especially Members of Parliament, either their constituencies or in their offices here in Parliament to serve as tutelage for young people who are graduates as internship as part of the work-based learning programme so that we are not only complain about the fact that these graduates are needed experience, but we ourselves can help to contribute in imparting work-based learning experience for those learners. However, thank you for that question.

Mr N M HADEBE: Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister are these skills development plans sufficient in equipping unemployed youth with the necessary skills to compete globally? What checks and balances are in place to ensure that what is taught is relevant and remains relevant in today’s workplace? Thank you.


INNOVATION: Oh yes of course the skills imparted to the youth are relevant for them competing globally. The Deputy Minister

of Basic Education earlier spoke about how competent some of the graduates from our school level are at a global level.

However, even better that South Africa has become one of the harvests you know for the world in terms of what we produce. From chartered accountants, to artisans, nurses. When we were in Germany as part of the World Skills Competition we met with some of the German officials who indicated an interest in specific professions coming out from South Africa because of the shortage that they are experiencing. So, the young people that we produce from our institutions are competent both locally and also at an international level. Thank you.


Mnu M R BARA: Sibeth’ingqokoqho ngesiXhosa, siyagqibezela.



Hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister, given the pressing issue of high youth unemployment and the under- representation of the South African start-up compared to other African nations, it is evident that there is a crucial need for effective need of enterprenial education. Statistics have shown that fostering an entrepreneurial mind set among students can significantly contribute to job creation and

economic growth. However, current entrepreneurship seems to fall short of achieving this goals.

Can the Deputy Minister elaborate on the steps being taken to overhaul entrepreneurship education in universities and especially colleges in ensuring a practical orientation that promote learning by doing and extends beyond specialised entrepreneurship degrees? Thank you, hon House Chairperson and hon Deputy Minister.

INNOVATION: Hon House Chairperson, yesterday I was at the University of the Western Cape. There is a summit of the entrepreneurship development in higher education which includes students and staff. So, it is basically an association that organises students, helps them to support them with their ideas. They have an annual competition. The winner obviously gets some money and they get to compete both locally and internationally. This is linked to some of the work that is being done in terms of the entrepreneurship promotion. They are having a discussion on social innovation. So, it is part of the initiatives that we are doing.

Most of our TVET colleges have what we call the makers space. I want to specifically talk about the one at Goldfields College where they encourage students, especially students in engineering, but students broadly in the campus who have ideas. They give them their support in terms of bringing those ideas into fruition. Some of them up to the point of a prototype. However, not only is this available to students, it is also available for members of the community in Welkom.

So I had a conversation with the Vice Chancellor of the Tshwane University of Technology. Part of the things they are battling with is: They are supporting a lot of students who are in innovation, entrepreneurship and all of that. Part of the bigger challenge that they have is getting those students to move beyond a prototype. So, it could be the solar powered car which they manufactured at the university which took one of the longest trip from here to Windhoek. You know it could be from there to some of the artificial intelligence applications that they are developing there. I mean there is a fascinating work that they are doing where they are developing a machine. An application in lay man terms that will be able to sense your emotions. Are you angry or happy? If was that machine I could see if you are worried. Whatever that is going to happen. So, those are some of the things that are happening

in our universities and TVET colleges. Some TVET colleges have an incubation hub where graduates are inducted. It could be for a year, or 18 months where when they come out upon completion, they would acquire skills to run a fully-fledged business. An exciting one is the one is the one at Motheo TVET College where graduates are now into fashion, food, music and into all those entrepreneurial activities.

However, out beacon is the technology innovation agency which has been supporting a lot of young people. Some of them you know students and graduates in programmes around innovation seconding some of them to the innovation hub in Pretoria. I sat and listened in one of their wards that Technology Innovation Agency, Tia, had. Some of them of the amazing ideas that these young people have come up with. Alternative energy, alternative forms of learning and teaching, promotion of language, socioeconomic innovations that I believe are making a huge impact in society you know and also placing South Africa in the world. This is not even half of the projects that we are doing both as higher education and as the Department of Science and Innovation in promoting entrepreneurship.

At the heart of it, is the fact that 11 million jobs have to come from small businesses. These are the young people we have to support and build platforms for them to succeed. Thank you for asking a question which was not really covered.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms W Ngwenya): Alright. Thank you, Deputy Minister.

Hon members, we have come to the end of the Question session of the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. I would like to thank the hon Deputy Minister for availing himself to answer questions. I also wish to thank all MECs, special delegates, especially from Gauteng and permanent delegates from Gauteng and the SA Local Government Association, Salga, representatives for availing themselves for this sitting.

Hon members and delegates that concludes the business of the day. The House is adjourned.

The Council adjourned at 13:33.




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