Project to boost accountants
The higher education department will invest over R84 million in Walter Sisulu University's (WSU) accounting department, Minister Blade Nzimande said.
"In an environment where we have a shortage of over 5000 chartered accountants (CA), and the public sector has a vacancy rate of over 40 percent in financial fields, government has no option but to invest in these kinds of interventions," Nzimande said in a speech prepared for delivery.
The investment would be made through the national skills fund over the next four years. He was speaking at the announcement of the WSU-Saica accountancy re-accreditation programme in Mthatha.
The investment would ensure that WSU received an SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) accreditation. This would enable the university to offer the BCom (accounting) degree, while maintaining teaching and learning standards.
Saica would provide administrative support, and the University of Cape Town academic help to ensure WSU was re-accredited for the qualification.
"It is even more exciting that this transformative programme is being launched at one of our rural universities, because there is a real need to reach more rural learners than the currently accredited universities can reach, as that will greatly improve the number of African CAs, which currently stands at just under 2500."
Of the country's 34,418 CAs, 1100 were black women and 1339 black men; 468 were coloured women and 478 coloured men; 1347 Indian women and 1936 Indian men; and 7768 were white women and 19,852 white men. A total of 130 were had not been classified.