Helping hand for ailing FETs

RETIRED accountants will from the end of the month start assisting the country's struggling Further Education and Training colleges.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said he had brokered a deal with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants to supply them with retired accountants.

Nzimande was briefing the media following President Jacob Zuma's meeting with principals and vice-principals of the 50 FET colleges last Wednesday.

At the meeting Zuma announced an allocation of R2.5-billion for the refurbishment and building of new campuses.

The 50 colleges currently have 264 campuses.

The minister said: "We noticed that FET colleges do not have CFOs (chief financial officers). The retired accountants will work at the colleges on a contractual basis."

Provinces that already have the services of retired accountants are Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The rest will get the accountants at the end of the month.

"We will use a portion of the R2.5-billion announced by President Zuma for capacity building projects at FET colleges by appointing qualified personnel and also to upgrade campuses and build new FET colleges," Nzimande said.

He also announced that the department would now be involved in hiring senior staff at the FET colleges.

"Some of the things that cannot be done without the involvement of the department is the hiring of senior staff, election of governing councils, development of curriculum and funding of special projects."

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