Colleges remain key but need strategic overhaul – Nzimande

State has no money to expand TVET programme

Higher education minister Blade Nzimande says there is no more to set up more TVET colleges.
Higher education minister Blade Nzimande says there is no more to set up more TVET colleges.
Image: GCIS

Minister of higher education and training Blade Nzimande says his department does not have additional funds to expand the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college sector.

Nzimande unpacked the department’s budget vote priorities for the 2021 financial year on Thursday afternoon.

He said the total budget for post school and training sector for 2021/2022 financial was just over R115bn and the budget for TVET college sector was R13bn.

“TVET college remains critical as we do not have additional funds to rapidly expand the sector. This is the sector that should be drastically expanded as it is very critical in proving the mid-level skills that the country is short of. Our focus will be into producing TVET college graduates who are work ready. We aim at also improving access to students and increase in  students enrolment in TVET colleges will be constrained by the fiscal constraints that we actual have,” he said.

Nzimande said they had developed dedicated TVET lecture qualifications as one of the biggest challenges they are faced with are TVET colleges lecturers who are not suitable to be lecturing in the system.

“We are also going to be improving on pre vocational training programmes so that we are able to get into TVET system students who will be able to benefit vocational education and training that we are providing there. 

“We are going to be using our capital infrastructure expansion grant to address serious backlogs in infrastructure maintenance in TVET colleges and once more this is not enough and we have some cut backs in order to fund National Student Financial Aid Scheme as we estimated that they will be spending about R43bn which has seen a R10bn increase from what it was two years back,” Nzimande said.

He said R307.9m will support the work based learning and R81bn will address he ratio of permanent to temporary staff members enabling academics to achieve doctorates, building a new professoriate and enhancing higher education leadership and management.

“We are taking forward our relationship with German government to build an apprenticeship based TVET college rather than an academically and theoretically academic based TVET college system. We will also introduce a community education and training which a  new concept and programme as we are advancing what was known as adult education.

"The key difference is that we want to focus not only on adults but we want to offer skills projects.  The community education will also lay a foundation for those who would not have been accepted at TVET colleges but can use these community education as a bridging gap. The total budget for this is R2.4bn, he said.

Nzimande said the department will kick-start this financial year with the process of establishing two new universities – the University of Science and Innovation in the Ekurhuleni Metro and the detective academy built in the Hammanskraal, north of Tshwane.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.