DECLARATION BY HON S MCHUNU ON THE REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING ON ITS OVERSIGHT VISIT TO THE POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS IN KWAZULU-NATAL AND
24 OCTOBER 2017
Let me say as the Committee we were pleased to see the partnerships that the Coastal KZN TVET College established with industry and government department across KZN. Indeed, to build a stronger TVET College we need these partnerships with industry. We have also noted that industry and SETAs had provided funding for infrastructure development at the College to build occupational skills centres, Tooling Centre of Excellence, Die Making and have accredited the College to conduct trade test. This move will accelerate artisan development and will help towards redress of past injustices where many people especially Blacks do have the skills and competencies to perform these trades but do not have certification or trade test certification. Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning will become a reality. We also found that there were still migration outstanding issues, inadequate implementation of Collective Agreements.
Students and staff have expressed concerns about the capping of headcount enrolment due to funding challenges, inadequate infrastructure and challenges relating to the backlog of NC(V) certificates, and the rollout of NSFAS student-centred model.
With regards to partnerships between the SETAs and Industry to address skills deficits to support inclusive economic growth, the Committee found that all the SETAs we have engaged with, MERSETA, MQA and AGRISETA had good partnership wit industry. Students from TVET Colleges were trained as apprentices through partnerships between MERSETA and the Southern African Shipyards to support the Ocean Economy. It was pleasing to see students, doing the real work in ship building and ship repair. We were informed that students who qualify as apprentices get employed by the company as artisans, technicians and engineers. The partnership between the Mining Qualifications Authority and Zululand Anthracite Colliery was also a good model for the provision of skills intervention. The Committee noted a concern about the unwillingness of the mining companies to open their workplaces for skills development. The skills development interventions through the partnership of AGRISETA and Citrus Academy was commendable. University students were supported to further their studies in areas that would support the growth of Agricultural Sector in the Country and to create jobs.
With regard to the University of Zululand and UKZN: The Committee was gravely concerned about the state of affairs at the University of Zululand, the impasse between the University Council, Management and Unions which impacted negatively of the core mandate of the University which is Teaching and Learning, Research and Community Engagement. The Committee has recommended to the Minister of Higher Education and Training to strengthen oversight over the University to ensure that conducive environment for teaching and learning is restored at the University. The Committee has already met with the University in September 2017 to get an update of progress made. We will continue to monitor implementation of the recommendations of the Committee.
At the UKZN, the Committee was concerned with the selling of spaces at the Medical School and recommended thorough investigation into the matter. The Committee also found that there was a matter of suspension of five Deputy-Vice-Chancellors and the impact of that on the stability of the University. The Committee urged the University to address issues raised by students with regard to safety of students, shortage of student accommodation, harmonisation of conditions of services of employees.
The ANC supports the adoption of the Report.
THE REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING ON ITS OVERSIGHT VISIT TO THE POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS IN LIMPOPO
The Committee conducted oversight to the TVET Colleges and Universities in Limpopo Province. The objectives of the oversight were to
With regard to the Universities, the Committee visited the University of Venda and the University of Limpopo. At the University of Venda, the Committee found that there were student protests at the time of oversight as a result the Committee could not conduct on-site inspection of the infrastructure development projects at the University. The Committee was informed of acute shortage of teaching and learning facilities, including student accommodation. Of great was the infrastructure development projects that were abandoned by the contractors, which delayed their completion. The students had challenges with payment of allowances through the S-Bux services, which was caused by IT glitches at NSFAS. Despite these challenges, the Committee was pleased that all the stakeholder at the University were buying into the vision of the University and worked together to ensure that the University delivered on its mandate. With the support from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the University of Venda was working towards becoming a full comprehensive University.
At the University of Limpopo, the Committee was able to conduct on-site inspection of teaching and learning facilities. The Committee noted an improved infrastructure development and progress made in refurbishing existing facilities. The University had a good facility to support students with disabilities, Agro-processing facilities where research is conducted on beneficiating the agricultural produce to support small and micro-medium businesses in the province. There were pockets of excellence at the University of Limpopo in research field. The Committee was also concerned about delays in the disbursement of NSFAS allowances, especially for student with disabilities.
The ANC supports the adoption of this oversight Report.