15 June 2017

South Africa: Committee Welcomes Progress in Clearing Certificate Backlogs

Pretoria — The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has welcomed the progress made by the Department of Higher Education and Training and its entities in resolving the backlog in issuing certificates in the college sector.

"We appreciate today's report on certification backlogs. This is the kind of commitment to service delivery the committee is interested in when it carries out its constitutional responsibility of overseeing the department and its entities.

"Collectively, we need to double our efforts and ensure that poor students do not suffer as a result of our failure on something which could be resolved. We do not want to see our students protesting about such things as certificates," chairperson of the committee, Connie September, said.

The Department of Higher Education and Training, Umalusi and the State Information and Technology Agency (SITA) came to Parliament on Wednesday to brief the committee on the work they have done in clearing the certificate backlogs in 2017.

The committee was informed that a task team has been established to deal with the issuing of certificates.

September said the committee appreciates the collaborative efforts of the department, Umalusi and SITA to address this challenge. She also encouraged the department to continue with these efforts.

"Our work should benefit those students for whom a certificate can mean breaking the poverty cycle. The public sector should not prioritise working in silos to the disadvantage of our people.

"The committee encourages all students to use the available provisions and make sure that they get assistance with their certificates. Furthermore, private colleges must pay Umalusi so that these challenges are not experienced," she said.

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