The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

More than 40 000 higher education graduates have yet to receive their certificates — some years after they qualified. Engineers, artisans and business students are either unemployed, working at retail stores or about to lose the jobs they have found without their certificates.

This is a problem the higher education minister, Blade Nzimande, has failed to address since he took up his post more than 10 years ago. 

The backlog stretches to 1992, leading the minister to say in parliament that he feels “ashamed”. 

Yet former students such as Chuma Mfazwe, who is a qualified electrical engineer, cannot find a job. Mfazwe has a seasonal shop assistant job that will end in January after the festive season. She has not been able to find work as an electrical engineer because, four years after completing her studies at Buffalo City College in East London, she has not received her certificate. 

Prospective employers reject her statement of results.


“I am now using my matric certificate to get jobs in retail. I started this job last week because it is almost the festive season and the shops are busy. But in January I will go back to being unemployed,” she says. “I am at least able to buy myself toiletries.”

There’s a lot more to this story.

To continue reading, subscribe to the Mail & Guardian.

It pains us to say it, but good journalism costs money to produce, and so we have to reserve some of our stories for Mail & Guardian subscribers with paid-for levels of access to the site only. Like this one, for example.

You can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian and get access to all our stories and more at this link. And this weekend, you can sign up for just R2 a month.

If you have a current subscription, please login here.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Bongekile Macupe
Bongekile Macupe is an education reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

Come what may, the UIF will pay

The fund – the main safety net for unemployed workers – will run at an almost R20-billion deficit

More top stories

We will find resources to ensure the Zondo commission completes...

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says his department will ensure the state capture commission is afforded the financial resources to complete its work, despite the treasury’s uncertainty

Covid-19 variant may protect people against reinfection and other variants,...

The 501Y.V2 strain produces strong antibodies, but it’s not known how long immunity lasts, so being vaccinated remains essential

Tobacco industry calls Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to appeal ban a...

The minister could spend the state’s money on fighting Covid-19 and cigarette cartels, tobacco manufacturers argue

Zondo commission: Glencore sold Optimum to portray me as a...

Former Eskom chief executive paints himself as the victim of a plot at the hands of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s former business associates
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…