/ 20 December 2022

Blade Nzimande (Grade C)

Minister Ndzimande 1251 Dv
Higher education, science and innovation minister Blade Nzimande. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Key Goals

  1. Place 10 000 unemployed Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students in workplaces. Progress
  2. Strengthen historically disadvantaged universities: Progress
  3. Increase the number of TVET students receiving funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme: Completed
  4. Address gender-based violence on campus: Progress


Blade Nzimande had a quiet but effective year. Tertiary education institutions are back in full swing. 

Although the pandemic will have lasting effects on basic and higher education, it has very much settled in the background and allowed departments to move forward. 

But a struggle the department continues to face is placing and integrating Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students into the workplace. 

In his budget vote, Nzimande committed to placing 10 000 TVET students into the workplace this year. While the department has fallen short, they have placed 9 061 students in jobs. 

But TVET and community, education and training colleges also remain severely understaffed, particularly at managerial level.

The department increased the number of TVET students funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) from 261 404 to 329 554. They confirmed that 90% of TVET students are funded by NSFAS.

Historically disadvantaged universities were also handed a boost by the department with the launching of the Professor Sibusiso Bhengu Development Programme, which aims to strengthen these universities by upgrading infrastructure and technology. 

Progress has been made, but a shortage of information and communication technology resources remain a concern. 

Regarding gender-based violence (GBV), Nzimande appointed a task team to advise him on sexual harassment, gender-based violence and harm. A policy framework to address GBV has been drafted. 

Overall, the department achieved 67% of its targets and an unqualified audit. The department of science and innovation, which also falls under Nzimande, achieved 92% of its targets.


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