Thanks very much, hon Chairperson. I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Minister. Will hon members please just give me a moment? I seem to have misplaced the file. Here it is. Thank you so much and I'm sorry for the delay.
Hon Chairperson, the response is as follows. With regard to (1)(a) the answer is, yes, we have put in place a strategy to recapitalise the Eastern Cape FET colleges.
On (i), the reasons for this recapitalisation are as follows. Firstly, they are to enable FET colleges to upgrade and refurbish the existing infrastructure; secondly, to purchase new equipment to meet changes in curriculum and service delivery; and, finally, to build new infrastructure.
On (ii), the Department of Higher Education and Training, DHET, in line with the provincial implementation protocols, began managing FET colleges in concurrence with the provinces as of 2011-12.
Therefore, the funding amount for capital expenditure, Capex, that was allocated in 2011-12 was R63,2 million, and in 2012-13 it was R134,6 million. The Capex allocations as of 2011-12, per FET college, for 2011-12 and 2012-13 are set out in a schedule and I would like to mention just one or two. The Buffalo City FET College received R4,61 million in the previous financial year and in the current financial year will receive R14,85 million. The Lovedale FET College received R10 million in the previous year and will receive R16,5 million in the current one.
Then on (iii), with regard to the outputs, the schedule will be submitted, as I will table it in the House. The outputs achieved in the 2011-12 financial year were as follows. The number of classrooms upgraded was 19, the number of workshops upgraded was 4, the number of classrooms installed with modern equipment was 64, the number of workshops installed with modern equipment was 3, the number of new classrooms built was 24, the number of workshops built was 11, and the number of new admissions offices - that is, student support offices - built was 1. Just remember that this is only in respect of the Eastern Cape.
The first quarterly report of 2012-13 is due for submission in July 2012 and outputs will be available as at the date of each quarterly report and we certainly invite the House to engage with those reports.
With regard to (iv), an amount has also been set aside through the National Skills Fund. Requests for additional funding from the FET colleges will be evaluated by the Department of Higher Education and Training, and funding will be made available from 2012-13 onwards. These figures will be available as of June 2012.
The funding of universities by the DHET does not include recapitalisation funds, but a specific infrastructure grant for all universities. Over the period 2011-12, R3,265 billion was allocated to all universities for infrastructure. For the universities in the Eastern Cape in particular the following allocations were made, which make up 14,2% of the amount: Rhodes University, R62,4 million; Nelson Mandela University, R131 million; Walter Sisulu University, R127,1 million and the University of Fort Hare, R143,5 million.
With the infrastructure funds of 2012-13 to 2013-14, the department and the Ministry have taken a different approach with regard to the infrastructure funding of historically disadvantaged universities in the country, including the Walter Sisulu University and the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. As part of the infrastructure fund of R3,8 billion over these two years, R1,6 billion has been allocated to all historically disadvantaged institutions for infrastructure backlogs and student housing. The applications received from the universities are in the process of being evaluated and the final allocations will be made in the course of this year. On the second part of the question, the Minister has not identified any of the institutions as flagship institutions. All higher education institutions in South Africa need to develop as strong institutions in their own right. Institutions may have different missions or visions and may service different needs, for example, strong undergraduate teaching or postgraduate teaching, or a focus on technology programmes, general academic programmes, or a mix of both. All types are required by the system and must be supported in order to provide a quality mix for higher education. All FET colleges are supported as and when the need arises, and the focus is for all FET colleges to offer programmes as required by legislation and to produce quality students needed for the labour market.
With regard to the third part of the question, the Walter Sisulu University has experienced major governance, management, financial and academic problems. Therefore the Minister appointed an administrator, Prof Van Staden, on 31 October 2011, to turn the institution around.
At a press briefing on 2 November 2011, both the Minister of Higher Education and Training and the director-general emphasised that the department would make sure that there were sufficient financial resources to ensure that the administrator was successful in the turnaround of Walter Sisulu University, while it was meeting its monthly financial obligations.
The Minister has also granted approval to the university to utilise R134,1 million previously allocated to infrastructure to help fund operational activities of the university. Furthermore an additional R310 million was given to the university for NSFAS student bursaries, that is the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
With regard to the FET colleges in the Eastern Cape, the Minister has appointed JET Education Services to provide a full range of technical and interventional support in order to turn the FET colleges around, as part of the turnaround strategy.
The Minister has placed the King Sabata Dalindyebo FET College and the Ikhala FET College under administration. The Minister has a team investigating the remaining FET colleges in the Eastern Cape in regard to governance and administration matters. This team will then advise the Minister, whereafter he will place colleges under administration as part of his strategy to ensure functionality.
In the current year the FET colleges in the Eastern Cape were allocated an amount of R184,6 million for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the bursary fund. I think I should apologise for the lengthy response. Thank you.