Hon Chairperson, members and our guests in the gallery and most importantly, students and young people in South Africa, good morning. Yes, it is still a morning.
I think I must begin by saying, hon Bozzolli; I take offense to your illusion of ANC members in this committee not being critical of the challenges faced by the sector. I think all of us as parliamentarians of the ANC are well aware of the fact that our mandate is to hold the executive accountable.
In fact, we adhere to our manifesto, which the majority of South Africans have adopted by voting us into service once again. Unlike those on the left side of the benches where you veer off your manifesto as you continue to advocate for shifting student funding to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS,
while on the side there is hon Nodada talking about not making South Africans dependent but ...
... ngapha u-Bozzolli uthi yena uma besishintshela kwi-Sassa le mali yabafundi ... angazi kwenzekalani lana kodwa umbuso wentando yeningi ayihambisani nalokho.
Of course it won't find expression because you find a situation where those who inherited particular privileges from their forefathers are here whilst we have Nodada, shame, who himself and the realities of his black brothers and sisters will lead him to be very progressive in some of the things he is saying. So, there is crisis here. [Laughter.]
Nonetheless, hon my sister Hlonyana reiterating words from my input to the Sona debate. I agree with you that we cannot continue to build social cohesion in higher education without the pardoning of those that a role in widening the doors to education.
In his final judgement as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke writes: "Education's formative goodness to the body, intellect and soul has been beyond question from antiquity." With these powerful words, Moseneke reminds us that knowledge and skills transfer has taken place in many different ways before the establishment of a specific university system.
Therefore higher education should not be viewed as solely on the criterion and shaping presented to us by Western pedagogues; education is knowledge, experience and skill that we acquire by participating and interacting in various spaces of society. It is what we gain from our lived experiences; it is that which my foremothers taught me as an African young woman.
With the Minister acknowledging that only 6% of South African youth are in universities, we need to analyse all the ways skills transfer and knowledge transfer takes place in our education system and realize the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVETs, Community Education
and Training, CETs, and Sector Education and Training Authority, Setas.
Chairperson, we must affirm that the people's university, Tshwane University of Technology, TUT, and the Durban University of Technology, DUT, are as equally important as the privileged the University of the Witwatersrand, Wits, and the University of Cape Town, UCT.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVETs and CETs are a crucial wall of skills development in our society and must not be viewed as inferior to universities. There are also global disruptions into our higher education functions - the new digital age - brings with it e-learning, hypersegmented learning and other e-tech innovations.
We must then ask ourselves: How do we as a country integrate and organize the various spheres of our higher education ecosystem to enable skills development particularly in this 4th Industrial Revolution. Alvin Toffler, the American author and tech futurist is famed foe saying: "The illiterate of the 21st century will
not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." The 4th Industrial Revolution demands of society and individuals to learn skills; unlearn outdated and archaic skills and learn new innovative digital skills.
Learning and skills development is now a long-life process. Thus, we must perhaps inform the hon from the ACDP that, today, was about Higher Education and not Basic Education.
At the nexus of realizing our potential in this new digital age, lie the TVETs and CETs. We acknowledge the department's commitment to not neglecting TVETs. The TVETs need to fulfill the purpose of providing young school leavers with skills, knowledge and attitudes to actively participate in the economy. The TVETs will not benefit from an 18% budget allocation increase and must focus on the following areas: the infrastructure of TVETs needs to be viewed as a strategic asset. Massive investments have been laid into building new and upgrading existing TVETs and are now geographically and strategically positioned across the country.
However, if TVETs do not have the latest technology, then our strategic intent is misguided. The 5G internet connection must start at TVETs. Every needs to have a 3D printing lab and internet of things centre. However, these centres and labs must be locally response to the challenges that are faced by their local communities, hon Nodada ... you see, you are so revolutionary that I even want to call you a comrade.
In furthering equality in Higher Education, the lived experience of an academic space at a TVET and at a university must not be miles apart. The TVETs must be granted glorious halls that shall be named after heroines like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Charlotte Maxeke.
Together with the department, we have acknowledged that the through put rates at TVETs are disturbing. To address this, we must start with explicitly funding NSFAS students at TVETs the same way we fund NSFAS universities. Remember, Comrade Blade, when Comrade Nodada, who is on the wrong side of this Assembly said: the fee of a taxi of a university student is the same fee
for a TVET and CET student. Therefore, the stipend that they receive cannot be different.
Lecturers must undergo continuous professional development and a skills audit of all TVET academics and administrative staff must be completed as the department has presented. Universities and the private sector must form part of the social pact to enhance TVET skills production. The important role of TVETs in this digital economy needs to be clearly mapped out and employability of graduates must be prioritised.
The ANC is committed to attaining the efficacy of TVETs to ensure that they are not alternatives to university but are looked at as equal options catering to one's particular field of interest.
Along with TVETs, CETs are crucial to building our skills base as a country. The CETs seek to play a crucial role in addressing the injustices of our past. Many South Africans who do not complete their basic education must make use of CETs to do this.
The 8,6% budget allocation increase will allow us to prioritise CET centres by focusing on the infrastructure, dedicated and patriotic academic staff and to conscientise society about the importance about the importance of CETs. We can allocate as much funding, we can change and reform the policies, we can build new infrastructure, but if, as South Africans, we don't understand the social will that we need to implore upon ourselves as we do the work that we do in our various spaces; all of which we invest into the sector will be redundant.
Many of the people of our country who enroll in CETs have already acquired work experience in the working field; that's the idea of shifting CETs to basic education as if we are dealing with people who have no work experience and not working towards reinforcing the acquired skill is absurd and speaks to the historic white and Western privilege which sits on my left and somewhere there in the front ... of thinking that higher education manifests itself in a particularly linear way; very exclusionary to the masses of our country.
As we build the sector, we must, with utmost creativity reimagine the curriculum of the CET sector to cater to the specific present and future needs of communities.
On the foundation of CETs, the support of Setas - young women in Knysna must be intentionally skilled and supported to manage and own tourist services; young women in Mpumalanga must be capacitated to manage and own farms; and social impact must be formed to build CETs with the futuristic outlook to broaden the spectrum of access to knowledge and skills so that no person, young or old is purposelessly left ignorant.
It is clear that education should be viewed as greater that just schools and universities. We must continue to work against the Western hierarchical and patriarchal order of the higher education system placing universities at nexus of knowledge consumption and production in our country.
At a time when our economy needs innovation and dynamism, education should be viewed more holistically and inclusive beyond just universities.
If we are unable to reimagine the education and skills development of our country in this uncertain digital future, then we should urgently note the words of advice by the Ashanti people whose proverb reads: "By the time the fool has learned the game, the players have dispersed." There are no refunds. Young people cannot get their time back if we waste it.
Comrade Bozzolli ... sorry, you can never be a comrade. [Interjections.] Hon Bozzolli, you must refrain - and I want to caution you - from referring to student funding as a tsunami, as a burden and as time consuming. This thing is important. Our people - the majority of this country, have not been able to access higher education and other spaces because of the privileges that the likes of you have. [Interjections.] [Laughter.] So, we are going to focus on funding until we get it right. And at no point that we as the ANC, particularly young people of the ANC said we want free education that is not of quality. We have always emphasised the idea of quality and decolonising it as well because we don't want to learn what your people thought was important only. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Let me conclude by being a young person and say ...
Hayi bo, zijonge esipilini wena sisi wam.
What would a TVET in Wakanda look like, Comrade Bhuti? What would a CET in Wakanda look like? Deputy Minister, in ANC terms, you are still regarded as fairly young. So, maybe you will relate when I speak of: What type TVET or CET could we build if we were to apply some sort of Wakandan outlook? Merging Higher Education with Science and Technology, we must find and fund the shoo-ins of our country to develop research and put forth innovations that will lead us. Without reimagining the outlook of these programmes, the cash injection into them will continue to be a futile exercise.
With that same Wakandan spirit of Afrocentric innovation and creativity, I support the budget to create a more equal, just and productive higher education system. Wakanda forever. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hon
Chairperson and hon members, firstly, thank you very much to the ANC for supporting this Budget Vote and to all the other parties that also supported the Budget Vote because this is a step forward building on the achievements that we have already made. Hon Mapulane, the chair, you were emphasising very important things. We must condemn the destruction of property. Let us have decent engagement and also by being bold in pointing out, is there something wrong with our Human Development Index, HDI, such as that they continue to have the government's programmes and we have to stand up and address that. Also, hon Mkhatshwa, your emphasis that the university route is not the only route is something that we particularly welcome as the department. I do not know what to say to hon Bozzoli because, at my age, I am tempted to say, you sound like a broken record. [Interjections.] But in this era of ITunes and other things, I do not know what to say what you sound like today. [Interjections.] Please, give us new ideas, we are prepared to listen but not continuously repeating the same thing and also, don't try to project the DA as if it is doing well. The DA is refusing to send poor students to train as doctors in Cuba. It is the only province that is
actually not doing that and yet you claim that you are concerned about health, education and every thing. To the EFF, listen, it is as if I will only feel rejected if the EFF says so, in fact, I am going to wear your rejection as a badge of honour. [Applause.] For one reason only, that what you say here is far different from what ordinary EFF members who benefit from National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, are actually saying. [Applause.]
Now, I also want to say, hon Ngcobo, Fuze ...
... siyabonga. Ngiyakuzwa ukuthi uthini ngendaba yokuthi abafundi mabahlale ezindaweni ezikahle, yingakho besibalula lezi zinto ebengizibalula la ukuthi sifuna izindawo ezihlala abafundi zibe sezingeni.
Hon Boshoff, I hear your views and what you stated that context is important, we agree, but I also need to make this point, as the ANC, we really respect the honourable struggle of the
Afrikaners against British imperialism. It was a heroic struggle against colonialism. The problem was that the Afrikaners who waged such a struggle then joined the cause with the British imperialists in the common oppression of the black majority. That is where things actually went wrong. But it does not mean that we do not recognise that. Also, no one hates Afrikaans but we hate the use of Afrikaans as a means of discrimination against the majority of the people, we need to say that.
To the ACDP, please do not vulgarise the necessity of sex education. We have problems of HIV and Aids, teenage pregnancy and so on, as a government we have a responsibility to educate our youth about issues relating to sex. [Applause.] Also, you want to sound like you wanted to be a maths teacher, you are wrongfully deployed then, go and be a teacher and teach your mathematics. [Applause.] Good luck to those students if they will understand your algebraic formulas. [Laughter.] we also want to say - to hon Nyhontso - that you can't just blame unemployment on higher education. We have structural unemployment in society, in our economy. We have to look at the problem holistically because it is easy to just criticise
government and say unemployment is due to the higher education curriculum. No, we must look at the problem holistically and broadly. Hon Nodada ...
... yonke lento oyishoyo nsizwa yakithi siyayenza ...
... so don't be hot under the collar. [Interjections.] What you are saying are DA suggestions are already our programmes and things that we have actually done. So, there is really nothing new ...
... ositshela yona ngoba kuyoyonke lento oyishoyo ngoba siyawazi thina umsebenzi esiwenzayo.
To our Deputy Minister, thanks for once more emphasising the importance of community colleges and I want to end with an algebraic formula ... [Laughter] Republic of South Africa - ACDP
= S2 which means an improved South African society. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The mini-plenary session rose at 12:08. -----------------------