Chairperson, we are looking at the Higher Education and Training budget and it seems as if the right things are being done, and that substantial funds are allocated to the different sectors, specifically for students' accommodation and infrastructure improvement of further education and training, FET, colleges.
However, the problem is that the funding is focused on enrolment growth rather than improving the actual educational process. The question then is whether that is money well spent.
If we look at the increase in the funding made available to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, it does seem that the NSFAS is contributing to increasing participation but, unfortunately, not to increasing successful participation. The low success rate of students receiving financial assistance from NSFAS is extremely worrying.
However commendable the efforts are to turnaround the FET colleges, one has to question whether the plan to centralise all colleges under the national department is the answer. It is one thing to say you want to control everything but it is quite another whether you have the capacity to do so.
In this regard, we have to take serious note of the fact that not only are certificates outstanding for months and even years, but students do not get their results from the department timeously.
A further point of concern is the service delivery by the different Sector Education and Training Authorities, Setas. Once again, outstanding certificates remain a problem as well as the administration and management of the Setas. There are even instances where training providers have to wait for up to a year before contracts are finalised. The question is whether the millions spent by the Setas translate into a skilled workforce. The answer is no.The DA cannot support this Vote.