#FeesCommission report: How TVETs win


Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions are the biggest winners according to the recommendations of the Fees Commission report. Universities will not be receiving free education but the report recommends that TVET college education should be fee free in the form of grants and that “no student be partially funded” at these schools.

The Presidency released the report – which was commissioned in January 2016 following the initial bout of Fees Must Fall protests – on Monday. Prior to its release, there was much speculation that President Zuma was going to announce free education across the board.

Fees Commission report: Ten things you need to know

Despite not being directly involved in the protests, TVET students still experienced underfunding which rested at R4.7 billion in 2016 and budget cuts. Instead the TVET sector was not compensated for the no-fee increase in 2016 like the university sector was and was excluded from the R2.6 billion for student debt relief.

TVET graduates have a lower earning power and suffer challenges with their employability, the Commission found. Currently, the department of higher education and training (DHET) is supposed to fund TVET students at an 80:20 ratio but this has fallen behind. The report recommends that this should increase to 100% funding.

Stipends are also to be made available through TVET colleges for needy students to cover full cost of study. Should this not be possible, income-contingent loans (ICLs), which are loans tailored to graduates’ salaries should be made available to these students.

Where is the money to fund TVET colleges supposed to come from?
1. Although it’s recommended that NSFAS be replaced with ICLs for universities, the #FeesCommission report recommends that it be retained for the provision of the funding of all TVET students and for TVET student support if necessary.

2. The report recommends that R50-billion from the surplus of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) be ring-fenced to fund infrastructure of TVET colleges’ facilities.

3. National Skills Fund (NSF) money is recommended to supplement the money from the UIF, and to be prioritised towards the TVET sector for infrastructure development.

4. The Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) sector is advised to be restructured to reduce costs and inefficiency. This saving is to be used for curriculum development, lecturer training or other costs related to improving teaching and learning in the TVET sector and facilitating job placement for graduates.

5. Seta allocations are also to be used to fund occupation programmes not currently funded in the TVET colleges.

Additional reporting by Ethel Nshakira.

Featured image via Flickr


  1. comrades it is great to see meaningful progress is being made on having free education “across board” plus its focus is at professions who build great nations that may be trained for lasting employability by vocation schools. Although there appear to be some systemic problems with employment these problems may be over comed by making trainees entry level workers to proof their ability plus knowledge of their trade. In addition, such method will make better students ability to apply their craft. We all hope this is “efficient stepping stone” to across board free education with only requirements being students having academic withal plus nation having need for professional in profession students choose. Next up should be free academic education for engineers of all sort plus medical professionals. South Africa is working on ultimate learning condition but there is much left to do. It is obvious we believe it will get done plus is working toward it getting done thus it will timely get done. Thereafter South Africa will be on its way to being a worldly great nation. Very much sincere, Henry Author (people of Books) Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu IL-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.


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