Governance in South Africa
- Government Agencies
- Policy and Plans
The Department of Education is responsible for the administration and coordination of education in South Africa across all sectors, but each of the nine provinces has its own education department. Higher Education South Africa (HESA) is the umbrella body responsible for public higher education institutions, and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) advises the Minister of Education on strategic issues in higher education. The Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) promotes quality assurance, audits the quality assurance mechanisms, and accredits programmes of higher education institutions. The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (UMALUSI) is the quality assurer for general and further education and training bands in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Department of Basic Education
Tel: +27 12 357 3000
Minister: Angie Motshekga
Director-general: P B Soobrayan
Department of Higher Education and Training
Tel: +27 12 312 5911
Minister: Dr Blade Nzimande
Director-general: Gwebinkundla Qonde
Council on Higher Education
Tel: +27 12 349 3840
CEO: Ahmed Essop
Public spending on education was 2 per cent of GDP in 2011.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) was given a mandate in February 2011 to develop a long-term vision and strategic plan for South Africa. Among the first documents the NPC released, in June 2011, was a detailed ‘diagnostic overview’ which aimed to identify the main challenges confronting the country and to examine their underlying causes. The National Development Plan 2030 was launched in August 2012 ‘as a platform for united action by all South Africans to eradicate poverty, create full employment and reduce inequality … towards a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society’. The NPC is currently involved in advising government on an implementation framework for the National Development Plan.
The Department of Education’s strategic plan for 2011-14 embodied the government’s commitment to make quality education available to all people. Strategies have been deployed to ensure that no child be excluded from schooling due to financial constraints, by increasing the number of ‘no-fee schools’ and strengthening the fee-exemption regulations. At the same time, subsidies and bursaries are available for further education and teacher training.
Schooling 2025 is a long-term plan for the basic education sector, presenting a vision for each of the stakeholder groups – learners, teachers, principals and parents – and for learning and teaching materials, as well as buildings and facilities; the vision is to be realised by the year 2025. An action plan setting out 27 national goals towards realisation of the first stage of this long-term plan (2010-14) was launched in 2010. Of these goals, 13 are outputs dealing with better school results and better enrolment of learners in schools; the remaining 14 goals are concerned with things that must happen for the output goals to be realised.
The Department of Education launched a mass adult-literacy campaign in 2008, which was intended to reach 4.7 million adults above the age of 15 and enable them to become literate and numerate in one of the 11 official languages. Achieving this goal will enable South Africa to reach its United Nations’ Education For All commitment to halving the country’s illiteracy rates by 2015. By 2013, the campaign had reached 2.9 million people.
South Africa hosted the 16th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers (16CCEM) in Cape Town in December 2006.
The conference was attended by delegations from 36 member countries and had the theme ‘Access to Quality Education: for the Good of All’. Commonwealth education ministers meet every three years to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest.
The Generation of Leaders Discovered Peer Education Agency from South Africa was the overall winner in the 2006 Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards. The agency’s project sought to identify and train young leaders to work to influence the behaviour of their peers in order to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic among young people.
The Centre for Early Childhood Development’s Enrichment Centre Pilot Project was short-listed in the 2006 Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards. The primary goal of the pilot project was to improve the quality of care and education of children aged 0-6 years in five disadvantaged areas around Cape Town.
|Governance in South Africa|
|Council on Higher Education||
|Department of Basic Education||
|Department of Higher Education and Training||
|Higher Education Quality Committee||
|Higher Education South Africa (HESA)||
|Human Sciences Research Council||