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Department Asks Parents To Take Children To School

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 12:59Author: Simbongile Makanda

Some schools have been battling to fill classroom seats, as learners have not been returning to class. Earlier this year, the department said parents could choose to not send their children to school. However, the reality is many learners have missed out on teaching time. 

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Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Dr Reginah Mhaule has encouraged parents to send their children to school and to report them if they have underlying illnesses.

 “We appreciate the support we get from some parents and going forward, we would like to plead with everyone to allow the kids to come back to catch up on lost time."

“I want to encourage parents to report children with underlying illnesses so they can be helped accordingly. Government has spent and invested so much in the safety of everyone in schools and will never willingly expose our children to danger. Remember, these are our children as well."

She said this while welcoming Santam's donation of covid-19 essentials to special schools. The donation will help 6000 learners and 318 teachers at special schools across the country. 

Kwa-Zulu Natal MEC for Education, Bonakele Majuba was grateful for the donation and the many learners it would help. 

“We welcome such acts of kindness, more especially during this difficult period. While we wish to salvage the academic year, the safety of our learners, educators and non-teaching staff remains our priority,” said Majuba.

There are 140 schools for learners with special needs in KwaZulu Natal alone. Majuba and Mhaule said the government would make these schools a priority. 

This donation to special needs schools is much needed, as some schools in KwaZulu Natal have been facing shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and teachers. 

KwaZulu Natal Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu explained how the department was coping with this shortage of teachers. 

“The situation is currently under control. Teachers with the requisite qualifications and competency are taking on the teaching loads of those who are at home. In instances where this is not possible, the school may request the appointment of a substitute teacher,” he said

Provincial Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa also said the department was coping, despite losing some teachers. 

“We have released a circular that explains the process to get teachers to assist where there are comorbidities. We can’t go against the advice of medical practitioners when people present symptoms of sickness.

"How we are dealing with the situation is an open process, bearing in mind that it is between the employer and employee,” Mthethwa said.

Some principals were disappointed with the department, one principal said: 

“Our KZN officials, who are really out of their depth, are passing the buck onto school principals, who are expected to wave magic wands and increasingly are being threatened that they have to make ill-considered plans work.”

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the education department was in the process of delivering PPE to schools. 

Tags: department of basic educationdepartment of basic education vacanciesdepartment of basic education past exam papersdepartment of basic education contact detailsdepartment of basic education past papersdepartment of basic education websitenational department of basic educationdepartment of basic education logodepartment of basic education capsdmv basic education 2019department of basic education past exam papers grade 11schoolshomeschoolingGDE Admissionswestern cape schoolsmontessorikindergartenhigh schooleschoolschools near mevaledictorianboarding schoolsecondary schoolmontessori schoolprimary schoolprivate schools near metruancyextracurricularhigh schools near meroosevelt high schoolhillcrest high schoolonline schoolprivate schoolprimary schools near mesacred heart collegeschool of excellencenursery school

Unisa Says All Students Who Failed, Qualify To Write

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 12:06Author: Sakinah Samuels

Unisa has a message for students who will write supplementary examinations in October/November 2020. They have also issued a statement on the status of the University’s online library.

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Unisa has said that all students who could not do their online assessments qualify to write during the October/November examination period.

The University said the following:

If you will be writing a supplementary examination for a module(s) in October/November 2020, please note that you are not required to submit any assignments for the specific module(s).

Any student who couldn’t finish a non-venue-based assessment, no matter what the reason for this is, or who failed their May/June 2020 examination, will automatically qualify to be admitted to the October/November examination period for the specific module(s). This will also come at no extra charge.

Unisa has also said that their library system will be getting an upgrade on Wednesday 26 August 2020.

“The Sierra Library system, the Online Library Catalogue and the Library e-resources will be unavailable from approximately 16:00 to 22:00 on Wednesday 26 August 2020 for a system upgrade,” said the University.

Unisa also previously announced that they will be making changes to the October/November 2020 examination timetable. This comes after the University completed their first semester online examination period which did not come without it's own bumps and delayed side effects such as with the release of results.

Students can expect their new examination timetable to be available for them in mid-September. It will be sent to their myLife e-mail accounts. Students are therefore encouraged to check their accounts regularly for any important announcements.

For the May/June exam period, Unisa offered students the option of writing examinations online or move them to the end of the year when writing sit down exams are possible. Concerning how the exam period went, many students raised the issue of a lack of communication and support, which UNISA is addressing in order to avoid this problem next year. However, at the end of it all, Unisa received a positive response about their online examinations from students.

Message for students who will write supplementary examinations in October/November 2020: https://t.co/5RryDe8LTD

— Unisa (@unisa) August 26, 2020

Tags: Unisa LoginUnisa CoursesUnisa RegistrationUnisa applicationMylife unisaUnisa Application Statusunisa honours application 2020unisa prospectus unisa registration 2020unisa application status 2020pgce unisa 2020 applicationunisa accept offer 2020unisa registration status

SARS Opens Offices For Taxpayers Who Need Help

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 11:26Author: Sakinah Samuels

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has decided to have their offices open to assist taxpayers. South African taxpayers who are able to are however encouraged to make use of electronic filing platforms. As tax seasons begins, it is important that all South Africans have access to services to do their tax.

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While the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is urging taxpayers to make use of its electronic filing platforms, taxpayers who are unable to make use of these platforms will be able to access SARS offices for assistance. Taxpayers will however first need to make an appointment.

“From 1 September to 22 October 2020, taxpayers can visit our SARS branches for assistance with completing and submitting their tax returns. However, they can only do so by making an appointment, due to social distancing requirements under lockdown regulations,” said the revenue service on Thursday.

To assist taxpayers, the revenue service is introducing a toll-free number for taxpayers to call and make branch appointments. The number to call is 0800 11 7277 with operating hours from 8am to 4pm on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays.

Wednesday operating hours are from 9am to 4pm. 

From 1 September, SARS will also be introducing improvements to the current eBooking system on its website. Since 24 July 2020, there have already been 14 201 eBookings made via the SARS website.

The eBooking system will give the taxpayer confirmation in real-time of their booking slot with their case number and also advise them of supporting documents that they may need to take along with them for their appointment.

In addition, with both the toll-free number and the online eBooking system, taxpayers will have the option of booking a virtual session with a SARS agent – via video or voice call.

This would especially be helpful for the elderly, disabled or those who live far from a tax office.

If they choose the video option, taxpayers will be sent a link to the video call which they can access on the day of the appointment.

For video calls, taxpayers will need to have either a smartphone with a camera or a personal computer with a camera to start and conclude a video appointment. No special software is needed for this virtual engagement.

The revenue service said the “virtual agent” project was recently piloted at its Mitchell’s Plain office in the Western Cape.

As part of developments they aim to have in the system, SARS will also be calling certain taxpayers who have not replied to the auto-assessment SMSes they were sent. The call will be to ascertain why they have not accepted their auto assessments and to help them either to accept or edit their return and submit it on their behalf," said SARS.

These taxpayers:

  • Have all been auto-assessed
  • Have a refund due to them
  • Submitted their returns at a branch last year
  • Have not responded to an auto-assessment SMS 

Since the first phase of individual filing season was introduced on 1 August 2020,  SARS has been actively encouraging taxpayers to use its new and improved digital channels to file their returns.

They stated, “Over the past month we have focused on auto-assessments, in which we pre-populated taxpayers’ returns by using third party data, artificial intelligence and a taxpayer’s prior compliance history. This was implemented to make it easier for taxpayers to submit their returns electronically – particularly those with standard tax returns – as they simply had to log into eFiling and accept the assessment if all their details were correct.”

By 31 July 2020, the revenue service had sent over 3 million auto-assessment SMS’s to taxpayers. As of 27 August 2020, 500 322 taxpayers had accepted the auto-assessment outcome thus far.

“This means that 51% of those who had been selected for auto-assessment, and have already filed, accepted the outcome, while 49% elected to edit and submit their return. SARS will continue to make follow-up calls to encourage uptake, and prevent people from having to come into our offices to file," said SARS.

In the last month, SARS has been encouraged to that the just over 1.16 million taxpayers who have already filed their returns electronically, 281 160 were taxpayers who used to submit at branches in the past and are now using one of our digital channels such aseFiling or using the MobiApp.

“We are encouraged by the large number of people being converted from filing at our branches into our digital channels. We also targeted government employees (national, provincial and local government) to educate and enable them to file their returns using our enhanced MobiApp and eFiling," said the revenue service and they also emphasised that taxpayers use its online electronic filing platforms.

“We wish to emphasise that as far as possible, taxpayers are discouraged to come to our offices, but should continue to use our online electronic filing platform. While we are determined to minimise the numbers of walk-in taxpayers at our branches, we are also prepared, as an absolute exception, to address the concerns of taxpayers who don’t have access to any technology, or who struggle with data issues,” it said.

Tags: sarsSouth african revenue servicestax seasonefilingmobiapptaxfile for taxtax filingtax auto assessment

Motshekga Welcomes Donation For Special Schools

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 10:58Author: Simbongile Makanda

There are currently 450 special schools in South Africa that cater to learners with special needs. The department has had to stretch its resources during this time to make sure all schools have covid-19 essentials. This is the second donation the department has accepted as part of the efforts to give support to special schools. 

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Minister Angie Motshekga has received a donation of covid-19 supplies on behalf of special schools. The donation was made by Santam.

“Santam has donated sanitisers and equipment that should be used when an area has been contaminated. This is very important because in the past, we have seen schools highly disrupted because they did not have their own equipment to disinfect when there is a case of COVID-19 infection."

“It will help us to manage schools. Schools are being trained to use the equipment to disinfect, so there won’t be any major disruptions,” said Motshekga.

Santam also donated pressurised sprayers, gloves, sanitisers, as well as other covid-19 essential items. 

The donation follows a report released by the South African Human Rights Commission around issues of safety in special schools.

Director for Inclusive Education in the Basic Education Department, Jabulani Ngcobo said the donation was a step in the right direction.  

“It is part of a broad intervention arising from the report that was released by the South African Human Rights Commission on issues of safety, particularly at hostels in special schools."

“Santam was already working in this space and we thought they could be part of the intervention to look broadly at how we could respond to safety issues,” 

The initiative involves 81 schools across South Africa and it aims to not only improve the safety in specialised schools but also fight covid-19.

It costs around R10 000 to R20 000 for a school to be decontaminated. Ngcobo said the department would be able to save money, thanks to the donation from Santam.

In early August, Minister Motshekga was given 3 weeks to create new guidelines for learners living with disabilities. She was ordered to make the guidelines include learners who have intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities and epilepsy.

The original guidelines were not a good guide for schools that cater to learners with special needs. Schools were not educated about the best ways to prevent the spread of covid-19, and they were not given the right resources. 

They were also not given additional sanitisers, special masks (for learners with physical disabilities), or personal protective equipment for officials who would make direct contact with learners. 

Motshekga was also ordered to make sure that all special schools and hostels have a backup infrastructure plan as well as health and safety measures designed specifically for learners with disabilities.

Tags: department of basic educationdepartment of basic education vacanciesdepartment of basic education past exam papersdepartment of basic education contact detailsdepartment of basic education past papersdepartment of basic education websitenational department of basic educationdepartment of basic education logodepartment of basic education capsdmv basic education 2019department of basic education past exam papers grade 11schoolshomeschoolingGDE Admissionswestern cape schoolsmontessorikindergartenhigh schooleschoolschools near mevaledictorianboarding schoolsecondary schoolmontessori schoolprimary schoolprivate schools near metruancyextracurricularhigh schools near meroosevelt high schoolhillcrest high schoolonline schoolprivate schoolprimary schools near mesacred heart collegeschool of excellencenursery school

The Importance Of Referencing Your Work

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 08:39Author: Terrique Alie

Referencing is a consistent method of acknowledging another person's ideas which you have used in your own writing. 

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There are three reasons why this is so important.

  1. It gives others credit for their ideas.
  2. It shows your work or demonstrates your understanding of the topic.
  3. It helps with discoverability.

By referencing an idea from a journal article, book or any other source, you give credit to the author and acknowledge their original idea.

You also ensure you avoid plagiarism which is taking other people's ideas, sounds, words or images and passing them off as your own. Plagiarism is treated very seriously at university or college but proper referencing will protect you and your work.

Referencing is evidence of your reading and understanding of a topic and shows your learning. It also helps you to discuss issues and think critically. Using and expanding on other people's ideas is a vital part of academic writing, whether you are agreeing disagreeing or just discussing the arguments.

The final reason why you should reference is discoverability. By referencing your work properly, you make it easier for others to locate the sources you used, which in turn helps them learn more about the topic.

It also assists others to verify that you have used those sources accurately.

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SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme OPENS!

APPLY TO THE SAB FOUNDATION THOLOANA ENTERPRISE PROGRAMME! Applications open once a year, with about 60 new entrepreneurs who show the most potential and commitment, selected to take part. Applications open on 1 September 2020 

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The SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme is a two-year business support programme. It assists entrepreneurs with access to markets, access to experienced business mentors and critical training to help them grow their businesses.

So far, over R157 million in business support has been invested to support 473 programme participants. This helped them increase their collective turnover by 85% and create 2 445 jobs.

Applications open once a year, with about 60 new entrepreneurs who show the most potential and commitment, selected to take part.

The invitation to apply to the Tholoana Enterprise Programme is extended to entrepreneurs who meet the following requirements: 

  • The business is black-owned and operational, viable, and sustainable. 
  • The business is headquartered and registered within the South African territory. 
  • The applicant is involved with the day-to-day operations of the business. 
  • The business has been in operation for six months to five years. 
  • The applicant possesses the essential knowledge and skills for the type of business that they are engaged in. 
  • The applicant can fully commit to the two-year programme and seeks to create positive change. 
  • The applicant is committed to the process, is willing to learn and implement new strategies to grow their business. 
  • The applicant has demonstrated ethical and high moral standards. 
PagesOpportunity Closing Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020Opportunity is closing in 32 daysOpportunities Offered By : SAB FoundationArticle Category: Young EntrepreneursTags: SABFoundationentrepereneursOpportunity available in: Eastern Cape / Free State / Gauteng / KwaZulu-Natal / Limpopo / Mpumalanga / North West / Northern Cape / Western Cape

How To Use Google Scholar

Google may be a large corporation that is slowly devouring our world but dang it, if it was an assignment search engine you'd be hard-pressed to find a student that doesn't pop out this search engine whenever it comes to researching an unknown topic.

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So because Google results are often governed by algorithms and popularity rather than source legitimacy, it can lead to you getting information that is either misinformed or flat-out untrue. l

Luckily Google offers a service that combines the instant convenience of Google with the legitimacy of peer reviewed oversight and this is this Google Scholar. In order to use Google Scholar you have to sign up with a Google account - it will ask you some information about yourself including your schools or work and they will send you an email back and verify your identity or an official website that you're associated with and any specific academic areas of interest.

This is more of a formality in the event that you have any of your work officially published in an academic publication so it's always nice to have just in case, after that there's only one last thing you have to do to ensure your access to proper sources. Go to the settings menu, click the librarian link and you will have to search and approve the school libraries. Your profile is associated with these links and will allow you to read the sources for free and if you don't have a library access link, consult with the representative of your local library in order to gain access.

Once your account is set up, you'll be able to search any subject as you would normally do with a regular Google search. Though the key distinction scholar makes from regular Google is that it specifically displays books and articles written on the subject rather than websites. If the result has a website or PDF link to the right of the resource that means that there is a full-text version of that source that you can access for free. So it should be noted that some of these results will not actually take you directly to the text rather show you a citation of the work this is usually done for published works that can only be physically obtained.

If you want to use any of these sources you can actually request an interlibrary loan to request these physical copies. Another difference from standard Google to scholar is that some of the features that are displayed under the results - the first shows how many people in sources have cited this work as a reference in other publications. This is often a good indicator for how useful that source has been for other people. There's a link that can display some similar articles and there's also a link that can physically request some of these sources which can be very useful if it isn't already. In the library you can also click to save this results in a personal library for later use.

I hope this has helped you get a better understanding of Google Scholar.

Article Category: Studying FurtherTags: googlegoogle scholarhow to use google scholarbenefits of google scholarchallenges of google acholarYouTubefacebooktwitterinstagramstudent resources

Is A Second Covid Wave Coming And How Far Are Is The Vaccine?

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 21:18Author: Sakinah Samuels

Health officials are now looking at whether South Africa will see a second Covid-19 wave and if re-infections are possible as the country sees progress in the battle with Covid-19. The next few days are therefore said to be vital for South Africa and will be able to tell us what to expect now that we are seeing a decline in cases across the country.

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The possibility of a second Covid wave and re-infections are now being looked at by health officials as South Africa sees a decline in Covid-19. The next few days will be crucial in seeing if a second wave is happening as the President eased lockdown regulations just over a week ago. The University of Cape Town (UCT) has also announced that they have joined the search for a Covid vaccine.

Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, said "Right now I’m not yet saying that we’re in the clear because we need to have about ten days after we have eased our restrictions. When we look at the data in the next few days, we’ll get a sense of whether the easing of the restrictions have lead to an uptick in the number of cases."

As the announcement came from the President of many lockdown regulations being eased such as social gatherings and visits being allowed, there was concern that a surge in cases would be seen. In this way, a second wave would be born. Karim has said that although South Africa has seen a decline in cases, this doesn't mean that we're out of the clear.

A steady downward trend in cases has been seen across all provinces but the next few days will be important to see whether a surge in cases has been recorded following the easing of rules. 

“We have to just ensure that we don’t give the virus a chance to break out again and spread wildly under the current situation,” said the Professor.

As of  26 August, South Africa recorded 615 701 cases with a death toll standing at 13 502 deaths. The country has also recorded 525 242 recoveries which translates to a recovery rate of 85% which is very impressive and positive to see. Active cases in the country stands at 76 947.

Concerns have also been raised about the possibility of re-infection which has been seen in other countries. On this, Karim said, "Now what we don’t know yet is whether this happening much more commonly and we just don’t know about it".

He further explained that they are not sure about whether the first infection changes the chemical spectrum of the second infection and would then possibly make the second infection is much more mild but that there could be serious repercussions. 

“The most substantial implication is that vaccines try to mimic natural immunity. If natural immunity does not protect for more than a few months, then a vaccine may also only protect for a few months and require repeated doses,” said Karim.

UCT has now announced that they have joined the search for a Covid vaccine, along with other Universities, by being involved in three international trials in the country. It was said that more candidates will be available for trials in South Africa.

These trials will start in September and are headed by the University of the Witwatersrand. 

The deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at UCT’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, said, "It is very important for South Africa to participate [in vaccine trials] because we can contribute to the global cause, and it helps scientists understand how South Africans will respond to these [vaccine] candidates".

This would give the country an opportunity to investigate any safety concerns and to claim the vaccines once they're found to be effective and ready to be rolled out, said Bekker.

The Professor said, “If we are to participate, we need to do it while there are ongoing COVID[-19] infections in the general community and select participants who are most at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Timing is everything in this process.”

The way these vaccine trials are being done are that participants are injected into one or both arms with either a placebo or the potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine at a trial site approved to conduct the study. No one would know whether the one injected was the placebo or the potential vaccine. 

Scientists are hopeful that more than one of the vaccine candidates will yield some positive results since multiple vaccine platforms are currently under investigation, said UCT in a statement released.

UCT is participating in three international COVID-19 vaccine trials alongside other national and international counterparts. Read more: https://t.co/Alwg2JAGDy pic.twitter.com/f6KRv5LB0H

— UCT (@UCT_news) August 27, 2020

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Student Who Got R14 Million From NSFAS Has Warrant For Arrest Cancelled

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 20:32Author: Sakinah Samuels

The case of the student who received R14 million from NSFAS by mistake has continued in court. A warrant of arrest for the accused was issued but has now been cancelled following her appearance in court. What's next for this case of the infamous 'NSFAS Millionaire'?

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Sibongile Mani, the NSFAS student who got R14 million into her account by mistake, previously had an arrest warrant to her name due to failing to appear in court. It has now been cancelled after she appeared in court on 25 August but the case was further delayed.

The warrant for arrest issued against Sibongile Mani was cancelled after she explained that she couldn't find transport to take her to court in East London from her home in Komani.

Mani's lawyer also discussed how Mani has been negatively affected by her University, Walter Sisulu being closed due to Covid-19. 

Pakadem said, "my client experienced problems in getting transport to take her to court on the day. You will remember the university was closed at the time due to Covid-19, which forced her to go back home to Komani" and that by the time she got to East London, the case already took place in court. 

The case is being delayed because of unclear taped transcripts of the proceedings. The lawyer of the so called 'NSFAS millionaire', Asanda Pakadem said that he requested recordings as these tapes have very important evidence. However, after receiving them, it was found that you could not hear some parts clearly.

Pakadem then said that he needed more time so that he could source the recordings from the court clerk who has the job of keeping the records. The clerk was absent and he could then not get the tapes on time.

The case has been postponed to 30 September to give Pakade and his team time to get the recordings. 

On the accused and her defence team issuing their excuses for not have appeared in court, the state prosecutor, advocate Luthando Makoyi exclaimed, "the state is more than ready to proceed and the witness, Julian Topkin, is ready to resume with evidence as soon as this sideshow is over". The individual, Julian Topkin, who is mentioned is a director of Intellimali who distributes NSFAS funds.

The conclusion that came from this evidence was that the transaction mistake is no one's fault and that it happened as a result of a glitch which caused a system error. 

Intellimali has also said that this error cost them lots of money and that they had to pay R818 469 because of the money Mani spent and a further R500 000 for auditors to investigate. This investigation they say done nothing.

Walter Sisulu University student, Sibongile Mani, was set to be back in court after she didn't report getting R14 million into her student account in 2017. Sibongile was arrested in May of 2018 after a case of theft was opened by Intellimali, the company responsible for giving students their NSFAS allowances when it was found that R14 million was sent to her account on 1 June 2017 by mistake. This was, according to the company's director, due to a technical glitch. The amount she was actually supposed to receive was only R1400 for her monthly meal allowance. 

She then spent R820 000 in 73 days and did not report the money she received to the police. It was found that she spent an average of R11 000 a day. It was also said that within two hours of getting the money, she spent R20 000 on cigarettes and alcohol. 

The R820 000 she spent is said to have been used on parties, Peruvian wigs, plane tickets, handbags and designer clothes. She did however, not spend some of those millions on her grandmother who raised her and who was living in poverty.

Tags: NSFASsibongile manisibongile moneyR14m14 millionnsfas errornsfas theftnsfas millionairewsu

Claims Of Unpaid TERS Benefits Being Investigated By Department

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 19:51Author: Sakinah Samuels

A situation being seen now with the UIF benefits is that thousands of employees are not being paid their TERS funds by employers. This leads to individuals being deprived from what they could be needing to survive that month and just adding to the mountain of issues that have already been seen with this relief fund. Cases like these are being investigated by the Department of Employment and Labour.

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700 000 workers have not been paid their TERS benefits from their employers. This will be investigated by the Department of Labour as it deprives many of millions who depend on it as we observe this strange time where survival seems more difficult.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has said that his department is looking into the lack of payments of relief funds by employers to their employees.

"We are following up on employers who have not paid. We have made an undertaking that no matter how long it takes, if people are owed their monies, they will have to be paid after we have done proper investigations, and we have satisfied ourselves of the proper documentation, because it is equally dangerous to simply pay if the documentation is not proper,” said the Minister.

This was said when Ministers in the economic cluster appeared before the National Assembly to field oral questions, including Minister Nxesi. Addressing the house through a virtual link, the Minister said around 700 000 beneficiaries have indicated that they have not been paid by their employers, who submitted claims on their behalf.

Nxesi had been asked how his department was dealing with the challenges of employers who have received the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits but have not passed on the money to their employees.

The Minister was also asked what further steps would be taken to hold those involved in alleged corruption accountable for placing the livelihood of employees at risk.

To date, about R34 billion in benefits has been distributed through employers in 7.4 million payments to recipients, in line with a commitment to provide income support for three months.

During the same period, a further R4 billion was disbursed in normal UIF benefits in 677 000 payments to beneficiaries.

Previously, Minister Nxesi said that cases where employers are not giving employees their TERS benefits were being followed up.

Nxesi said in some instance, employers received the money but have not handed it over to employees. Another possible cause could be that employees are foreign nationals, whose documentation is not sorted out because of their identification.

“We are trying to work with employers collaboratively, to deal with those issues,” the Minister said.

This has lead to UIF deciding to temporarily stop payments to employers but UIF has now decided to continue with the payment system during the investigation.

"We had portfolio meeting with the UIF Commissioner, Minister Nxesi, and the Director General of the Department, where they confirmed that payments would continue. But nobody said what impact of [the suspension and AGSA investigation] will have on the backlog payments going back as far as April, or on the fund’s ability to provide relief to the workers who have applied,” said Nxesi. 

Tags: uifters uif claim ui19 form uif registrationuif onlineuif paymentsuif maternitydepartment of labour uifcheck uif claim status onlineuif claims onlineuif filingui19 form 2019uif payment after signing department of labour uif paymentsuif registration form for employees uif maternity benefits 2019uif benefits uif for domestic workersuif form rights of workers registered for uifuif 19 form register for uif the rights of workers registered for uif

Woman Who Stole Millions From SASSA Gets Bail

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 13:38Author: Simbongile Makanda

The police have managed to crack down on another criminal hoping to cheat SASSA applicants out of their money. SASSA recently committed itself to work with the police to develop an anti-fraud strategy to fight criminals trying to cheat the system.

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The police have arrested Lindiwe Shangase, a 54-year-old woman who stole over R7 million from SASSA. She was arrested in Westville, where the police found two cellphones, personal files, bank cards and other documents.

She recently appeared in court and was granted bail for R10 000. Before the police arrested Shangase, they had already arrested her partners in crime. All three of them will appear again in court on September 22.

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala said "The suspect's arrest came after a case of fraud was registered at Ixopo SAPS, where the two accused were arrested on 1 November 2019 on Margaret Street in Ixopo."

"The suspect was responsible for fraudulently issuing 47 Sassa cards. The total value of the amount of money defrauded is R 7 295 550."

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula said the investigation would hopefully allow for more arrests to be made.

“It is heart-breaking to learn that there are people who are robbing pensioners and people who need to feed their families through the grant money. I am glad that the suspects were arrested and more arrests can be expected as the investigation unfolds,” 

This is not the first time SASSA has been a victim of fraud. Recently, a former SASSA employee was sentenced to 10 years in prison, along with her boyfriend who was sentenced to eight years in prison. 

The employee was employed as a clerk at SASSA from 2006 to 2011. During this time, she was responsible for capturing social grant applications.

According to the spokesperson of the director of public prosecutor, Luxolo Tyali, she was arrested in 2011. 

The arrest came after an investigation that found that there were suspicious social grant payments that were made without supporting documents. 

“The couple registered fictitious social grants and used other unsuspecting people’s identity documents to open bank accounts to which social grants payments were made,” Tyali said.

“More than 30 bank cards were found at the couple’s home. They could not provide any plausible explanation for these cards,” Tyali said.

They initially pleaded "not guilty' and made many attempts to delay the case by changing their legal representation three times. 

However, once the evidence was presented to the court, they decided to plead guilty. 

SASSA CEO, Totsie Memela said SASSA is working with the justice system to crack down on these attempts of fraud and theft. 

"This strategy is driven by multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcers who collaborate to detect fraud and unleash the might of the law on those suspected of committing it."

"We have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and will stop at nothing to root it out at first sight, so criminals, be warned," said Memela. 

SASSA is confident that criminals will have a hard time stealing money from the system in the future, as it is working with banks to fight corruption and fraud. 

It is calling on the public to report cases of corruption to the anti-corruption hotline on 0800 43 43 73.

"We need to work together even more with the public to fight corruption and ensure that public funds are not abused by anyone," said SASSA.

Tags: sassasassa grantssassa payment datessassa grant enquiriessassa payment dates 2019sassa grants payout dates 2019sassa grants payout datessassa paymentssassa application formsassa disability grantsassa applicationsassa websitesassa grant applicationsassa grant paymentssassa online applicationssassa phone numbers

SADTU Concerned About Matric Learners In Rural Schools

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 12:28Author: Simbongile Makanda

Matric learners across the country have had to adjust to a new way of learning. Some have been finding it difficult to adjust and they now have what is arguably the most challenging matric year ahead of them.

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The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) general secretary, Mugwena Maluleke said not all matric learners have been going to school. He said this challenge was being faced mostly by rural and township schools. 

"The other issue is that they have lost a lot of time when other learners were busy online, the majority of them, almost 70% of the poor were not able to access that."

The department's date for the final exam could be a problem for these learners, as they might be forced to use their extra time, like weekends to do school work. 

SADTU said Saturday and Sunday schools have never had a high attendance rate so using weekends for learners to catch up will not work.

This is why SADTU has called for the department to move the start of the matric exams from 5 November to 26 November. 

"The department was supposed to accept reality and extend the time so that we are able to overlap in 2021. It is a pandemic so it can't be that matric is normal and for everyone else, it's not normal."

Maluleke said the department should consider the fact that learners are in their final year and the matric learners will use these marks for the future.

He said SADTU is not happy with the department is using uMalusi to justify its decision to not move the start of exams.  

"We have an issue with that because uMalusi can't be a referee and a player, examination is the prerogative of the department of education so whatever policy review they would want to embark upon they can do that."

"uMalusi is established in terms of the law and therefore it cannot overdo their things because they need to focus on moderation, focus on standardisation and other things.

 "The department is using uMalusi to say they cannot tamper with that but we know that is just an excuse. The issue is that they believe that matric to them has always been something to shine about in January, so they're not thinking about the emotional stability of the learners when they're gonna be writing."

When asked about how this will affect university acceptance, Maluleke said universities are not the problem, as they have said they will work with what is happening with the department. 

"It cannot be a normal curriculum for the universities and colleges in this country when they've got to take into account the disruptions that they themselves have experienced. There will be a lot of reworking, a lot of revision that have got to be done by the universities so we expect them to be engaging throughout with the Ministry."

 

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Legal Action Will Be Taken Against Unfunded NSFAS Students

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 11:58Author: Sakinah Samuels

NSFAS pulled the funding from 5000 students and the Minister of Higher Education has said that these students will have legal action taken against them. Nzimande says that everyone, even students, should be held accountable for corruption.

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Concerns and objections were raised by the Higher Education Minister to any student who deliberately submitted false information to gain or con the system. He said the situation leading to NSFAS unfunding 5000 students is clearly a case of unethical and corrupt behaviour on the students' part and will not be justified.

Nzimande further said that legal action will be taken against these culprits and NSFAS will also seek to recoup the funds from these students that they paid for them while funded. This was done after NSFAS received information from SARS and saw that these students had household incomes that exceeded R350 000. To be funded by NSFAS, your annual household income should be below R350 000.

NSFAS made the decision to pull the funding from 5000 students who were found to be incorrectly funded based on incorrect information given in their original applications.

“Corruption must be fought wherever it occurs irrespective of who is involved. We can’t say because it’s students that are involved in corruption that we'll have student solidarity to actually defend corrupt behaviour,” said the Minister.

He said that if corruption is being fought in Government and in the supply of PPEs then we can’t have students who lie.

NSFAS has notified all affected students of the termination of their funding and provided information on which processes will follow, said the Minister.

Affected students will have 14 days from the day they received the notification SMS to petition the decision by submitting proof of family income or change of income to NSFAS for review. Documents must be submitted to NSFAS via email at [email protected].

“We are aware of course of financial pressure during these difficult economic times,” said the Minister.

His department therefore "appeal to the private and philanthropic sectors to raise levels of assistance to other categories of financially needy students who fall outside of the government funding policy".

Government is said to be looking at what kind of help can be given to these students in the future working together with the private sector.

Since opening applications at the beginning of August, NSFAS has since received over 89540 applications. An increased demand in applications, compared to previous years, due to Covid is expected.

[Watch] Minister Blade Nzimande briefs media on Higher Education, Science and Innovation sector’s response to Coronavirus #Covid19 lockdown alert level 2. https://t.co/paawq7ct87

— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 26, 2020

Tags: higher educationNSFASuniversitytvet collegesBlade Nzimanderandall carolissennsfas defundnsfas unfundnsfas 5000nsfas corruption

Almost 17 000 TVET Students Not Eligible To Write Exams

Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 11:33Author: Sakinah Samuels

Concern is shown by Government as almost 17 000 students did not complete their continuous assessments which means these thousands of students won’t be able to write exams. However, students will most likely be given another chance to redeem their academics as it’s known that Covid-19 has had a major effect on the education sector. Minister Nzimande also gave details on the Covid infections and deaths at TVET Colleges.

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The Department is concerned that 16 660 students in total have missed their internal continuous assessment. This means that 5% of the total enrolment won’t be eligible to write exams. Further directives on what will be done about this issue are still to be announced but because of Covid-19, a second chance will most likely be given to these students.

Less than 50% of students accessed Learning Management Systems while 67% of students accessed campus based activities, said Higher Edducation Minister, Blade Nzimande in his latest media briefing where he outlined where Higher Education stands at Level 2.

TVET College students started returning to campuses from 10 June and the last cohort of students were set to head back on 27 July in a staggered approach. All TVET students have returned with the last cohort of students meant to have returned by 25 August.

As for infections in the TVET sector, the highest number of infections amongst students were seen in Northern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng and then Kwazulu-Natal, in that order. It is however also important to note that a high number of recoveries were also reported.

There were unfortunately deaths amongst students related to Covid-19 with the highest number of deaths reported in Free State where there were 5 deaths, Gauteng where there were 4 and Eastern Cape with 2 deaths.

As for TVET College staff, 127 staff members tested positive in Free State and Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal had 95 and Eastern Cape had 62 infections. 24 deaths were reported for staff members. These came from the Free State, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West regions.

TVET Colleges have succcessfully run classes while also providing for phys distancing, said the Minister. Exams for engineering stud were also successfully conducted and finished in July. The Department said they were satisfied with the conduct of these exams.

Nzimande said that a decreasing pressure on tvet college will be seen for the rest of the year as semester students write exams next moth and go into recess for the rest of year.

He also said that TVET College applications will open for Trimester 2 as soon as the Trimester 1 results are released.

“Examination activities have thus far been conducted in compliance with the academic calendar for 2020 and will continue until the completion of the NC(V) exams on the 11th of December 2020,” said the Minister.

This move to Level 2 is said to not adversely affect TVET Colleges and the infection and death rates for Covid-19 are said to not be that high for the sector.

It was also said that teaching staff remains at 85% present.

Seeing that TVET Colleges use schools for exams and the Department of Basic Education is having learners returning at the same time, this then requires the two Departments to work together. Nzimande has therefore said that 1800 student interns were recruited and will help with maintaining health protocols at schools. He also wants to appoint cleaners for sites.

 

[Watch] Minister Blade Nzimande briefs media on Higher Education, Science and Innovation sector’s response to Coronavirus #Covid19 lockdown alert level 2. https://t.co/paawq7ct87

— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 26, 2020

Tags: higher educationtvet collegesBlade Nzimandetvet exammedia briefinglockdowncovidcovid19Covid-19coronacoronavirusday of lockdown

2021 Bursary Application At Department of Water and Sanitation

The bursary awards target the previously disadvantaged and impoverished persons from poverty-stricken and rural communities. Students with disability are encouraged to apply. DWS will require bursars who obtain their qualifications to join Water Learning Academy on a fixed term contract for a period of maximum of three (3) years.

APPLICATION FOR EXTERNAL BURSARY: FULL-TIME TERTIARY STUDIES 2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

Applicants that do not receive written communication within 3 months after the closing date should consider their application unsuccessful.

For 2021, the Department Water and Sanitation will consider applications only for the following qualifications:

  • BSc/BEng in Civil; Mechanical and Electrical
  • BSc (Hons) in Civil; Mechanical and Electrical
  • BSc in Hydrology; Geohydrology; Environmental Management; Project Management, Environmental Sciences, Environmental and Water Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) in Hydrology; Geohydrology; Environmental Management; Project Management, Environmental Sciences, Environmental and Water Sciences
  • National Diploma/BEng Tech in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current); National Diploma in Water Care and Environmental Management and Biochemistry.

The bursary awards target the previously disadvantaged and impoverished persons from poverty-stricken and rural communities. Students with disability are encouraged to apply.

Bursaries will be allocated on the basis of a balanced consideration of the following factors:

  • Academic performance
  • Race and gender
  • Financial need
  • Need of DWS in reference of the specific qualifications
PagesOpportunity Closing Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020Opportunity is closing in 53 daysOpportunities Offered By : Department of Water and SanitationArticle Category: Bursaries 2020Tags: bursarydwsfundingstudyuniversityOpportunity available in: Eastern Cape / Free State / Gauteng / KwaZulu-Natal / Limpopo / Mpumalanga / North West / Northern Cape / Western Cape

Internship Opportunity At Collins Chabane Local Municipality

Applications are invited from suitably qualified unemployed graduates to apply for the Collins Chabane Local Municipality Internship programme.

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The Municipality is offering an internship for a period of 24 months with a stipend allowance of R100 000 per annum.

The following Internship opportunities are open for applications:

Budget and Treasury Department Internships

Ref No: BT07/08/11/2020

Requirements:

  • National Diploma / B Degree in Finance Management / Accounting

Internal Auditing Internships

Ref No: MM01/08/11/2020

Requirements:

  • National Diploma / B Degree in Internal Audit / Any other Relevant Qualification

Risk Management Internships

Ref No: MM02/08/11/2020

Requirements: 

  • National Diploma / B Degree in Risk Management / Safety Management
PagesOpportunity Closing Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2020Opportunity is closing in 5 daysOpportunities Offered By : Collins Chabane Local MunicipalityArticle Category: Internships 2020Tags: internships in Limpopograduates seeking work in limpopoOpportunity available in: Limpopo

Parliament Graduate Internship Programme

Parliament of RSA is contributing towards skills development by providing graduates with opportunities to gain work experience in various areas. Applications from unemployed graduates are invited for internship opportunities for 12 months. Applicants must have the relevant Degree/Diploma. Successful interns are expected to enter into a 12 month contract.

Parliament Graduate Internship Programme

The following positions exist. Applicants must have a relevant Degree/Diploma.

  • IRC3479 Graduate Trainee: Environmental Affairs 
  • IRC3477 Graduate Trainee: Environmental Affairs 
  • IRC3474 Graduate Trainee: Gender Studies 
  • IRC3471 Graduate Training: Public Policy 
  • IRC3480 Graduate Trainee: Education & Training 
  • IRC3470 Graduate Trainee: Economics 

Click below to view how to apply.

PagesOpportunity Closing Date: Thursday, September 10, 2020Opportunity is closing in 13 daysOpportunities Offered By : ParliamentArticle Category: Internships 2020Tags: government internshipgovernment jobgovernment puff and passpuff and passOpportunity available in: Western Cape

More Students To Return To Campus On 1 September

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 21:46Author: Sakinah Samuels

Another group of University students will be going back to campuses on 1 September. This will then see 66% of the student body having returned to campuses according to the phased-in approach set in motion by Government. Minister Nzimande also announced which Universities were low, medium and high risk and what exactly this would mean for the institutions.

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The next group of students set to go back to campuses will start returning from 1 September. This forms part of the 66% going back to campuses during Level 2. Some institutions are still in the process of having the first 33% of students come back.

International students who are outside of South Africa at the moment and studying are studying at a University in SA will only be able to return to campuses at Level 1 when international travel is permitted.

With Level 2, the following groups of students will be returning:

  • all groups who were prioritised to return during level 3 but couldn't due to the maximum campus capacity being reached
  • students who went back during level 3 and 4
  • students from all years of study who require labs and technical equipment
  • students from all years of study who need practical and work-based training and learning to finish the academic year
  • all first years of undergraduate programmes

All other students who don't form part of the students set to return will be continue with the remote multi-modal learning programme.

In his media briefing providing updates in higher education for Level 2, Minister Nzimande also identified the levels of risks Universities are on. Indicators for which risk level a University is at include safety on campuses and whether the University can implement multi-modal learning. This could change according to reports as time progresses. 

14 Universities were identified as low risk. These were Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela University, North West University, Rhodes University, Sol Plaatje University, University of the Western Cape, University of Johannesburg, University of Kwazulu-Natal, University of Pretoria, Unisa, Stellenbosch University, Wits, University of Zululand and University of Cape Town.

6 were identified as medium risk. These were Durban University of Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Mpumalanga, University of Limpopo, University of Free State and University of Venda.

The last 6 were identified as high risk and are Central University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Fort Hare, Sefako Makgatho University, Vaal University of Technology and Walter Sisulu University.

All efforts will be made to make sure that outlier institutions get up to speed to meet this requirement, said the Minister.

The Minister said that some Universities haven't continued academic teaching and learning since March and this is a very serious risk. Government is currently discussing how to ensure successful completion of the academic year with these Universities.

"We call upon all stakeholders, staff, management, student leadership to work together to tackle the problems and not just to stand from afar and say "we will simply protest'", said Nzimande. He explained further that he is concerned about these variations and how they affect the completion of the academic year. 

The Department of Higher Education is engaged in meeting to agree on a fixed period in which all institutions must complete the current academic year and a fixed period of starting days of the 2021 academic year. They are now targeting all institutions to complete the academic year by the end of February 2021 and have the 2021 academic year start between 15 March and 15 April 2021.

"Each institution has taken a different approach to the risk adjusted phased in return dependent on their context with readiness and with their own detailed strategies", said the Minister and bi-monthly monitoring processing which public institutions have to report in takes place. 

Government's aim is to keep students and staff as safe as possible and work in solidarity to save the academic year while giving all students a fair opportunity to finish their academic year. All institutions have prepared their campuses in line with higher health protocols. However, Nzimande said that trade unions are concerned that not all campuses have health and safety committees.

It is compulsory in law for all institutions to have health and safety committees on campus. Management will be called and told that they are breaking the law, Nzimande said. This issue was also raised with Vice Chancellors and College Principals.

 

[Watch] Minister Blade Nzimande briefs media on Higher Education, Science and Innovation sector’s response to Coronavirus #Covid19 lockdown alert level 2. https://t.co/paawq7ct87

— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 26, 2020

Tags: higher educationBlade Nzimandeuniversitytvet collegelow riskhigh riskmedium riskonline learningmultimodal learningcovidcoronacoronaviruscovid19Covid-19lockdownday of lockdownunisaNSFAS

I am not going to be intimidated, Says Nzimande On Corruption Allegations

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 20:21Author: Sakinah Samuels

Minister Nzimande got fired up in his latest media briefing when discussing the allegations of corruption surrounding the process of getting devices for NSFAS students. He then went on to discuss how they aim to make sure that no corruption takes place and that they will not forget that the main aim is to get devices to students.

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Nzimande responded to the allegations of interference and corruption within the procurement of devices by NSFAS and said that those who usually make the accusations are the one committing the act.

He said that the Ministry is well aware that there is a campaign driven by commercial interests who are using a false flag of accusations about "sabotage" and "undue interference" to mask their own interests. This won't be allowed, he said, and was told that he is interfering in his department.

The Higher Education Minister tasked NSFAS with the procurement of devices for NSFAS students as Government promised and sees it as extremely urgent to provide these devices. 

NSFAS is starting the process from the beginning and will follow the letter from the law. A formal tender process was followed and Nzimande says they adopted the route of an open transparent competitive bid instead of an emergency tender process to avoid any deviation from the normal competitive procurement process. 

On those saying that there is corruption in these tender, Nzimande says he doesn't know where they got these allegations of corruption from and that they must not jump to conclusions and rather get the facts straight about these devices.

The Department is trying not to have a repeat of corruption as was seen with the procurement of PPEs and within Government and said, "we are all committed to fighting corruption but let's not in the process of fighting corruption want to position ourselves in a popular way and want to talk about things that we have not officially communicated about. Judge us on what we have communicated".

He also explained further that he spoke to NSFAS Administrator, Randall Carolissen, about the delay with devices and was told that no tender was awarded on laptops. This is unfortunate as it means the procurement of devices will not happen right now and a delay of another month or two will be seen, said Nzimande.

The Minister wants to say to those who are accusing them that there are things that are unbecoming and that they need to give them evidence. "Often, the people who cry fowl are often the ones who are being investigated for corruption and for other unethical practices in order to try and fight back and intimidate us". To this, the Minister answered, "I am not going to be intimidated".

He said that this makes him more committed to not allow any corruption in his sector or any unethical or illegal practices and that he won't be distracted by this situation from his task which is primarily to help South Africans to access online learning.

This situation has put them back in the process of providing access to sufficient learning devices but he has instructed all institutions to publish the full list of all companies who have benefitted from procurement for the sake of transparency.

 

[Watch] Minister Blade Nzimande briefs media on Higher Education, Science and Innovation sector’s response to Coronavirus #Covid19 lockdown alert level 2. https://t.co/paawq7ct87

— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 26, 2020

Tags: Blade Nzimandehigher educationrandall carolissennsfas laptopsnsfas devicesNSFASonline learningcorruptionundue interference

Laptops From NSFAS Might Only Come In Months

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 19:59Author: Sakinah Samuels

Minister Nzimande outlined where NSFAS currently stands in the procurement of devices for students and how this process of giving students laptops will happen. He also responded to allegations that corruption and interferences were happening within this process.

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Due to delays with tender processes, Minister Nzimande has said that the procurement of laptops will still take another month or two. He does however note that it is extremely urgent to provide these devices to students.

Only contact NSFAS students who are currently registered at the financial aid scheme will receive devices. 

Students at Universities and TVET Colleges who qualify to receive a laptop will have the option of accepting or declining the offer of a device. 

This device will then be given to students on a loan basis and the cost of it will be added to the student's account.

The Department wants students to own them. To make this possible, the Department will then give students the following options:

  • Students can purchase it by settling the cost of it
  • Students can give permission for NSFAS to keep their next learning material allowance 

Students who are leaving their institution after 2020 must return the device in good condition or purchase the device at an agreed upon price. Students who don't follow that guideline will have the cost of the device added to their student accounts.

NSFAS students at TVET colleges don't normally receive learning material allowances like University students do. However, Minister Nzimande has now signed a policy which will allow them to receive digital devices for the 2020 academic year. He said they will go back to those matter going forward.

Trimester 1 and Semester 1 students at TVET colleges wont qualify for a device because they've already written their final exams. Students who are applying to do Trimester 2 and Semester 1 studies will however receive devices.

Despite allegations turning up of corruption happening in procuring these devices, Minister Nzimande has said in a media briefing that their task is primarily to help South Africans to access online learning.

[Watch] Minister Blade Nzimande briefs media on Higher Education, Science and Innovation sector’s response to Coronavirus #Covid19 lockdown alert level 2. https://t.co/paawq7ct87

— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) August 26, 2020

Tags: nsfas laptophigher educationNSFASnsfas tvetnsfas universityBlade Nzimandecorruptiondevicesonline learning

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Latest Bursaries

TCTA is offering seven (7) bursary opportunities to academically deserving youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

South African Bulk Terminals (Pty) Ltd (SABT), a major business unit within Bidvest Freight, the freight management arm of the Bidvest Group, invites qualifying unemployed learners to apply for bur

Students enrolled at a South African University who demonstrate consistently strong academic performance to apply for the scholarship.

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