Media release

Human Development Cluster media briefing

15 February 2011

15 February 2011

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga

Minister of Health, Minister Motsoaledi
Minister of Higher Education and Training, Minister Nzimande
Minister of Arts and Culture, Minister Mashatile
Deputy Ministers
Members of the media

Welcome to this Human Development Cluster briefing, the first briefing of the cluster in 2011. The objective of this briefing is to elaborate on the President’s State of the Nation Address and simultaneously address the cluster’s progress and plans for the year ahead. We will similarly share some of the significant progress made since our last briefing and indicate areas of challenge we are tackling head on.

This Cluster speaks directly to two of the five priorities from the electoral mandate, namely health and education, which are critical levers to the attainment of the other three priorities, namely creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods, Rural development, including land reform, food production and security and safety and security.

Government has put in place various initiatives and interventions aimed at creating a better life for all South Africans. This is premised on the foundation of a citizenry that actively contributes towards a functioning democracy, where current and future generations must lead healthy lifestyles and have access to healthy choices in becoming agents of socio economic change.

The composite development of citizens also requires intellectual stimulation, creativity, innovation and a sense of self-worth and national identity in becoming active agents of socio economic change. To this end government continues to play a critical role in promoting social cohesion, nation building and building national pride, which all contribute towards the building of a national democratic society.

Education is known to be the greatest liberator and leveler of poverty, where people who have managed to gain better quality of education have more economic and social opportunities available to improve their personal lives as well as the lives of their families and communities.

Whilst the democratic government has always prioritised education, this Administration has articulated and reiterated its commitment to improve the quality of Basic Education as a defining hallmark of its success.

Government is fully aware of the enormity of the programmes for the next three years and has already put in place resources and plans to effect implementation that will improve the lives of all South Africans for the better.

Government has identified the following key outcomes for this cluster to:

  • improve the quality of basic education
  • a long and healthy life for all South Africans
  • a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path

Improve the quality of basic education

This year, Basic Education is taking forward the President’s directive of the emphasis on the three Ts – teachers, texts and time and is delivering on the outcome of improved quality of learning and teaching.

In education, each of the four outputs focus on the critical and non-negotiable activities to ensure that educators teach, learners learn, parents provide support to their children and government creates a conducive environment for learning and teaching. To achieve these outputs, government has explicitly outlined its expectation that all teachers be in class on time and teaching for seven hours a day!

Government takes this opportunity to once again thank all South Africans for their support and interventions in ensuring that our Grade 12s of 2010 were able to achieve the results that they did in the National Senior Certificate examinations. It showed that it is indeed possible for us to unite as a nation in achieving a common goal. We will once again call on your support for the Class of 2011, to surpass the achievements of 2010.

Clear targets have been set for improvement in learner achievement by 2014. The Delivery Agreement stipulates a target of improving numeracy and literacy attainment levels of grades three and six from the current average attainment levels of between 27% and 38% to at least 60% by 2014.

In assessing measurable progress in the literacy and numeracy rates of learners Government will track performance through the independently moderated Annual National Assessments (ANA) which were conducted from 8 to 11 February 2011 in all public primary schools for learners in Grades one to six and a sample of learners in Grade 9. This Assessment involved over six million learners throughout South Africa in more than 19 000 schools.

Performance of Grade 3, 6 and 9 learners in ANA will be reported during March of every year, beginning in 2011. The ANA is set nationally and will provide a benchmark for all schools in the basic education sector. The assessments generate standardised evidence for monitoring the progress in the department’s programme to lay solid foundations for learning. ANA is geared towards improving the quality of education and the results will inform many of the decisions that the department must take regarding tracking and improving the quality of learning and teaching in the system.

The ANA contributes towards better learner performance by exposing teachers to appropriate learner assessment techniques, by making it easier for district offices to determine where support is most urgently needed and by allowing principals, teachers and parents to plan in a more informed manner how to improve performance. The beginning of 2011 also saw government delivering on its target of workbook distribution.

This massive intervention aims to improve the quality of learning and teaching in literacy and numeracy by providing learners with excellent resources. The workbooks were piloted in schools in 2010 and are now available for use in all primary schools in 2011. The project provides resource support to 6.5 million learners and approx 180 000 teachers in nearly 20 000 schools.

These workbooks allow learners to acquire and apply required skills in a systematic way and to provide a variety of activities to reinforce mathematical concepts and skills, as well as literacy/language skills. The workbooks also model good practice by guiding teachers to improve their teaching and to help them monitor learner performance in key activities as well as prepare learners for the formats used in various standardised assessments. 

It is important to re iterate that workbooks will not replace textbooks. And we re-emphasise the need for quality textbooks to be used by teachers and learners in schools. For 2011, with the savings we have made in the production and printing of workbooks, we will strive to ensure that all learners between Grades 10 and 12 in the lower quintiles have a textbook in every subject.

Our target is to ensure full coverage of learner support materials by 2014. We have agreed with all the provinces on a different procurement system which would enable us to benefit from economies of scale, with few carefully selected titles. Teacher Development is instrumental in the attainment of all education targets set by government.

Teachers are a key pillar in any education system. Following extensive consultation, the Integrated Strategic Plan for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa will be launched in March 2011. This plan sets out clear development paths for teachers.

Government has also acknowledged that Principals must be empowered to manage their schools and ensure a good environment for teaching and learning, and they must be held accountable for maintaining a high standard of education in our schools. Government is considering mechanisms to introduce a performance management system for principals this year.

2011 also sees the finalisation of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and the preparation of the system for their phased implementation from 2012. This includes training of teachers and adaptation of textbooks. The CAPS will provide teachers with a single curriculum document per subject per grade. The CAPS for Grades R - 3 and Grade 10 will be implemented in 2012, in Grades 4 to 9 and Grade 11 in 2013 and Grade 12 in 2014.

The Ministerial Project Committee which is overseeing the development of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) has reported good progress. To date, CAPS for 40 of the 41 content subjects have been finalised and are ready for editing. Life Skills CAPS for the Foundation Phase has been finalised. The versioning of CAPS for languages is complete.

Another critical initiative that adds significant focus and momentum to the department’s action plan to 2014 and the goals of Schooling 2025, is the Accelerated Schools’ Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI). To achieve quality education we need to ensure sound infrastructure.

To this end, the Norms and Standards for Basic School Functionality were approved for implementation in line with the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) Plan. The main goal is to eradicate mud and unsafe structures and improved infrastructures such as laboratories, libraries and administration blocks to existing schools.

A four pronged strategy has been established for rolling-out ASIDI; the first two of which will involve an engagement with provincial Education departments to explore how they can reprioritise the targets of their provincial allocations to more effectively:

i. address the 3627 schools needing to be brought to basic safety functionality levels by 2014
ii. replace all inappropriate schools structures by 2014

The third and fourth elements of ASIDI aim to:

iii. replace all 395 entire mud schools that are situated in the Eastern Cape province via an additional conditional grant allocation of R4.93 billion
iv. upgrade schools to Optimum Functionality by means of alternative funding sources and forms.

In ensuring that our learners become agents of social and economic change, we will also through the curriculum expose learners to various post schooling opportunities

A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path

In the broader context of government’s emphasis on skills’ development and creation of job opportunities, an informed and empowered legion of learners who have the skills to make career decisions is likely to improve the skills profile of the overall population and improve mobility between different levels of education and between education and the world of work.

Government has expanded the opportunities for young people, but there is very little knowledge about these, and in particular in rural schools and those schools that do not have historical links to further and higher education institutions, and places of employment. The new landscape for SETAs and the National Skills Development Strategy 3 (NSDS3) have been finalised and adopted. The strategy will be implemented through the country’s main skills development structures the 21 sector education and training authorities (Setas) from 1 April 2011.

It is the first NSDS to be formulated by the Department of Higher Education and Training, which assumed responsibility for skills evelopment from the Department of Labour. The Minister will release the Annual implementation plans of the NSDS3.

The key driving force of this strategy is improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the skills development system. This strategy represents an explicit commitment to encouraging the linking of skills development to career paths, career development and promoting sustainable employment and in-work progression.

The emphasis is to enable those who do not have relevant technical skills or adequate reading, writing and numeracy skills to access employment. Central to the objectives of the NSDS3 is improved placement of both students and graduates, especially from the FET colleges and universities of technology. In addition, NSDS3 will place particular emphasis on skills development to support government’s goals for rural development.

Some features of NSDS3 include a drop in mandatory grant rates to 40 percent and the creation of a 10 percent PIVOTAL (professional, vocational, technical and academic) placement allowance to compensate for this reduction.

We will work on the framework for a National Skills Academy in the Arts in 2011. The Academy is not intended to duplicate already existing training initiatives, but rather to enhance them and ensure a coordinated intervention. We will work together with all training institutions, provinces, the public and private sector to achieve our objectives of uplifting students with potential.

It is envisaged that the Academy will become a “Centre of Excellence” where students from existing training initiatives will have an opportunity to perfect and professionalise their skills and be among the best in the world.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is also undertaking a comprehensive review on the spending priorities of the National Skills Fund, in order to reprioritise its funding allocations in line with the goals of NSDS III and our overarching Human Resources Development Strategy for South Africa.

We have also started a process of consolidating all sources of bursary and loans under the banner of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). NSFAS will be getting the following additional allocations totalling R150 million from National Skills Fund focusing on addressing scarce skills:

  • R22.9 million that is dedicated to funding 820 first year students
  • R7 million towards a special bursary scheme that targets rural students who have done exceptionally well in the 2010 Grade 12 examinations
  • R21 million for 300 first year bursaries for people with disabilities. My department is committed to promoting access to tertiary education for people with disabilities.
  • The balance of R99.1 million will be for students who are already studying in these fields.  

The NSF will also be allocating R 100 million Career Wise bursaries in the following categories:

  • R17 million to fund 258 first year students
  • R4 million for the Dipaleseng Special Bursary Scheme
  • R 4.6 million for 67 first year bursaries to fulfil the commitment I made in honour of former President Nelson Mandela in Giyani
  • R11.5 million to support 245 first year students pursuing studies in Chartered Accountancy at the University of Fort Hare.

Information on the NSFAS and Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme can be obtained from the call centre on 0800 872 222, the Career Advice website at and the websites and

Starting from the 2011 academic year, government will incrementally introduce free education for the poor to undergraduate level. From 2011, students in further education and training (FET) Colleges who qualify for financial aid will be exempted completely from paying academic fees. This ought to further ease access to the colleges for students from poor families as well as help the country to meet its needs for intermediate and technical skills.

A higher education summit, to bring all stakeholders in the sector together to discuss priorities for the transformation and strengthening of the sector, was also held. This was done to ensure alignment of the system, while strengthening and maintaining the unique characteristics and contributions of each sector to the broader post schooling system.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has also moved expeditiously to set up mechanisms to remove all barriers to access to post school opportunities by young people and to expand such opportunities. A Review Committee was appointed to consider the efficacy and effectiveness of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and make recommendations to improve the scheme.

The Minister has released the Committees report for public comment. The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme, which is administered by the NSFAS, offers full cost bursaries to capable young people who are interested in serving the country as teachers in priority subjects and phases, particularly in rural and poor schools.

In 2011 the scheme will support approximately 8 500 new and continuing student teachers across all years of study. Approximately 900 bursaries will be available for first time entrants in 2011. From 2011 onwards, practicing school teachers will also be offered enhancement development opportunities to improve their knowledge and teaching practices through short courses and qualification programmes offered by universities, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and private providers.

In 2010, the Department of Higher Education and Training provided 184 547 learning opportunities through Further Education and Training Colleges, Universities, Learnerships and short skills programmes. 364 513 learners of the Class of 2010 achieved their National Senior Certificate. This highlights the extent of the challenge facing us in providing learning or work opportunities for all the new matriculants.

I am pleased to announce that the number of learning opportunities in 2011 will increase by a further 103 940 bringing the total opportunities to be created in 2011 to 288 487. This represents a significant increase of 56% when compared to 2010. It is envisaged that this will make a significant indent on the number of students who have achieved a matric and can now take advantage of learning opportunities.

In promoting indigenous languages 142 bursaries were awarded in the field of languages at post graduate level.  

In partnership with the University of Western Cape, government funded 11 undergraduate and two post graduate fellowships in the Humanities in the name of the Struggle Icon Dulcie September. Through the National Film and Video Foundation last year, the Department of Arts and Culture trained 142 writers, script writers, commissioning editors and producers.

While we recognise that many of these students will enter university, there are also other options for them which may include training as artisans at FET Colleges or registering for learnerships through the SETA system, participating in the National Skills Fund programmes, joining the South African National Defence Force as part of its Military Development Programme or participating in the Expanded Public Works Programme.

There are 50 Public Further Education and Training Colleges spread across all provinces of South Africa comprising of over 240 campuses or teaching sites. Public FET Colleges offer vocational training courses and qualifications at various levels of study for learners who have a Grade 9 pass/certificate, an NQF level 1 qualification or a Grade 12 certificate.

We shall be launching the TrendSetter Initiative this year (before the end of March 2011) in three provinces of Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. The programme targets youth that are out of school, who have complete High School at least, to skill them in volunteering services in communities.

The post-school system responds to the need for skills in the country and the following broad areas have been identified as critical areas for further study at either university or college level:

  • Engineering Sciences
  • Animal and Human Health Sciences
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Teacher Education.

There are also many other opportunities for study in the social sciences, humanities, business studies, information technology and other areas. There is particularly a strong need in our country for artisans and technicians in a variety of areas.

The partnering of the Department of Higher Education and Training with the public broadcaster (SABC) to have weekly programmes on all nine indigenous radio stations on career counselling and guidance, provides an easily consumed platform where young people particularly from poor backgrounds who have little or no access to information, are provided with relevant and accurate information about post school opportunities.

The work on the career guidance system and helpline service is well underway with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and the career helpline service is already fully active and servicing clients. Work on the systems has also commenced with an internal audit of systems and the State Information technology Agency (SITA) has been consulted on the implementation of the GWEA (Government Wide Enterprise Architecture) framework for the Higher Education and Training management information system. The development of the required framework documents has also commenced. In the forthcoming year we plan to produce a booklet in the careers in arts, culture and heritage sector.

A long and healthy life for all South Africans

Social Cohesion

Government is pleased to announce another intervention that secures the future of our young leaders and that is the Community Libraries Grant - the MTEF Grant continues to 2013 to 2014.

There will be ongoing upgrading of existing community libraries and the building of new facilities throughout the country. Since the roll-out, 115 libraries have been upgraded and 11 new libraries were built and completed. Other focus areas are the purchasing of new library material, upgrading information and communication (ICT) infrastructure, improving the internet access for the community, staff appointments and training.

Government, under the leadership of Department of Arts and Culture is establishing an Information Portal on Social Cohesion, initiating Community conversations lead by provinces (at least one in every district) and culminating into the National Summit of Social Cohesion to be held in the second half of this year.

Magnificent Friday Campaign

In order to sustain the momentum we built during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in terms of promoting national unity and patriotism, government has embarked on the Magnificent Friday Initiative. This initiative is aimed at mobilising all South Africans behind our national netball team, the cricket team and the rugby team all of whom will this year be taking part in their respective world cups.

This year is the 17th Anniversary of Freedom and Democracy, we will be launching a programme on our National Liberation Route. This programme is about preserving our history as we celebrate our heritage and highlighting the sites that played a key role in the struggle against apartheid. The Department of Arts and Culture will provide a detailed programme in the course of the year.

Work continues on our National Legacy projects. On 14 February we commemorated the 30 anniversary of the Matola Raids with our Mozambican counterparts. We unveiled the design for the Matola Memorial and Interpretive Centre that will be in honour of those who lost their lives in 1981 as the apartheid commandos attacked houses in Matola where exiled members of the ANC lived, killing 13 people.

In the course of this year the Department of Arts and Culture will launch a programme of National Icons. This will be about individuals that have made an enormous contribution in the liberation of our country. Preservation of our history will go a long way in educating generations to come about our history, where we come and where we are going as a nation. Part of our programme will include the work we are doing together with the Freedom Park Foundation to establish a Gallery of Leaders at the Freedom Park. The Gallery will host leaders (South African and international) that have shaped our understanding of humanity and freedom over the past 250 years.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sessions in South Africa

On 5 to 7 December 2010, the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa supported the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to host the International Olympic Committee Conference on Sport, Education and Culture in Durban under the theme “giving a voice to youth”.

This was the first time that this august event was held on African soil. About 600 delegates from over 100 countries attended this Conference and deliberated on matters of sport, education and culture.

The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa is working jointly with SASCOC to prepare for the successful hosting of the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) General Assembly Session in Durban from 1 to 9 July 2011.

This event will also be an opportunity to put South Africa and our perspective on the world map in areas of sport development and will be attended by several heads of state, royal families, sport personalities and administrators from around the world. This will further be an opportunity for the three cities bidding to host the 2018 Winter Games to present their bids to the IOC.

The winning city will be announced via live broadcast during the duration of the conference. The department will be working with the Presidency and other government departments to ensure that this event is well prepared and successfully organised.

School Sport

Sport and Recreation South Africa will be collaborating with the Department of Basic Education in the immediate task of reviving school sport in rural areas and townships. This is a campaign we have embarked on as we believe the future of the South African youth lies in positioning schools as incubators and nurseries for talented and professional sportspersons. Sport and Recreation South Africa’s road map and roll out plan to bring back the culture of sport into the school environment will be marked by both focus on training and campaigns aimed generating and encouraging popular participation.

Community Sport Community sport is an integral part of sport development and personal growth. We must provide young people with different pathways for personal growth post the school-going period. This can only be achieved by reviving and bringing life back into community clubs. We want our communities to have all the expertise and facilities that will encourage them and all of us to consider sport and recreation as life-long activities that improve the quality of life and health. Our primary objective is to produce a wholesome individual and a unique cadre through sport and recreation.

Below are practical steps Sport and Recreation South Africa is/will be taking in schools and communities.

  • Teachers and administrators are trained in the various sporting codes as it was the case in the past.
  • Sport and Recreation will become part of the academic calendar and we will bring back the practice of competitions and tournaments from districts, provinces to national levels.
  • In communities we are working with the Ministry for Human Settlement to ensure that our spatial planning is directed at building houses and recreational facilities that enhance a better life for all and increased community participation in sporting activities.
  • We are using our limited budget to provide to rural communities and townships sport attire, basic equipment and other basic necessities to encourage involvement and participation.
  • In partnership with a host of sport heroes and heroines we have an annual event to visit communities distributing sport material and also inspiring youth to prevent them from being infected with HIV and AIDS.

2010 FIFA World Cup

In June/July 2010 we together with the people of the world witnessed the biggest and most prestigious mega-sport event held on the African soil. We once more thank FIFA for affording us the opportunity to host this event that has further propelled our country to a place of honour in the global village. Also and most importantly we thank the people of South Africa for their generosity and hospitality towards the thousands of visitors and tourists that ascended into our country and graced our shores with their presence.

The 2010 Close out Report, specifically reporting on our delivery of the guarantees has already been tabled in Cabinet. The Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa have already started consultations and plans to ensure that:

  • The R800 million allocated by FIFA to the Sport Trust is utilized for the development of our people especially the destitute in rural areas and townships.
  • We have commissioned additional research through the Human Science Research Council with a view to specifically expand upon the impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the following areas: Social Cohesion, Nation building, legacy, stadia sustainability, economic impact of the World Cup. The comprehensive country report will add much value to researchers and countries planning mega events.
  • As Government we will be hosting a football extravaganza between the World Cup Champions Spain and South Africa eleven on the 15 May 2010. This football extravaganza is organised in all humility to say thank you in a big way to the people of South Africa and all fellow patriots who were involved in this event of local international significance.

Rugby and cricket world cup as well as netball world championships

2011 will be another exciting year of international sport events for South Africa. The Springboks (amabhokobhoko) will travel to New Zealand to defend their 2007 World Cup Title. With the good mix of new youthful talent and experience in the Springbok team, they have all the potential to reach the semi-finals and finals. Let us wish them well and hope that the three Southern Hemisphere teams of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand make it through to the semi-finals.

The Proteas will travel to the Asian Sub-continent to play in the 2011 ICC World Cup. With the high percentage of wins in previous One Day International competitions and the multiple individual world record holders in the team, the depth of talent in the batting, bowling and fielding departments, we are confident that the Proteas will do us proud and make it through to the finals.

The National Netball Team (amantombazana) as they prepare to participate in the Netball Championships in Singapore in July 2011, also need the support of all South Africans.

The Ministry of Sport and Recreation have together with the Ministry of Arts and Culture launched the mobilisation campaign that has become popularly known as the Magnificent Fridays. The central objective of the campaign is to rally all South Africans behind the Proteas (national cricket team); amantombazana and amabhokobhoko. We did it for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and working together, we can do it once more.

Our efforts towards creating agents for social change through sport and recreation cannot succeed without all organisations within the sport and recreation sector taking practical steps towards the radical and progressive transformation of sport in our country. Transformation must be an on-going-debate wherever our people converge. Young and old, black and white, women and children should draw inspiration and courage from the programmes introduced by the Department of Sport and Recreation and various federations to create access and better their lives.

We want to achieve inclusivity and consensus on what each federation’s contribution is or will be to the national goals and priorities. In order to ensure that our actions are focused and directed, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation has started the process of drawing up a transformation charter which will apply to all sports organisations.

“Working together we can do more to enable South Africans to become active agents of socio economic change”

Thank you.

Neo Momodu
Cell: 079 462 5081

Issued by: Department of Basic Education

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