Historically Disaantaged Institutions (HDIs) will be allocated a total amount of about R840 million from the development grant over the next two financial years, the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training heard on Wednesday.
This emerged during a meeting at which the Committee was briefed on the implementation of the Recommendations by the Ministerial Committee for the Review of the Funding of Universities.
The briefing, which was provided by the Reference Group and Technical Team, indicated that there had been at least three recommendations that have been finalised by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, for implementation in the 201516 financial year.
One of the recommendations to be implemented is on the HDI development fund, which will see funds allocated for a five-year period from 201516 to 201920 to go mainly towards infrastructure.
For the next two financial years, a total of approximately R840 million would be allocated to HDIs. This comprises R410 734 million for 201516 and an indicative amount of R433 532 million for 201617.
Committee Chairperson Mrs Yvonne Phosa said: “Higher Education is a driver of global competitiveness, especially in the age of knowledge-based global economy. In line with the National Development Plan, we want the country to produce highly skilled workforce so as to compete globally. However, financial constraints, which are compounded by historical disaantage to a large extent, have been an impediment to our envisaged goals.”
Mrs Phosa said it was clear from the presentation by the Reference Group and Technical Team that the review of the funding formula was a much needed exercise in the higher education sector. She further emphasised the need for monitoring and evaluation of the infrastructure-related projects that would be carried out. “This would assist to ensure that the infrastructure is used accordingly and properly maintained.”
The report of the Ministerial Committee identified seven HDIs as being Fort Hare, Limpopo, Venda, Walter Sisulu, Western Cape, Zululand and Mangosuthu University of Technology while the Sefako Makgatho Health Science University is also recognised as a HDI institution.
Source : Parliament of South Africa