Hundreds of people are queuing in the blazing sun outside the University of Johannesburg to enquire if they have been accepted to study or if they can change their courses. January 8, 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY
Hundreds of people are queuing in the blazing sun outside the University of Johannesburg to enquire if they have been accepted to study or if they can change their courses. January 8, 2018. Picture: ALON SKUY

The government plans to create a centralised entity to deal with applications for higher education and training institutions.

The cabinet has approved the publication of the Central Application Service Bill in the government gazette for public comment.

In a statement issued after its meeting this week, the cabinet said the government was committed to opening up and ensuring wider access to the post-school education and training system.

“A crucial part of this process lies in ensuring that prospective students have access to a single, affordable and easy-to-understand application system that covers multiple institutions of higher learning.”

The cabinet statement said the Central Application Service Bill provided for the establishment of a public entity that would streamline applications into higher education and training programmes, reduce the cost of application, provide applicants with information on academic programmes and enable the department of higher education and institutions of higher learning to monitor equity and demographics. 

Also approved by the cabinet for publication for public comment was the Tourism Amendment Bill, which aims to improve the governance of SA tourism as an entity under the authority of a board. It also empowers the minister of tourism to determine the thresholds regarding short-term home rental.

The bill also provides for the competence requirements of tourist guides and for the regulation of tourist guide driving.

Another bill that was approved for publication for public comment was the South African Public Library and Information Services Bill, which aims to further the culture of reading by the provision of public libraries, particularly for previously disadvantaged communities.

The provision of public libraries is a competence of the municipalities under the constitution, but the bill sets out the national norms and standards for the ideal public library.

“Once the bill is approved, it will address the historical inequalities in respect of public libraries and provide for sufficient accommodating resources for impaired persons, youth, elderly and non-English speakers in urban and rural areas,” the cabinet statement said.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za