The government has conceded that the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges and sector education and training authorities (Setas) face dire financial difficulties, saying it will soon approach business for help. The auditor-general’s 2016-17 report on the Department of Higher Education and Training has raised concern about the sustainability of tertiary education after it incurred nearly R1bn in irregular expenditure. According to the report, nearly half of all 50 TVET colleges received a qualified, adverse or disclaimed audit opinion. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Wednesday that his department had been perversely underfunded for a long time and that this had affected the ability of the department to carry out some of its mandated responsibilities. "We can’t give money to TVET colleges, train college lecturers or open up regional offices because we don’t have money to do that," he said. On Thursday, a declaration was signed by...

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