Colleges for Further Education and Training

Not every school pupil gets to go to university. Not every school pupil passes matric. But every school pupil gets older, and needs an occupation. School doesn’t provide vocational1 skills, and that’s where technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges form a highly important role in the socio-economic fabric of any country – indeed, the challenges are experienced worldwide.

The Continuing Education and Training Act 2006 (CET Act)2 establishes the framework which aims to provide South African learners with knowledge, skills and competencies in order to gain employment, or entry into a particular vacation, occupation or trade, or even entry into university. There is also the Technical Colleges Act 1981, which also provides for vocational training.3 This Act, and the CET Act are administered by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.4

There are currently 50 TVET colleges throughout the Republic,5 offering vocational education training in a wide range of service-oriented occupations – from hairdressing to project management, from funeral services to labour relations.

  1. Any person (other than a college6 or organ of state) who, without the authority of a college:
    • offers or pretends to offer any further education and training programme;7
    • confers a further education and training qualification that purports to have been granted by a college or in collaboration with a college;8 or
    • purports to perform an act on behalf of a college,9

    is guilty of an offence.10

  2. Any person who falsely pretends that a further education and training qualification has been awarded to him is guilty of an offence.11

  3. Any person who falsely claims that he is offering a further education and training qualification that is registered with the National Qualifications Framework is guilty of an offence.12

  4. Any person (other than a public college13 or organ of state14) who provides further education and training must be a company registered in terms of the Companies Act and registered as a private college under the CET Act. It is an offence to do otherwise.15

  5. A private college must conspicuously display:
    • its certificate of registration at its premises;16
    • the fact that it is registered, together with its registration number, on all its official stationery and documentation.17

    It is an offence not to do so.18

  6. If the registration of a private college has been cancelled, it must return the certificate of registration within two weeks, and commits an offence if it fails to do so.19
  1. That is, for a career or occupation. 

  2. Previously called the Further Education and Training Colleges Act. 

  3. NOTE: When the CET Act was called the Further Education and Training Colleges Act, the colleges were called FET colleges. They are now called TVET colleges, and so are the colleges established under the Technical Colleges Act. 

  4. The Technical Colleges Act (see section 37A) has similar provisions to the CET Act. Apparently (and hopefully!) rationalisation of the statutes is on the drawing board. 

  5. A list, per province, is to be found at;

  6. Which means, other than a school, a public or private further education and training institution established or registered under the CET Act. 

  7. Section 48(1)(a). 

  8. Section 48(1)(b). 

  9. Section 48(1)(c). 

  10. Section 48(1). 

  11. Section 48(2). 

  12. Section 48(5). 

  13. That is a college established by the Minister, under the CET Act using government funding. 

  14. Relevantly, in terms of section 239 of the Constitution, that means any state department or national, provincial or local administration. 

  15. Section 48(3) read with section 28. 

  16. Section 32(1)(a). 

  17. Section 32(1)(b). 

  18. Section 48(4). 

  19. Section 48(4) read with section 32(2).