Deputy Minister on Higher Education, Buti Manamela told the committee that while the number of these illegal colleges has shown some decline over the years but they keep on coming back in most parts of the country. He explains how the department has been cracking down on the perpetrators.
“Then as far back as 2011, we have been working with the South African police services and the Department of Basic Education. we have been cracking down on the operators of bogus colleges. Over 40 of the bogus operators have been arrested which includes US-based operators using the logo of the higher education as a way of enticing the students. Because of the involvement of the US-based operators, we have also laid charges with the FBI and we published the list of colleges local and international on our website as the means to warn the public of the scrupulous service providers.”
Manamela says the way these illegal operators are operating is quite sophisticated at times.
“And I must say, chairperson, one of the key reasons why we have somewhat seen a reduction of the number of illegal operating colleges is because our research unit within the department has been working quite hard with some of the colleges that were committed to meet with the requirements.”
All the private colleges are required to be registered
Department’s Director-General, Nkosinathi Sishi says by law, all the private colleges are required to be registered in order to meet the legal status.
“Once a college is registered their names is entered that is published on our website and we continue to update regularly these colleges and the students are urged to check the registration status of the private colleges and all our parents. We will continue in our campaign to try to reach out to all our stakeholders in making sure that the provisions of the act are understood.”
Eradication of illegal private colleges
Sishi says through the department’s work in ensuring the eradication of illegal private colleges along with relevant law enforcement, they expect to close down more bogus colleges in the next coming months.
“The department working with the police has established clear working relationships with the police including metro police close working relationships in dealing with illegal colleges. Since 2020 to date we have closed some of the private colleges and we will continue to close others through the provisions and following the processes of the law. And we will assist those who want to comply.”
Higher Education Department to crack down on bogus colleges: