Chair, hon member, you have guessed right. Part of the way of dealing with the issue is that we cannot respond to everything, because the issue is broad. The legislation on limiting the costs to government is something that we are processing. We are discussing it with the Department of Justice. That has to be put in place, so that, whatever you claim, cannot go further than this. That is one of the things that we are going to do.
We are also looking at working together with the Ombudsman to look at the experience of various other countries, because sometimes you need is a mediation process with the families of those who might have lost members, and have family members who were
compromised. Therefore, once you deal with that in a meditative process, there is no need for a lawsuit.
Sometimes the price inflation happens because the lawyers want to have their cut. In this case, we believe that those mechanisms are going to be helpful in dealing with this matter.
At the right time, we will bring the matter to the House and deal with it. We are simply saying that all of these are aspects of dealing with the issue of corruption.
There is no way we can allow people to just walk away with billions of rands, while they are supposed to help rebuild the health system. When you have NHI as well, the facilities will be available, so there is no need for anyone to claim in lieu of what might be the health needs of someone, because they will be expected to come to the NHI institutions anyway. So, we will deal with this issue.
The second issue that you are raising is around the theft of medicine. That is happening. Part of what I was talking about is the issue of stock visibility. We will start tracking the movement of medication from manufacturer to depot to hospital. I have said
that the department must actually find an app that will get the public to respond and tell us when there is a shortage of medication, so that we can intervene very early.
There has been medication found in neighbouring countries, sometimes with the labels of local hospitals. That needs to be dealt with. There are also stories about people that would walk into the hospital and get Panado and go sell them. We have to deal with all of those things
However, all I can say is that members must give us information whenever they find it, because they go out there and talk to people and communities. We will investigate and we will get to the bottom of it. If we are all similarly alert, we will be able to curb this. So, just sell us information and we will investigate it.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
We are able to provide the road map and outline in terms of us clearing the backlog. Firstly, I can indicate that the current certificate backlog for the National Certificate Vocational, NCV, examination cycle from November 2007 to March 2019 totals 308
candidates as at 20 October 2019. So, only 308 NCV candidates have not received their certificates.
Then, in terms of the National Accredited Technical Education Diploma, Nated, Reports 190 and 191 backlog from November 2015 to November 2018 examination cycles, we have, in terms of Engineering Studies, the number of candidates who wrote at 1,5 million and only 2 020 are outstanding, which constitutes only 0,13%. In terms of Business Studies, 1,272 million candidates wrote, and only 178 are outstanding, which constitutes a backlog of 0,01%. In total, in terms of Nated Reports 190 and 191 backlogs, we only have 0,08% backlog.
We have made interventions in terms of the other outstanding certificates. There are meeting on a fortnightly basis between the department, the State Information Technology Agency, Sita, which is the IT component of the certification process, and Umalusi to try and deal with these issues. This includes weekly technical meetings, sourcing of outstanding certificate lists from TVET colleges and manually processing them by the department's examination officials while Sita is enhancing their IT system, monthly certification task team meetings to deal with the challenges in relation to process, blocking the issuing of
certificates, and also the question of developing an integrated examinations information technology.
I must emphasise that the bigger challenge relates to the certificates for the examination cycle 2007 November to 2019 March. Our target date to completely clear off those certificates for ... I mean for ... full certificates in terms of single exam sitting is 15 April 2020. Then, for NCV multiple exam sittings, our target is 30 September 2030.
The reason there are two targets is because, with regard to multiple exam sittings, it means that the student has sat for the same level but on different examinations. So there needs to be some consolidation of those subjects that have been passed. That's why the deadline, or us clearing those certificates ... we intend to do that by 30 September.
Then, in terms of Business Studies, the examinations cycle of 2015 November up to 2018 November ... the intention is to clear those by 30 April 2020.
The Nated Engineering Studies ... same examination cycle -
2015 November to 2018 November - the intention is clear those by 31 May 2020.
So, essentially those are some of the dates as indicated. We know that we have been inundated with inquiries as it relates to this. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that every student that qualifies really does get their certification.
Precisely because we have so many examination cycles, we are faced with the challenge of some of the students believing that they qualify for either a certificate or a diploma, but when we do further investigations we find that they actually don't.