Government pushes for more transformation in financial jobs in South Africa



Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said his department remained “committed” to transforming South Africa’s financial sector.

Addressing Price Waterhouse Cooper’s annual education conference on Monday, September 6, Nzimande said the key to this transformational change is improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the skills development system. from South Africa.

“Some believe the problem lies with higher education institutions not producing a sufficient flow of good quality graduates to enter and succeed in certain professional occupations.

“Still others believe that our basic education system does not adequately prepare learners for post-school education. Not only do these debates fail to explain this anomaly, but they also provide insufficient information to find a solution to the current problem. “

Nzimande said researching and finding ways to increase the pool of eligible students entering and succeeding in particular skill areas is a priority. This argument also extends to accounting and finance careers, he said.

“In the accounting career, we need to ensure that we scale up our strategic intervention to increase access and success, particularly in the number of black Chartered Accountants (CAs) and provide these young black South Africans with increased access to the field of commerce. “

While there are currently more than 48,000 registered CAs in South Africa, few 9,000 of them are African and of color, the minister said.

Nzimande added that there are 17 universities in South Africa offering BCom (accounting) that are accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), with only a few historically disadvantaged institutions (HDI) being offered accreditation. SAICA for their accounting programs.

“We must always remember that the lack of accreditation in these historically disadvantaged institutions has limited black access and advancement in the accounting profession.

“This means that their BCom graduates cannot become chartered accountants and their qualifications are not recognized by potential employers. “

Nzimande said that SAICA accreditation improves the employability of these graduates, increases their numbers, especially those from disadvantaged communities, and improves the marketing of their degrees even for graduates who do not wish to take the CA route.

“I am concerned about the issues that SAICA still faces in the CA production pipeline, including the requirements for passing the Graduate Diploma in Accounting (CTA) as well as the barriers faced by particularly black interns. in the field.

“We need to address these hurdles to ensure that every aspiring and capable accounting student can become a professional accountant. South Africa cannot afford to lose an opportunity to ensure that its graduates produced, especially on scarce skills, contribute to the jobs our economy so badly needs. “

Skills development strategy

Nzimande said his department is also advancing its third national skills development strategy (SNDS III), which will help build skills needed in various industries.

“This strategy represents an explicit commitment to encourage the link between skills development and career paths, career development and the promotion of sustainable employment and progression on the job.

“SNDS III seeks to encourage and actively support the integration of on-the-job training with theoretical learning, and to facilitate the progression of individuals between school, college or university, or even periods of unemployment with sustained employment and progression at work. “

The emphasis is on training to enable trainees to enter the formal labor market or create a livelihood, Nzimande said.

“Particular emphasis is placed on those who do not have the relevant technical skills or the adequate skills in reading, writing and numeracy to enable them to access a job. “

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