THE REAL NUMBERS: Pali Lehohla is the Statistician-General for Statistics South Africa
PRETORIA Stats SA findings that were released earlier today, during a press briefing by outgoing Statistician - General, Dr Pali Lehohla, at the Tshedimosetso House in Pretoria.

The report showed that South-Africa's public higher education institutions had a total income of R67,4 billion in the 2016 financial year. This represents an increase of 6,7 billion from the income received the previous financial year. 

The report was broken down into several components which included, capital expenditure, grants, tuition fees, salaries and the number of enrolled students. 

Grants received by public higher education institutions in 2016 amounted to 30 billion, which is 5 billion more compared to 2015 (25 billion) The increase has been attributed to an increase in transfer payments from the Department of Higher Education and Training to the University of the Western Cape, University of South Africa and the University of Mpumalanga.

The total cash payments form operating activities by higher education increased by R5,4 billion and the largest contributor to cash payments was "compensation of employees," which amounted to  R33,7 billion. Cash payments for purchases of goods and services increased by R2,6 billion, from R19 billion in 2015. This was mainly due to an increase in operating expenses by the Stellenbosch University, the University of Cape Town and North West University. 

Dr Pali maintained that something had to be systematically wrong in the education system, where double the number of learners enrolled were in controlst to the overall capacity of less than 500 000. "What the numbers are saying is that the education system is capable of producing 500 000 students but it has a million students, he said." With 975 837 students enrolled in higher education in 2016 the issues of skill shortages was questioned "in a skill hungry country, why are graduates from TVETS not employed, it begs the question, what is actually being taught at these TVETS institutions?"

The full statistical release is available on the Statistics South Africa website: www.statssa.gov.za

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