The Department of Higher Education and Training has released about 233,000 National Certificate (Vocational) [NC (V)] certificates out of the outstanding 236,000 at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. The backlog dates back to 2007.
The colleges have experienced administrative issues and many students have not received their results. This has posed challenges for the students when applying for jobs.
About 2% of students that enter TVET colleges qualify in the minimum period of three years while nearly a third graduate and many of those who do, wait years for their certificates.
Department spokesman Madikwe Mabotha said that a number of operational issues had caused the delay in issuing certificates.
One of the reasons was that colleges send incorrect student information which disrupted the entire value chain.
"Sometimes information of students would be submitted as the student not having participated in exams," said Mabotha.
The department said it had processed an additional 132,912 NC (V) certificate records for the recent November 2016 examination cycle. A total of 82,978 of these were qualified for certification and the remainder consisted of subject certificates and full certificates. This excludes 5,812 certificates that were pending "due to processing and data " challenges".
It was still sitting on a backlog of about 16,574 National N Diploma (NND) applications that were still pending.
The processes were on track and the release of all outstanding National N Diplomas would be done by no later than June 30, the department said.
It was working on a strategy to have certificates issued only once the student had completed all courses as currently students were receiving certificates at the end of every phase completed, Mabotha said.
All the 2017 supplementary certificates would be released by the end of July, the department said.