UCT builds capacity in public sector

14 Jun 2016 - 08:30

The University of Cape Town has made a significant contribution to building skills in the public sector with its historic first class of 29 Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Accounting  students who graduated in the Jameson Hall this week.

According to Prof Ilse Lubbe, the programme convenor: “The College of Accounting began offering the new Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Accounting programme for the first time in 2015. The College developed the qualification in response to critical skills shortages in the public sector, specifically in the areas of financial management, audit and governance and financial reporting. This is the first accounting programme specialising in the public sector at this level to be offered in South Africa.”

The class had a pass rate of 90%, which is noteworthy, as eight of these students were studying while being employed full time in public sector entities such as the Western Cape Provincial Treasury and other government departments. 

The graduates had high praise for the course. Neo Manngo said: “The knowledge I've gathered this year has me extremely excited for what lies ahead. I can say with conviction that I am 100% equipped to be the change that is much needed.”

There was no shortage of ambition from student Kabelo Mafiri, who said: “I am the firstborn of my parents, and the first in the family to obtain a degree. I am from Limpopo, Polokwane. When I heard of this postgraduate programme, which offered me the opportunity to directly contribute to the growth of my country using the skills and knowledge which I learned, I grabbed onto the opportunity with both hands.

He added: “From day one, this programme has been everything I ever wanted. It has taught me the workings of government, the shortfalls and how I can help fill in the gap. What I hope to achieve with this postgraduate program is to use my knowledge and skills at a municipality back home, improve it by assisting it in obtaining clean audits and move on up to becoming the accounting officer (CEO) of that municipality. After that, I plan on moving on to greater things such as becoming the Premier of the province, Minister of finance and one day the President of this great nation. “The curriculum focuses on four key areas:

Public Sector Structures and Functions

Public Financial Management

Public Sector Financial Reporting

Public Sector Audit and Governance

Prof Lubbe concluded: “We are delighted by the interest and support that the development of this postgraduate diploma has received from stakeholders in the sector.  Close relationships with government institutions and industry bodies, such as the South African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA), the Auditor General in South Africa (AGSA), National Treasury and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) are key to ensuring that the curriculum remains current and relevant.”  In a nutshell:

First cohort - 2015

97% South African students

31% Male

69% Female

Black African 62%

Coloured 28%

Indian 3%

White 7%

29 students enrolled - 90% pass rate

For more information or queries about the programme, please contact ilse.lubbe@uct.ac.za.

Story By : Carolyn McGibbon