Full Profile of Department of Higher Education and Training South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is a governmental department in South Africa responsible for the administration and coordination of post-school education and training.

Public universities, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, and community education and training (CET) colleges are all governed and supported by the DHET.

The department also carries out research, develops policy directives, and offers assistance and direction to organizations operating in the field.

The goal of the DHET is to make sure that the nation has a post-secondary education and training system that serves the demands of both the individual and the economy. It aims to give all South Africans, especially those who have historically been shut out of the official education system, access to high-quality education and training.

Functions of DHET

Some of the key functions of the DHET include:

  1. Developing and implementing policies and legislation related to higher education and training
  2. Planning and coordinating the post-school education and training system
  3. Allocating funding to institutions in the sector
  4. Conducting research and analysis to inform policy and practice in the sector
  5. Supporting the development of skills and capacity in the sector
  6. Promoting equity and redress in the post-school education and training system

The DHET plays a critical role in shaping the future of higher education and training in South Africa and ensuring that the country has a skilled and capable workforce that can contribute to economic growth and development.

Historical Overview of the Department of Higher Education and Training

After the previous Department of Education was split into Basic Education and Higher Education and Training divisions in 2009, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) was created.

The South African government’s education agencies were reorganized in 2009, leading to the creation of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

Previous to this, the Department of Education, which was in charge of overseeing all stages of education from early childhood development through tertiary education, had jurisdiction over higher education and training.

With the end of apartheid in 1994, the South African government put in place a number of changes designed to increase historically underrepresented groups’ access to higher education.

This involved building new colleges and universities and modifying those that already existed to better reflect the diverse population of South Africa.

With a number of institutions and suppliers offering a range of degrees and programs, the higher education market in South Africa has grown more complicated and diverse over time. 

This prompted calls for the sector to be approached in a more coordinated and strategic manner, and the creation of the DHET was considered a move in that direction.

The DHET has been instrumental in establishing the post-school education and training environment in South Africa since its foundation.

In order to promote access, equity, and quality in the field and address some historical disparities that have remained in South Africa’s educational system, it has implemented a number of policies and programs.

With an emphasis on encouraging innovation, collaboration, and quality in the sector, the DHET continues to play a significant role in determining the goals and direction of higher education and training in South Africa today.

DHET Mandate

The mandate of the new Department included aspects of skills development which had previously resided in the Department of Labour.

The new Department was specifically established to focus on post-school education and training holistically and has extended its scope of operations extensively.

DHET Vision

An integrated, coordinated and articulated Post Secondary Education and Training (PSET) system for improved economic participation and the social development of youth and adults.

DHET Mission

To provide strategic leadership to the PSET system through the development of appropriate steering mechanisms; effective oversight, monitoring and evaluation; the provision of support services in relation to teaching and learning, as well as the funding of PSET institutions and entities.

DHET Core Values

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is committed to:

  • Integrity.
  • Accountability.
  • Responsiveness.
  • Service Excellence.
  • Collaboration.

Contact Details of DHET South Africa

Postal Address: Private Bag X174, Pretoria, 0001

Physical Address: 123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria, 0001

Tel: 012 312 5911 / 0800 87 2222 / 086 999 0123

Website: www.dhet.gov.za

Management & Staff of DHET

Minister: Dr Blade Nzimande (Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology) (ANC)

Deputy Minister: Mr Buti Manamela (Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology) (ANC)

Director General: Dr Nkosinathi Sishi (Acting)

Chief of Staff: Ms Eudy Mabuza

Chief Financial Officer: Ms Pretty Makukule

Deputy Directors General

  • Ms Nolwazi Gasa (Planning, Policy and Strategy)
  • Dr EB Mahlobo (Branch Coordinator)
  • Ms Lulama Mbobo (Branch Coordinator)
  • Mr ZC Mvalo (Skills Development)
  • Ms Aruna Singh (Acting: TVET Colleges)

Senior Management

  • Ms Hannelie Ackerman (Deputy Director: Compliance Unit)
  • Mr Paul du Toit (Director: Internal Audit)
  • Adv Mariana Erasmus (Director: Contract Management)
  • Mr Zakhele Hlongwane (Director: Public Entities)
  • Mr Lucian Kearns (Chief Director: Supply Chain and Asset Management)
  • Ms Gloria Maaka-Tlokana (Director: Development Support)
  • Ms Seputu Mampane (Branch Manager: University Education)
  • Ms Michelle Mathey (Director: Teacher Education)
  • Mr Neels Meiring (Deputy Director: Asset Management)
  • Mr Bayanda Mzoneli (Head of Office: Deputy Minister)
  • Ms Amelia Poolman (Director: Financial Management)
  • Mr Hamilton Ramaphakela (Director: Supply Chain Management)

Communications Officers

  • Mr Ishmael Mnisi (Media Liaison Officer and Spokesperson)
  • Ms Seema Ramnarain (Chief Director: Communications)
  • Ms Siphokazi Shoba (Parliamentary Liaison)
  • Mr C Sonti (Acting Parliamentary Liaison)


  • Ms Motshedisi Letuka (Private Secretary: Deputy Minister)
  • Ms Tsholofelo Nakale (Personal Assistant: Chief Financial Officer)
  • Ms S Nelufule (Personal Assistant: Director General)
  • Ms Esther Rammutla (Personal Assistant: Minister)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *