- Four higher-education institutions are being pre-warned that their registration will be cancelled, the department of higher education said on Friday.
- Damelin, Lyceum, City Varsity, and ICESA all face de-registration.
- Lyceum has been around since 1917, and Damelin since 1943.
- All four are owned by the same holding company, Educor.
- The institutions failed to submit 2020 financial statements, as they are legally obliged to do, the department said.
The department of higher education and training (DHET) intends to cancel the registration of four higher-education institutions, including two of South Africa’s oldest private brands.
In a notice in the Government Gazette, DHET director-general Nkosinathi Sishi published his “decision to issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registration” of City Varsity, Damelin, ICESA City Campus, and Lyceum College “as Private Higher Education Institutions”.
That notice provides the institutions an opportunity to take action before they are actually de-registered, which would also be by way of a gazetted notice.
The four institutions had failed to submit their 2020 audited annual financial statements, said Sishi, a requirement for continued registration.
All four education brands are owned by Educor, a company split out of the Naspers-owned Media24 in 2008.
It traces the history of Damelin back to 1943, and says Lyceum has been providing education since 1917.
Educor also owns INTEC and the Central Technical College.
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The education department said last year it was considering the cancellation of some Damelin certificate programmes after student complaints about the quality of education and service they received. In 2019, Damelin had promised to do better, the DHET said, but it had not seen any reduction in the volume of complaints.
Educor and the affected institutions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In February 2020, Educor reportedly told staff that economic conditions had seen a decline in both enrolment at institutions and the payment of fees due, and that it was considering the retrenchment of what amounted to nearly half its permanent staff.
Damelin lists six campuses in Gauteng, two in KwaZulu-Natal, two in the Eastern Cape, and one in the Free State. It offers a large array of full-time and part-time courses of study.
Lyceum operates out of offices in Cape Town and Bloemfontein, and offers distance-study courses in business, education, and specialist fields such as metropolitan policing.
City Varsity has campuses in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and specialises in creative fields, including marketing, acting, animation, and sound and video production.
ICESA has campuses in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, where it offers both matric and tertiary qualifications in fields including management, tourism, and logistics.