A critique of the White Paper for Post - School Education and Training (PSET) (Avukile Dlanga)

The White Paper for Post-School Education and Training has identified some of the key common elements in the causality of youth unemployment and un-employability. The White Paper has, however, not explained the relationships needed to ensure transformation of the current system to achieve the intended results. In other words, one cannot move to a new system without first addressing the current and emerging challenges within the education system. The White Paper has not comprehensively included the current factors which add to current challenges.

The key issue is that the theory of change is not clear and therefore one cannot evaluate whether the intervention logic is appropriate or not. The intervention logic should be able to translate the implied theory of change into a strategy for a post-school system. In addition to this, the White Paper has not identified policy and institutional challenges which have impacted on the capacity of the system to provide jobs for youths. As a result there is no information on what has happened to the thousands of youth that have been trained but have not been employed. 
The current Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) tracer study is an attempt to find this information. Therefore, TETA intends to conduct a comprehensive baseline study which will provide the necessary evidence to guide all its future skills development programmes.


  1. Identify clearly the causes of post-schooling challenges;
  2. Identify not only the causes but also the associated contributing factors;
  3. Identify an appropriate status of the post-schooling system so that an appropriate theory of change can be developed to guide intervention strategies in South Africa.

In conclusion, the White Paper is very compelling but will remain a wish list unless it begins to provide a solid framework to produce results. Source: Dlanga, A. 2014.

Avukile Dlanga is a Research and Knowledge Manager at Transport SETA and a former Trade Unionist and Soccer Player commonly known as (Richy).

For further information contact Avukile Dlanga at AvukileD@teta.org.za