TVET Colleges In South Africa | You Want To Apply For TVET College? Read This First

Your goal is to have a good-paying job or to start your own business. You are practically strong, but not necessarily academically strong.

You prefer to follow a more practical course at lower costs, but still want high-quality education and be able to obtain internationally accepted accreditation at completion. Does this sound like you? Then a TVET college could be just what you need. 

In this article, we will explain everything you will need to know about TVET Colleges in South Africa. Let’s start with explaining what TVET Colleges exactly are.

What Are TVET Colleges?

The term TVET is used around the world. It forms part of the education system and combines education and training with skills development.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) resorts under Post-School Education and Training and is administered by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). They do this together with many other educational institutions and regulatory bodies, such as the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and Quality councils.

Public TVET colleges in South Africa have considerably more than 700 000 students and keep growing in popularity and student numbers.

TVET colleges offer a matric certificate to people who have completed Grade 9, and there is no age restriction. The student receives a National Vocational Certificate on Levels  2, 3 and 4 that are equivalent to Grades 10, 11 and 12.

The courses are all accredited and independently monitored to ensure high quality standards, as well as International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) accredited.

These colleges offer short courses of a few hours, to diploma courses up to three years. Their courses cover industry fields such as agriculture; arts and culture; business, commerce and management; education, training and development; engineering, manufacturing and technology; services; building construction and security.

What are the entrance requirements for public TVET colleges?

It depends on the course for which one applies. For an NCV the requirement is a passed Grade 9.

What are the fee structures of public TVET colleges?

The National Certificate (Vocational) and Report 191 (NATED) course fees are standardised. Contact individual colleges for other course fees as it will vary from college to college.

I failed matric/only passed Grade 9. How can a TVET college help me to get matric?

TVET colleges offer you the opportunity to complete your matric by obtaining a National Vocational Certificate (NQF). An NQF Level 4 is equal to Grade 12.

What is the purpose of TVET colleges?

TVET colleges offer post-school vocational, occupational and artisan education and training to students who are serious about following an education and training programme, that will enable them to acquire marketable skills.

Their aim and purpose is to prepare students to become functional workers in a skilled trade. These students have completed Grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 at high school level, and want to achieve an NC(V), level 4, which is the equivalent to a matric certificate.

Alternatively, Grade 9 school-leavers who passed maths and science, can enroll in a one-year program in engineering studies. However, university postgraduates often enroll for courses at TVET colleges for more practical exposure.

Public TVET college or Private college?

The difference between a public TVET college and a private college is that, although they both fall under Technical Vocational Education and Training, there is one defining difference between the two.

Public colleges are funded by the government and private colleges by a group (stakeholders) or an individual (the owner of the college).

Public colleges could be more popular amongst prospective students in South Africa because they can offer bursaries to students in need. However, if the government’s funding runs out, it doesn’t only affect the college, but also the students.

Private colleges, on the other hand, manage their own funds and administrative issues, so they are not affected by a shortage of funds and strikes by government-employed teachers.

How do TVET Colleges Work?

TVET colleges’ field experts develop students’ technical skills by testing their theoretical and practical abilities, and offer on-the-job training, that will enable you to specialise in a practical course.

This means that you will learn how to do a specific job, for instance in an engineering field, but it is not the same as and engineering qualification offered by a university. However, a TVET qualification in engineering studies can help you towards studying a national diploma or BTech degree at a university.

If you should decide to further your studies in engineering, you could enroll at a university of your choice.

What is The Difference between a TVET college and a University

Vocational certificate and diploma certifications at public TVET colleges range from NQF Level 2 to 5 and in some instances up to NQF Level 6. Universities offer academic qualifications ranging from NQF 5 to 10. Universities are larger institutions that offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes.

On the other hand, colleges are often smaller institutions that focus on undergraduate education in a diverse range of academic areas. TVET colleges put more emphasis on practical courses and learning skills for specific occupations. It is also more affordable than a university.

While a qualification at a university potentially offers a higher paying career, a TVET qualification could offer more job opportunities, especially within the scarce skill sector.

What Is The Difference Between a TVET College and a FET college

There is no difference. TVET colleges were previously known as FET colleges (Further Education and Training). In 2012, the term TVET was introduced into the South African educational system by the DHET.

However, in January 2014, it was announced by the minister of Higher Education and Training at the time, that not only public FET colleges but all FET colleges were to change to TVET colleges.


Does NSFAS pay for TVET colleges?

NSFAS is a financial aid scheme which provides higher education funding in the form of bursary fees and other allowances to disadvantaged South African students for higher education. They provide various bursaries to students at public universities, as well as TVET colleges.

Which TVET colleges offer NSFAS?

All of the more than 50 public colleges nationwide offer NSFAS bursaries to South Africans who comply with the colleges’ entry requirements and have proof of registration or acceptance at the relevant college.

What are the Top TVET Colleges in South Africa?

By choosing to enroll for a course at a TVET college, you are assured that everything is on board. By being registered, these colleges ensure that South Africans receive quality education and training services.

Although the more than 50 TVET colleges in South Africa are all duly registered and accredited to offer you a wide variety of course options, according to Webometrics these are the top TVET colleges in South Africa. 

  1. Sedibeng TVET College, Gauteng
  2. Sekhukhune TVET College, Limpopo
  3. Letaba TVET College, Limpopo
  4. Lovedale TVET College, Eastern Cape
  5. Majuba TVET College, KwaZulu-Natal
  6. Maluti TVET College, Free State
  7. Umfolozi TVET College, KwaZulu-Natal
  8. Flavius Mareka TVET College, Free State
  9. Gert Sibande TVET College, Mpumalanga
  10. Ekurhuleni East TVET College, Gauteng
  11. Elangeni TVET College, KwaZulu-Natal
  12. Ehlanzeni TVET College, Mpumalanga
  13. Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Eastern Cape
  14. Esayidi TVET College, KwaZulu-Natal
  15. Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Gauteng
  16. False Bay TVET College, Western Cape
  17. Mopana South East TVET College, Limpopo
  18. Northern Cape TVET Urban College, Northern Cape
  19. Northlink TVET College, Western Cape
  20. Nkangala TVET College, Mpumalanga

On the other hand,according to Youth Village, Central Johannesburg TVET College has been rated fourth MOST POPULAR COLLEGE after private colleges, such as Rosebank College (1st), Damelin (2nd) and Boston City Campus (3rd).

Thereafter follows PC Training & Business College, Varsity College, Jeppe College of Commerce and Computer Studies, Intec College and Pretoria Technical College – all private colleges (

This says a lot about the Central Johannesburg TVET College, which is a public college that is funded by the government. Private colleges, on the other side of the coin (literally), are funded by private groups or individuals and therefore, more costly.

We created a list of TVET colleges in the various provinces in South Africa for your convenience. If you want to pursue your dreams and become a part of a student community at one of these colleges, refer to our list below, for easy reference.

List of TVET Colleges in South Africa

How many TVET colleges are there in South Africa?

The DHET has six regional offices, with more than 50 registered TVET colleges in South Africa with hundreds of campuses, which operate across the country. Scroll down to view a list of the colleges.


Buffalo City TVET College

Eastcape Midlands TVET College

Ikhala TVET College

Ingwe TVET College

• King Hintsa TVET College

King Sabata Dalindyebo TVET College

Lovedale TVET College

Port Elizabeth TVET College


Flavius Mareka TVET College

Goldfields TVET College

Maluti TVET College

Motheo TVET College


Central Johannesburg TVET College

Ekurhuleni East TVET College

Ekurhuleni West TVET College

Sedibeng TVET College

South West Gauteng TVET College

Tshwane North TVET College

Tshwane South TVET College

Western TVET College


Tshwane North TVET College

Tshwane South TVET College


Central Johannesburg TVET College

Ekurhuleni West TVET College

South West TVET College

Western TVET College


Coastal TVET College

Elangeni TVET College

Esayidi TVET College

Majuba TVET College

Mnambithi TVET College

Mthashana TVET College

Thekwini TVET College

Umfolozi TVET College

Umgungundlovu TVET College


Coastal TVET College

Thekwini TVET College


Capricorn TVET College

Lephalale TVET College

Letaba TVET College

Mopani South East TVET College

Sekhu-khune TVET College

Vhembe TVET College

Waterberg TVET College


Ehlanzeni TVET College

Gert Sibande TVET College

Nkangala TVET College


Northern Cape Rural TVET College

Northern Cape Urban TVET College


Orbit TVET College

Taletso TVET College

Vuselela TVET College


Boland TVET College

College of Cape Town TVET College

False Bay TVET College

Northlink TVET College

South Cape TVET College

West Coast TVET College


College of Cape Town TVET College

Northlink TVET College

Final Thoughts

Lastly, not all private colleges are registered with the DHET. Some colleges are scams. DHET spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana warned that fake institutions are mushrooming everywhere with the only intention to rob the poor. Many of them have been shut down and are facing criminal cases against them.

If you are considering studying at a private college, make sure that they are registered with accredited programmes. You can visit the DHET’s website at to check if they are registered, or alternatively call the toll-free number: 0800 87 22 22.

A public TVET college offers a variety of courses to choose from, and are fully equipped to educate and train you. Studying at a public TVET college seems to be a safe option. They are all registered and you might qualify for NSFAS funding. Visit their website at for more information.