The constitution of South Africa stresses the importance of building a just and equitable society. Part of the concept of a just and equitable society is the availability of quality education for all, including adults with education being seen as an important building block for creating the ideal society. As a consequence, the South African government encourages various initiatives to enable previously disadvantaged adults to improve their education.The links that follow provide some guidance on what the government offers for adult learners.

Relevant government acts

Adult Education and Training Act (previously Adult Basic Education and Training Act) 52 of 2000

Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Act 1 of 2013

Adult Basic Education and Training Bill

Provincial links

Western Cape Government. Education and Training for Adults
The Community Education and Training (CET) formerly known as ABET is a programme that gives you the opportunity to develop basic literacy skills such as reading, writing and basic problem solving.

There are Community Learning Centres throughout the Western Cape.
For more information on these, contact:
Andre Damon
DHET Western Cape Regional Office
Tel: 021 204 1810

More information on Adult Basic Education and Training in the Western Cape can be found here.

Eastern Cape Government. Community Learning Centres
Amended list of Community Learning Centres and Satellite Learning Centres effective 01 April 2020.


The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)
The South African Qualifications Authority is a government-appointed body that oversees the framework of qualifications in South Africa and the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The SAQA website contains valuable information regarding the NQF, qualifications and standards. All registered unit standards of ABET can be found on this site and it has a useful search facility.

The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training is known as Umalusi. Umalusi is the quality assurer in the general and further education and training bands of the national qualifications framework (NQF). The Council makes sure that the providers of education and training have the capacity to deliver and assess qualifications and learning programmes and are doing so to expected standards of quality. They have an important role to play in maintaining the standard of education in South Africa, including ABET.

Department of Basic Education (DBE)
The Department of Basic Education is one of the government departments responsible for overseeing education-related matters in South Africa. On their website you will find information on, amongst others, the Curriculum, what to do if you’ve lost your matric certificate, and links to previous Grade 12 exam papers for revision purposes. A downloadable A list of ABET centres with their contact details can be downloaded here. This list is dated October 2007, but I have not found a more up-to-date list.

Independent Examinations Board (IEB)
The IEB, whilst still maintaining its independence, is a leader in innovative assessments that are relevant to South Africa. The IEB has also established itself as a significant role-player and a key partner to government in building our education system in a democratic South Africa.

SETA is an acronym for Sector Education and Training Authority. An important reason for their existence is to help improve skills of both the employed and unemployed in various sectors. They do this by ensuring that skills training is uniform and of acceptable quality throughout South Africa. They are closely involved in the development of learning programmes and ensure that these programmes follow the governments national skills development plans. Many of the SETAs encourage ABET training for employees with their respective sectors.