Introduction to Corporate Governance and Administration

Run under the auspices of the Faculty of Commerce Law and Management at Wits.


The course Introduction to Corporate Governance and Administration is an entry level certificate in the field of Governance and Administration. This course offers a broad-based business education to learners who wish to aspire to the entry level professional status granted by Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (CSSA) - previously known as the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (CIS).


  • A Wits certificate of competence supported by the Wits assessment system.
  • Full recognition by CSSA.
  • The certificate may be earned in a year or you may extend completion to 18 months.
  • Wits high quality lecturers
  • Success in all three certificates, (Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced) gives you access to the four Professional Board examinations (Corporate Administration, Corporate Financial Management, Corporate Governance and Corporate Secretaryship) under the International qualifying scheme of CSSA.
  • The first of a suite of three certificates- full articulation
  • An opportunity to commence your business education - a lifelong journey
  • A programme relevant to business
  • A programme that builds upon your working experience
  • The option of progressing to the Wits B Com. degree with some credit recognition/exemptions on completion of the 3 certificates.
  • An opportunity to combine work and study

Wits Plus, the Centre for Part-time Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand offers evening tuition classes for a range of courses leading to Wits examinations and a Wits certificate of competence. Wits provide a serious study environment on its attractive West Campus. Our evening classes for part-time students are highly interactive. Our lecturers are experienced teachers who are all graduates and professionals in their subject specialisations. Wits has been an approved University tuition centre for the CSSA for over 20 years, and is the tuition centre of choice for on-campus, face-to-face, part-time study in Gauteng.

The objectives will enable learners to acquire a foundational and practical knowledge in the subject areas of Economics, Communications, General Principles of Commercial Law and Financial Accounting 1.

The certificate will provide learners with the knowledge and skills that can be applied in a variety of workplaces or business entities. It also provides a step to a higher phase of learning in governance, administration and finance and aims to widen the learner’s opportunities for advancement. The certificate will carry the brand of Wits Plus and the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management.

Introduction to Corporate Governance and Administration comprises the following topics:

  • Economics
  • Communications
  • General Principles of Commercial Law
  • Financial Accounting I

The successful learner will earn a useful and immediately applicable certificate at level 5, (SAQA framework) and using the CSSA terminology will be granted the status of Affiliate CIBM of the Chartered Institute of Business Management.

The certificate will articulate with a Wits certificate of competence in Intermediate Corporate Governance and Administration and with PROGRAMME 2 of the International CSSA qualifying scheme, leading to the status of Licentiate CIBM.

This entry level course is aimed at younger working people (possibly holding junior clerical positions or more advanced supervisory positions) who wish to acquire an introductory knowledge of essential business subjects. The acquisition of this certificate will add value to the qualifying learner’s employability. We are targeting people with mature attitudes to learning, strongly motivated in their careers seeking the dual challenge of successfully combining work and study.

The entrance requirements for this Certificate is a Grade 12 Senior Certificate, or FETC or a N3 Certificate (an NQF level 4 qualification) provided that the subjects include English (first or second language) and Mathematics and either Accountancy, or a science subject limited to Physics, Chemistry or Physical Science (Higher grade, E is the minimum. Standard grade, D is the minimum). In the new terminology entrants will be expected to be competent in Communications at NQF Level 4, Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 and Accounting at NQF Level 4. For those with tertiary qualifications, CSSA grants certain exemptions to holders of all university degrees and technikon diplomas (now Universities of Science and Technology) and recognized professional bodies. Students who are not competent in mathematics are required to complete an initial year of study in the Foundation Mathematics or Mathematics for Access short course programme, earning a certificate of competence run by Wits Plus ²

Three of the topics (Economics, Communications and General Principles of Commercial Law) will be taught over a 14 week period (one semester) with examinations held in May. These three topics will be offered again in semester 2 with examinations held in October. Financial Accounting 1 is a full year course and will be taught over 28 weeks (two semesters). There will be a mid-year exam for Financial Accounting 1 in May and the final year-end exam in October. It will be possible for the student to earn the certificate in the minimum time period of a year, provided 3 topics are studied in each semester. The duration of each lecture will be 2 hours, which results in a total of 28 contact hours per semester topic and 56 contact hours for Financial Accounting 1. For the introductory level topics the total contact hours amount to 140 hours. An additional 140 hours, independent (self-study) hours (8 to 10 hours a week) will be expected of students.

Lecturers will mainly be drawn from the School of Economic and Business Sciences, the School of Law and the School of Accountancy of the University of the Witwatersrand. All our lecturers are university graduates with extensive practical work experience in the areas of their subject specialisation. All are competent teachers.

For all topics, a combination of tests, assignments or marked tutorials, and a final three hour examination will be used, thus combining formative and summative assessment. An external examiner will be appointed in line with standard Wits practices and quality assurance, and moderation of examinations will be the responsibility of the Wits school most closely associated with the topic.

LECTURES will be held in the First National Bank building (FNB) or the Wits Plus building or the Commerce, Law and Management (CLM) building on the West Campus, Yale Road, Braamfontein from 17h30 to 19h30. Details of lecture venues will be displayed in the Corporate Governance and Administration (CIS) office on the day that lectures commence.

Note: The programme will be offered subject to A MINIMUM REGISTRATION OF TEN STUDENTS per topic.

We offer a one-stop professional administration service to our part-time students in the Wits Plus Building, West Campus. Secure well-lit parking is provided for students (an annual parking fee is levied). A refreshment kiosk at the Tower of Light is open for evening refreshments.  Students have access to the Wits Plus computer laboratory and are permitted to study in the Wits Commerce library on the West Campus and may consult the books of this library on a reference basis. The Wartenweiler Library on the East Campus has a 24-hour reading/study facility.

Register at the Corporate Governance and Administration (CIS office), Second floor, Wits Plus building, West Campus, Wits University, Yale Road, Braamfontein.

Contact details: Mrs. René Cole. Tel: 011 717 9502. Fax: 086 726 4465.

Email address:


* Students need to come to the office to register.  Postal registrations cannot be done.

* Students should bring their ID books, marriage certificates (married women), original matric certificate and any post school

qualifications when coming to register

FEES for 2013

R19 600-00 for all 4 topics in the Introductory Certificate or R 4300-00 per semester topic and R6700-00 for Financial Accounting I. Fees include course notes, tuition and exam fees and the CSSA exemption fee, but exclude the cost of textbooks, parking fee  and access card fee. (a replacement fee is payable if the access card is lost or damaged)

Fees must be paid in full by close of registration depending on the number of topics taken. Credit and debit card payments can be made at the Wits Plus CIS office. EFT and bank deposits are to be paid into the bank account indicated on your invoice which you obtain when you register.

Please bring your deposit slip and ID book to our office to register. Faxed or emailed copies of bank deposits will not be accepted as proof of payment.


Students who complete this Certificate successfully will receive exemption from CSSA .  The exemption fee payable to CSSA is inlcuded in the fees as quoted above


Monday: General Principles of Commercial Law  
Tuesday: Financial Accounting I - full year
Wednesday: Economics
Thursday: Communication



  1. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COMMERCIAL LAW: Macro-descriptor: On completion of this topic students will have an in-depth understanding of the legal requirements for the formation of contracts; the remedies for breach of contract and the requirements of specific contracts. Syllabus: This course will enable students to understand: the terms “law”, and “right” and “subjective right”; the difference between legal subjects and objects; the law of persons, family law, law of personality and the law of property; methods of acquiring ownership, possession and the law of delict. Contents covered include General Principles of the Law of Contract; Contract of Sale; Contract of Lease; Contract of Insurance; Credit Agreements and the Law of Agency.
  2. ECONOMICS: Macro-descriptor: Demonstrate an introductory knowledge of the basic principles of economics together with its relevance and application to economic policies. Demonstrate an understanding of economic principles in the South African context. Syllabus: This topics covers the Foundations of Economics; Market Mechanism; Perfect Competition; Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition, and Oligopoly; the Labour Market; Performance of the Economy; Monetary Sector and the Monetary Policy and its Instruments; the Role of Government; the Role of the Foreign Sector.
  3. COMMUNICATIONS: Macro-descriptor: Understand and apply the principles, concepts and strategies of communication. Students gain an understanding of the nature of human communication and of the barriers to communication. The syllabus covers the nature of communication within organisations and the problems associated with organisational communication; the importance of verbal communication in organisations and dealing with various forms of verbal communications; the nature of written communication in organisations; structuring appropriate documents. It also offers an understanding of the nature of the communications media. In addition, the competent learner can communicate effectively with diverse audiences in the financial services sector, using a variety of media and codes, taking into account the various cultures, groups, organisations and situations encountered.
  4. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING 1: Macro-descriptor: Understand and apply the basic principles of bookkeeping and accounting to the preparation of a simple set of accounting records. Syllabus: Introduction to the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements (IASB Framework); Double Entry System; Accrual Basis; Financial Statements of a Sole Trader (IAS 1); Books of original entry; Accounting for cash; Control Accounts; Valuation of assets; Inventory; Non-current assets; Accounts Receivable; Non-Profit Organizations (Clubs and Associations); Partnership Accounting; Departmental Accounts; Cash Flow Statements; Incomplete Records.

(1) B Com (Bachelor of Commerce): conditions apply, discuss with the Wits Plus office 011 717 9505/9510

(2) FOUNDATION MATHEMATICS: This course is compulsory for students who do not have the required symbols for matric mathematics. It is aimed at upgrading matric mathematics results for subsequent study of Economics, Computational Mathematics and Financial Accounting.  

(2) MATHEMATICS FOR ACCESS: this course is compulsory for students who do not have matric mathematics.