Free Online Courses with Certificates from the South African Government: A Comprehensive Guide

Free Online Courses with Certificates from the South African Government: A Comprehensive Guide

The South African government, through various ministries and agencies, offers a wide range of free online courses with certificates for South African citizens. These courses cover diverse topics from public administration, governance and leadership to technical skills, entrepreneurship, health and more.

Whether you are a student, government employee or simply looking to upskill yourself, these free accredited courses are an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and enhance your knowledge from the comfort of your home.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the most popular free online course platforms supported by the South African government along with the array of subjects you can study for free to earn an accredited certificate.

The List Of Government Free Online Courses With Certificates


Free Online Courses With Certificates In South Africa

Government Courses For Government Jobs

Government Free Online Courses With Certificates Near Pretoria

Free Online Courses In South Africa With Certificates.

National School of Government (NSG) eLearning

The National School of Government (NSG) is the foremost training institution for public servants in South Africa. They offer over 80 free online courses focused on building an effective, capable and ethical public sector.

Some popular NSG accredited course categories include:

Leadership and Management:

  • Ethics and Anti-Corruption
  • Diversity Management
  • Strategic Planning and Management
  • Performance Management and Development
  • Project Management

Governance and Administration:

  • Understanding the Constitution
  • Policy Development and Implementation
  • citizen-centric Service Delivery
  • Local Government Administration
  • Information Management

Finance and Budgeting:

  • Public Finance Management
  • Government Budgeting and Reporting
  • Supply Chain and Procurement Management
  • Asset Management

Information Technology:

  • Management Information Systems
  • Data and Records Management
  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • Digital Skills for e-Government

The full catalogue can be accessed directly on the NSG eLearning platform. Courses consist of online modules, downloadable guides, virtual lectures and final assessments. Completing all components earns you an NSG certificate.

University of South Africa (UNISA)

UNISA, South Africa’s largest distance learning institution, offers over 50 free online short courses focused on high-demand skills in business, technology, education, security and more.

Some examples of accredited UNISA courses you can take include:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Workplace Digital Skills
  • Teaching with Technology
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Management
  • Corporate Fraud Investigation

The flexible courses are 4-8 weeks long and consist of online lessons, assessments and practical case studies. Completing all requirements earns you a UNISA certificate of completion.


FutureLearn partners with various universities and organizations to offer over 1000 courses on diverse topics for free. Under its Worldwide category, FutureLearn provides the following courses centered around South Africa:

  • Climate Change Adaptation in Africa by University of Cape Town
  • Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Communities by University of Stellenbosch
  • Understanding South Africa’s Democracy by University of Cape Town
  • Governance for Development in Africa by University of Pretoria

These certified online courses are delivered via articles, videos and community discussion. They typically run for 2-4 weeks and you can access course materials and earn a shareable certificate for free.


Coursera, in collaboration with leading African universities, provides a multitude of free online courses across subjects. Popular South Africa-focused Coursera courses you can enrol in include:

  • Sustainable Development in Africa by University of Stellenbosch
  • Introduction to HIV Prevention in South Africa by University of Cape Town
  • Entrepreneurship 2: Launching your Start-Up in South Africa by University of Cape Town
  • Climate Change Policy in Africa by University of Cape Town

These courses involve video lectures, assignments, quizzes and usually run for 4-6 weeks. Earning a certificate requires completing all graded assessments.


Umuzi offers free digital skills courses focused on employability and practical self-development for South African youth. Their courses with certificates cover topics like:

  • Digital Marketing Associate
  • Web Development
  • Multimedia Design
  • Data Science
  • SQL Fundamentals

The accredited 6-12 month programs involve real work projects, 1-on-1 mentoring and career coaching. Completion earns you an industry-recognized Umuzi certificate.

Other Notable Options

Here are some other excellent free accredited online courses from South African institutions:

  • Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization by University of Cape Town on Coursera
  • Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics by University of Cape Town on edX
  • Introduction to Human Rights in South Africa by University of Pretoria on edX
  • Fundamentals of South African Law on edX by University of South Africa
  • Africa and Sustainable Development Goals by Stellenbosch University on edX
  • Data Science for All from University of Witwatersrand on Alison

The above are just a sample of the wealth of free courses available covering diverse fields. You can also find specialized courses in health, agriculture, education, engineering, social sciences and more.

Key Benefits of Free Online Courses from SA Government

Pursuing free accredited online courses offered by South African government bodies and institutions comes with many benefits:

  • Saves money – Learn for free without paying course fees
  • Self-paced – Learn anytime, anywhere at your own schedule
  • Expert instruction – Courses designed by renowned universities and institutions
  • Recognized certification – Proof of your learning from accredited organizations
  • Career focused – Build in-demand skills to improve employability
  • Overcome barriers – Democratizes access to quality education for all

So don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain new skills, advance your career or simply expand your knowledge by signing up for free certified online courses supported by the South African government today!


The South African government offers a wealth of free accredited online courses covering in-demand skills in diverse sectors. Whether you are looking to skill up in your career, gain knowledge or equip yourself for new opportunities, these certified courses from reputed institutions like NSG, UNISA, UCT and more provide an accessible avenue. The array of programs focused specifically on the South African context across public sector skills, business, tech, healthcare and much more makes them particularly valuable. By signing up, you can gain recognized qualifications, upskill affordably and overcome access barriers to education.

FAQs about SA Government’s Free Online Courses

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about free certified online courses offered by the South African government:

Who is eligible to enroll?

The courses are open to all South African citizens looking to learn. Some courses may have additional prerequisites.

What technical requirements are needed?

You need a computer/smartphone, internet access and capability to play audio/video content.

How long do the courses run?

Duration varies across courses but is typically 4-8 weeks for completion.

What credentials do you get upon completion?

You get a certificate of completion/achievement from accredited institutions like NSG, UNISA, universities etc.

Are the courses self-paced or scheduled?

Most courses are self-paced with flexible timelines. Some feature cohort starts.

How much time do the courses require?

Time commitment varies but expect 5-10 hours of work per week for most courses.

Can I get employer support?

Yes, many employers encourage lifelong learning and may sponsor participation.

Is there tutor support?

Yes, most courses have dedicated tutor/mentor support and online discussion forums.

Do I need to give exams?

There are quizzes, assignments and a final assessment for the certificate.

Can I access courses from my phone?

Yes, you can access course materials and complete assignments from iOS/Android apps.


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