On 3 December 2012, the SETA Grant Regulations were gazetted (Government Gazette no. 35940). These come into effect on 1 April 2013. There were many major substantial changes in the new regulations and these may have serious implications for skills development in our country.
Some of the main changes were:
- That the mandatory grant to employers is reduced from 50% to 20%.
- Any unclaimed mandatory grants must be transferred by the 15 August each financial year into the discretionary fund.
- Discretionary grants will mainly be paid for programmes offered by public FET colleges and universities.
As a result‚ these funds could be spent on national skills initiatives that were not related to workplace training.
Labour Court has set aside certain aspects of the 2012 Seta Grant Regulations‚ declaring them invalid!
The Labour Court’s judgment on Friday 21st of August 2015 declared both regulations to be invalid‚ and it set them aside with effect from March 31 2016.
The court found that Mr Nzimande had failed to consult the National Skills Authority as required by law.
The court also ruled that the minister had acted irrationally by reducing the mandatory grant to employers as set out in the Skills Development Act. The minister had exceeded his powers by prescribing that surplus Seta funds be moved to the National Skills Fund.
The minister was ordered to pay all costs of the application, and Seta’s now have a period of about six months to prepare for the return to the previous skills-funding regime effective in March 2016.
Busa said on Monday it viewed the judgment as a significant decision that reinforced the rule of law and that reasserted the importance of workplace skills training programmes in SA.
-Published 1998 for Implementation of 1999
-Amendment – Skills Development Act – 2003
-Proposed Amendments to SETA’s June 2006
-Published 3 December 2012
The link on the SAQA website say 07 December 2010 – Skills Development Levies Act. This is however the date it was published, but it only came effective 3 December 2012
This Act was promulgated by government in 1998, in the midst of high levels of unemployment, low levels of investment in the South African labour market, pronounced disparities in income distribution, inequality of opportunity as a result of apartheid and poverty. (Brendan and Down, 2000). Through this Act, the government aimed to address two main priorities, i.e. the need to improve skills and increase productivity in order to compete successfully in the global economy, and the need to reverse apartheid imbalances and to create a more inclusive and cohesive society (Mpilo Mthethwa , 2014).
Purposes of the Skills Development Act
In line with the overall government objectives set out above, the purposes of the Act are as follows (Sec. 2(1)):
to develop the skills of the South African workforce – to improve the quality of life of workers, their prospects of work and labour mobility; to improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers; to promote self-employment; and to improve the delivery of social services;
to increase the levels of investment in education and training in the labour market and to increase the return on that investment;
to encourage employers – to use the workplace as an active learning environment; to provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills; to provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience; to employ persons who find it difficult to be employed;
to encourage workers to participate in learning programmes;
to improve the employment prospects of persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination and to redress those disadvantages through training and education;
to ensure the quality of learning in and for the workplace;
to assist – work-seekers to find work; retrenched workers to re-enter the labour market; employers to find qualified employees;
to provide and regulate employment services.
The Republic of South Africa defines skills development as the following:
To provide an institutional framework to devise and implement national, sector and workplace strategies to develop and improve the skills of the South African work force; to integrate those strategies within the National Qualifications Framework contemplated in the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995; to provide for: learnerships that lead to recognised occupational qualifications; to provide financing of skills development by means of a levy-grant scheme and a National Skills Fund; to provide for and regulate employment services; and to provide for matters connected therewith.