Sector Education and Training Authorities briefings

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Employment and Labour

07 September 2009
Chairperson: Ms L Yengeni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The committee heard presentations from the Construction Education Training Authority (CETA), The Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) and the Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Sector Education Training Authority (MAPPPSETA). The Chairperson had asked that the presentations focus mostly on the Training Layoff Schemes, and some were asked to change the direction of their presentations. Members expressed their strong dissatisfaction with the fact that the accounting officers for the LGSETA were unable to be in attendance, and indicated that they would not address any questions to this SETA, but instead asked the representatives to convey their disapproval to the management.

Members noted that although the SETAs were soon to be made the mandate of the Department of Higher Education they were currently still under the auspices of the DoL. Members noted that universities and other higher education institutions captured only around 16% of the 20 to 24-year old age group and asked how the SETAs were trying to ensure capture of the rest. The SETAs were asked to give figures of how many people were being trained each year, in what fields, and what was done about existing trainees who were unable to find work; this applied particularly to CETA, as much of the work in this sector was short-term or with a fixed life. CETA was also asked specifically what it was doing to ensure that individuals were released and allowed to complete their training, and why there appeared to be reluctance to cooperate. Members thought that there were problems in the rollout, querying whether the SETAs had the ability to deliver fast responses and three-month programmes, and noted that since some SETAs were not affected by the recession, they did not necessarily need to address the training layoffs. Members asked for specific figures on the women and numbers of disabled persons being trained, as well as representivity within the SETAs themselves, and whether there was coordination across the SETAs. 
They enquired what the criteria were for companies who wanted to train people. Questions were directed towards the CETA’s contract with Deloitte and the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer. Members finally asked that when the SETAs next engaged with the Committee, they should supply a detailed plan of how they intended to move forward and emphasised the need for good coordination.

Meeting report

Presentations by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs)
Construction Education Training Authority (CETA)
The Chairperson invited CETA to be the first to present.

Mr Petrus Maoko, Chief Executive Officer, CETA, began his presentation by reading through the documents (see attached) but was stopped by the Chairperson, who explained that this was not what the Committee wished to hear. The Committee had called the CETA two months earlier, regarding problems with its financial setup which led to the Auditor-General (AG) setting out a list of concerns, from which the CETA had started accounting systems afresh. The CETA had at that time highlighted many problems, especially in terms of capacity, and problems in management, and had noted that many people had been dismissed as  it was regarded as the cause of CETA’s non-performance. She therefore asked for a specific update on these matters. When the Department of Labour (DoL) addressed the Committee the following week, it would handle many of these issues.

The Chairperson thus specifically asked that the CETA must explain how many people had been dismissed, how many were hired, what was the situation regarding the consultancies, and how the money sent to the Department of Public Works had been used, as well as how the CETA had contributed to the creation of the five hundred thousand jobs required. She asked other Members of the Committee whether they had any questions.

Mr A Louw (DA) asked that CETA must concentrate on its specific progress since the last meeting with the Committee, and deal especially with the report from the AG.

Mr Maoko said that he had been trying to respond to those queries in the letter that the Committee had sent to CETA, but that he now would divert his attention to trying to answer the Members’  questions.

Mr E Nyekembe (ANC) asked whether the people who were receiving training through CETA were actually getting jobs.

The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee was looking for concise and specific answers.

Mr Maoko explained that the issues surrounding capacity of the managers had been mostly addressed, and that the introduction of the Chairperson had helped greatly in addressing the capacity problems of the senior managers. He said that the CETA was in discussion with Deloitte over the contract and the exit date, as well as the employment of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), which was a capacity issue.

Mr Maoko noted that insofar as CETA’s contribution toward government employment goals was concerned, it had submitted its project plan with the presentation handouts (CETA NSDS Performance Summary of SLA 2008/2009), which catalogued the projects approved by the Board, those in implementation and its success rates. In regard to CETA’s participation in the Training Layoff Scheme, he noted that CETA had committed R15 million to this and that that translated into approximately 3000 learners. He noted however that there were limitations in that both labourers and employers had to go to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to reach agreement. After that, CETA would be able to increase the amount by applying to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) NFS if the training needs exceeded what they had committed. Until it received the agreements from the CCMA, the CETA had committed R15 million.

Mr Gavin Strydom, Chairperson, CETA, reiterated that CETA had decided to capacitate members and build its staff, as opposed to the other options discussed at the previous meeting. In regard to Deloitte, he assured the Committee that an end date to the contract had been agreed upon and that it had been made very clear to Deloitte that there would be no extension past that end date. Thus CETA had addressed the concerns raised by the Committee that it was not creating employment, but were rather just paying consultants. In regard to placing learners in jobs, he explained that the CETA’s role was to facilitate the education of learners so that they could be capacitated, mobilised and employable, where they had it they did actively network with employers and showcase the learners  it was unable to force employers to hire anyone.

Mr Strydom agreed with the Chairperson that CETA must discuss the Training Layoff Scheme, and said that whilst he was very excited about this scheme and its potential, there were limitations. One was the three month duration of those programmes, meaning that they could not be handled under its other learnership programmes of one to two years in duration. However  it was in the process of developing skills programmes which could serve as skills top-up programmes, and smaller doses of training. CETA did however hope that these programmes could be extended so that they could get more into the real business of CETA, which was training. He noted that CETA encountered some apathy amongst employers due to the requirement of having to consult with the CCMA when retrenching workers and said that this was just another obstacle in getting something done quickly. CETA was trying to streamline and adjust the process to avoid those problems. He explained lastly that its biggest concern was that most people who had lost their jobs due to the current recession had lost them between June 2008 and June 2009, were now largely lost to the system and not contactable.

Mr Maoko added that CETA had a study loan within the organisation to which staff members could apply if they wished to further their studies. CETA had further hired a company to conduct a skills audit in order to identify the skills gaps so that these could be addressed through the scholarship programme, in an attempt to further address its capacity issues.

The Chairperson informed the Committee that she would prefer all the SETAs to give their presentations before questions were asked.

Local Government Sector Training Authority (LGSETA)
Ms Janet Davies, Manager, LGSETA,  apologised for the absence of the CEO, the Chairperson of LGSETA’s board and the Chairperson of the Western Cape provincial committee. She introduced Mr Sebo Jabbie, Chairperson of the Western Cape Region.

Ms Davies noted that she would address LGSETA’s response to the Training Layoff Scheme and the government’s call for creation of five hundred thousand jobs. She delivered the presentation mostly verbatim to the printed version (see attached presentation). However, she explained that municipal financial viability included training in areas identified as having skills shortages. One such area was property valuation, where there was a major shortage of skills, as there were only about one thousand certified valuers, of which a mere thirty-nine were women. There was a printing error on slide five where the amount of R122 million made available in training grants to municipalities should read R137 million. She explained that this was the minimum amount available to municipalities, and that a further R60 – R70 million rand had been made available in discretionary grants. She noted that municipalities were encouraged to link skills development to their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and at the very least this should translate into the training of waste water management technicians and plumbers. She noted that of the current Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), one with the Department of Public Works (DPW) was proposed in place of an expired MoU, at the end of September 2009. She noted that the largest programme in terms of funding and scope was the National Skills Audit which, in response to Cabinet’s 2006 decision, was meant to answer whether municipalities and local government had the capacity to deliver.  In terms of training new property valuers, she noted a current limitation on how many interns could be trained due to the lack of qualified municipal workers who could act as mentors. LGSETA was assessing the possibility of using LGNet as a platform for e-training courses in property valuation.

The Chairperson asked for reasons why the Chairperson and CEO of its board were not in attendance.

Ms Davies said that they were involved in an authority meeting, which was arranged far in advance. The Committee secretary had been notified of the problem, and the Department of Labour (DoL) had attempted to swop the session with one of the other SETAs, who were not willing to do so.

The Chairperson asked the Deputy Director General of the DoL to elaborate.

Mr Sam Morotoba, Deputy Director General, DoL, explained that he always emphasised the importance of these meetings to the SETAs, and that in fact the LGSETA Chairperson had agreed with the importance of that meeting, but was unfortunately committed to the authority meeting, a special meeting arranged before LGSETA had received this invitation. He stated that in future greater efforts would be made to ensure that such clashes were avoided.

Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Sector Education Training Authority (MAPPPSETA) briefing
Ms Ingrid Louw, Acting Chairperson, MAPPPSETA, introduced the members of the delegation.

Mr Bheki Zulu, Chief Executive Officer, MAPPPSETA, tabled and spoke to his presentation document (see attached document). He explained that  MATPPSETA’s past over commitments were a major cause of its lack of resources to perform more current programmes and achieve some of the very ambitious goals which had been set. He elaborated on few points. He explained that some of the learners trained in these schemes were involved in large projects such as projects for Mr Price, and that there was a push to have some of the crafts exported. In relation to point 5.1 he explained that the three “achieved institutions” were Vega, in advertising, where there was an incubator project set up for the previously disadvantaged students, South Coast Media, which dealt in film and had a number of initiatives aimed at fast tracking the previously disadvantaged, and finally Paarl Media, which was involved in printing and packaging and which had a focus on artisan development, which was under emphasised to date. He apologised for a misrepresentation of figures at point 5.2 which should read six, three, three and six. In discussing its current activities he emphasised that the meeting scheduled for the 17 -18 September was to focus on the rectification of past mistakes. He ended by stating that the main targets for the year were to improve the performance of the SETA whilst aiming for a clean audit report.

Discussion
The Chairperson explained that although the SETAs were soon to be made the mandate of the Department of Higher Education (DoHE), they were currently still under the auspices of the DoL. The Department of Labour was accountable to the Committee and should not see these meetings as a waste of time, since the objectives of all the departments were essentially aligned under the objectives of government. She noted her concern that the CEO and chairperson of the LGSETA were not in attendance. She explained that the Committee, as agents of accountability, needed to be addressed by the accountable agents in the SETAs.

Mr P Chauke (ANC) voiced his opinion that the absenteeism should be followed up until truly satisfactory explanations were found, as a precedent needed to be set.

Mr E Nyekembe (ANC) felt that explanations had been given, and that the question was rather whether those explanations were good enough. He explained that the Committee was not subordinate to the Minister of Labour, but that the Members were accountable to Parliament and therefore required to be addressed by accountable officers of other institutions. The absence was seen as an undermining of the Committee and therefore government.

Ms F Khumalo (ANC) added that the accountable agents of the LGSETA should therefore return to the Committee.

Mr Louw stated that since only two non-accountable LGSETA members were present, they were effectively acting merely as a conduit.

The Chairperson said that there was no meeting more important than one where officials were called to account for the expense of taxpayers money. Therefore, the Committee would regard the LGSETA as not having presented satisfactorily. Although the officials present had delivered to the best of their ability,  they were not the accountable agents. She was adamant that such absenteeism was completely unacceptable and would not be tolerated. She released the two LGSETA officials, indicating that no questions would be directed to them.

Mr Jappie asked the Chairperson that the Committee must convey this communication formally to the LGSETA, so that he would not be acting merely as a conduit.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would do no such thing. The LGSETA officials were very well aware that they should have been present, and would be called to account at its next meeting. She then effectively asked the two officials to leave.

Mr Louw noted that the universities and tertiary institutions only captured around sixteen percent of twenty to twenty-four year old citizens. He asked what the SETAs were doing to ensure capture and training of as many of the remaining 84% of this age group as possible, so that they might be trained in gainfully employable skills.

Mr Louw asked CETA how many individuals it was training on an annual basis and in what specific skills fields. He further noted that CETA was training thirty women to become brick-layers, but asked what was being done about the existing male and female brick-layers who were unable to find work. Mr Louw further noted that CETA had referred to the reluctance of companies to release individuals so that they may complete training, and asked the DoL what  it was doing to ensure that such individuals were in fact released and allowed to complete their training.

Mr I Ollis (DA) understood that the request for the SETAs’ presentations was that  they should primarily address the Training Layoff Scheme. As he understood it, the programme was meant to train people who were going to be retrenched. He noted problems with the way the programme was being rolled out. Firstly he believed that from the presentations delivered it did not appear that the SETAs had the capacity to deliver fast responses and effective three month retraining programmes. Secondly, he felt that some of the SETAs were not significantly affected by the recession, such as LGSETA, and therefore there did not appear to be a need for these types of programmes across the board. Thirdly, he noted that most of the people affected by this recession had already been retrenched and had moved on and that it appeared that the programmes were being offered too late. In essence, he asked whether the Training Layoff Scheme was actually going to work. In that regard he asked for specific figures as indicators.

Mr Nyekembe stated that it appeared that there was no well coordinated action between the SETAs and employers, since if CETA was gearing its training to the skills requested by employers there should be jobs available for those trainees. He therefore asked CETA to explain its lack of ability to place more trainees. The fact that employers were having to be coerced seemed to indicate that the skills were not in line with requirements. He then asked for a good explanation of the R1.4 million spent on retrenchment within the CETA. CETA was meant to be putting its energies toward employing people and not dismissing them. He lastly commented that, according to his understanding, there were barriers to CETA providing figures for the layoff scheme as requested, due to the lengthy process involving many entities, including the CCMA, and that therefore the scheme was still in progress, which was why there were not yet any numbers. He felt that this was an experimental process and that it should therefore not yet be written off as a failure.

Ms Khumalo asked how many of the people trained but not being placed were women, and why this was so. She then asked whether there were any criteria used to prioritise women, who were previously disadvantaged. Lastly, she asked how many of the senior positions in the CETA were held by women.

Ms P Maduna (ANC) asked how effective CETA was in the training of people with disabilities.

Mr Chauke explained that he understood the focal point of the meeting to address the specific plans regarding the layoff schemes. He did not feel that this had been addressed. He could also not find substantial reference in the reports to any real specifics of such plans. He further asked how the SETAs coordinated between each other.

Mr Maoko responded that CETA had established centres of excellence in all provinces, where learners were encouraged to go and be tested for the relevant learnerships. He explained that it was too soon to provide numbers.  CETA was further getting involved with the employers to ensure exit strategies for those people trained. He noted that there were thirty women in training, with a meeting planned with the Department of Higher Education to discuss exit strategies for these women. With regard to the Training Layoff Scheme he reiterated that CETA had committed R15 million to the scheme and he felt that that this was a sign that it was committed to ensuring that the plan did work. He emphasised that it was also reliant on the employers being willing to go to the CCMA and reach a labour agreement before the SETAs could take the matter forward. In this regard he explained that CETA ensured good representation on its board of employers, so that their input into the schemes could be gained. He believed that CETA was ready to make the scheme work. He believed that if it received fifty or sixty learners it would see success. He noted that in terms of absorption into the workplace, the scarce skills identified by the employers were incorporated into the long-term sector skill plan and the most disadvantaged, according to its policy, were selected to go to the scarce skills programmes, which often took three to four years. He noted that there were other underlying difficulties which prevented everyone from being absorbed. He assured the Committee that most of the learnership and skills programmes held women, but admitted that during roadshows and showcases, CETA was mostly approached by men, and that this was something which  needed to be addressed. It was also mostly men who responded to the advertised positions in top management. However, CETA’s HR manager was a woman, and most of its senior managers were women. CETA admittedly did not have a good record in respect of people with disabilities, but this was a top priority. Mr Chauke’s questions had been answered during CETA’s  presentation, perhaps before he arrived.

Mr Chauke rephrased his questions, saying that he understood that CETA had committed R15 million to the layoff scheme, but wanted to know if CETA also had a plan to accompany this expenditure. He also reminded CETA to deal with the question of coordination between SETAs.

Mr Morotoba asked whether he should respond, as he felt he could shed some light on the situation.

The Chairperson responded that she felt that it would be better if he left his response until last, as there may be other questions which required his attention.

Mr Louw felt that two of his questions had not been adequately answered and restated them. He asked firstly, in regard to the people trained, what their fields of speciality were, and where they got absorbed. Secondly he asked what CETA’s track record had been in terms of influencing the corporate market, in other words, how many of the people were placed in corporate jobs, and whether the training allowed people to leave feeling a sense of honour and achievement, rather than having received somehow inferior training. Lastly he asked what the supporting structures were from the CETA side to ensure that the trainees were absorbed into the main stream and not simply lost after its training jobs were completed.

Mr Ollis asked again exactly how many companies had approached each SETA, whether directly or through the CCMA, showing interest in the Training Layoff Scheme and how many individual people were in it.

Mr Maoko explained that the CETA had established a task team to gather from the CCMA exactly how many companies had shown interest in the scheme, adding that none had approached them directly. The coordination with other SETAs was done through the DoL. Individually the SETAs had to decide what their commitment would be and then work from those commitments, but the coordination was a macro issue handled by the DoL. He explained that there were companies such as Murray & Roberts, Grinaker and similar companies, which by their nature acted as training institutes. He explained that once a company had submitted its project plans indicating how many people were required with training in a specific scarce skill, those learners were trained, and all of them were placed. Concerning the quality of the qualification,  CETA was auditing its service providers so as to ensure that they provided quality training of a level that would be equivalent to other institutions and acceptable to employers. CETA’s supporting structure was the DoL and the other departments (for instance DoHE).

Mr Strydom wished to expand on some of the issues. He noted that his SETA had embarked on a number of initiatives to capture the 84% percent who had fallen through the university or tertiary education net, but that it faced obstructions in the fact that construction had a bad reputation as an industry of wheelbarrow pushers, and cyclical employment which needed to be addressed. To that end he explained that CETA had combined with the Department of Public Works (DPW) to begin the ‘Youth in Construction Projects’, in which they approached schools and set up stands, accessing thousands of pupils, so as to provide them with information about the jobs within construction and how accessible they were. Furthermore he explained that  CETA was attempting to make greater use of the media in order to inform the general public of the purpose of the SETAs. There was very little understanding of what exactly they did. Concerning the types of specialities and skills, he explained that there were thirty-six trades as well as professionals such as architects. He emphasised that the CETA Board consists of both employers and employees and that already at that level there was a lot of encouragement for the employers to sign agreements and commit to how many people they required. He emphasised its consciousness of not allowing trainees to get lost, and said CETA made every effort to ensure that this was avoided.

Mr Strydom referred Members to the Addendum B on the Performance Summary, which listed how many people were being trained per an annum, which detailed at length what CETA had achieved for the period. Responding to concerns that  CETA was not ready to deliver these schemes, he explained his belief that it was ready, and that in fact CETA had training programmes already in place, which that did their best within the limited time periods. He noted CETA’s readiness to change and adapt those programmes at very short notice in response to any feedback which they received. He explained that whilst there were problems, CETA was confident that those could be overcome and it was putting every effort into conceiving ways in which this could be done. He agreed with the fact that there was an issue of the amount of time taken to get the schemes into place and working, but that he felt that in future it would be ready for matters, and definitely did not believe that it was a waste of money or time.

Mr Louw still did not feel that his question had been answered satisfactorily. He restated it, asking whether, after the trainees had completed their initial jobs, (such as building an RDP house), they were absorbed by government departments, or absorbed through tender processes.

Mr Maoko explained that some projects had sustainable futures in themselves. Where these did not exist there was an emphasis on trying to find exit strategies for trainees after their initial projects were completed. However, the role of CETA was to perform training, and sustainability often depended on the particular project being done, and was sometimes out of its control.

Mr Chauke was not happy with the responses being given concerning the layoff task team, and wanted to know when the task team was established, who was leading the task team and what the reporting mechanism to the board was. He also wanted to know whether there was any extra allocation which CETA was receiving from government, especially in light of the recent economic crisis. Noting CETA’s commitment of R15 million, he asked what informed that amount and what that would cover.

Mr Maoko explained that the task team was formed directly after the presentation from National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) and consisted of five people. The extra allocation would depend on the extra training needs, which would be identified through the CCMA processes, but to be proactive CETA had set aside R15 million, which it believed would benefit around three thousand learners through the current funding model.

The Chairperson asked what the criteria were for companies that wanted to train people, how CETA paid and to whom. She further enquired as to the specific date that the consultancy with Deloitte would end. She asked for clarification on the post of Chief Financial Officer, asking where the new officer would come from, and what guarantee CETA had that he would not fail like the last ones. Lastly she asked whether there would be results from the large amounts which had been spent on consultancies.

Mr Maoko explained that the CFO position would be advertised, following which the normal process of screening and interviewing would be followed. The Annual Report, including a qualified opinion from the Auditor General, had been submitted and there had been changes in the results. He noted that the historical mistakes had to be considered as they impacted negatively on the current report. He explained that the consultants were currently providing human resource managers, who were performing the function of closing the gaps between the consultants and the financial department. Furthermore there was a need for a transfer of skills between the consultants and the new CFO, requiring an overlap. He explained that there were criteria attached to the discretionary funds which were supplied to companies wishing to train individuals, and that CETA needed to meet these criteria before funds were supplied. He explained that Deloitte was to end its consultancy after it had completed its work  of the audit of the following year.

The Chairperson asked why CETA had not advertised for the CFO.

Mr Strydom explained that there was a signed agreement, which was settled upon before the Portfolio fixed to fall in line with the time of completion of the 2010 audit. He added that ideally there should be at least five months of overlap between Deloitte and the new CFO, in order to ensure proper continuity and skills transfer.

The Chairperson asked the DDG whether the DoL played any role in the dealings with consultancies and whether that Department approved of these arrangements.

Mr Nyekembe asked who was the person introduced as financial officer, and why the CETA was now hiring another CFO, and he reiterated that it was important to explain why CETA had waited for the last five months to employ this CFO.

Mr Chauke wished to make it very clear that sharing information in parliament was very important, especially since this Committee passed the budgets. In future he would hope that presentations were more revealing.

Mr Zulu answered some of the questions from the point of view of the MAPPPSETA. In relation to the 84% of learners not attending tertiary institutions, he said that the MAPPPSETA provided a range of training from NQF 2 (equivalent to Grade 8) up to NQF 6 (equivalent to tertiary programmes). He noted that it did much work in the rural areas as well. In terms of creating awareness, he noted that it took part in many exhibitions. Creative industries and packaging had been hard hit by the recession and this was having an adverse effect on employment prospects. He explained that the MAPPPSETA had not been looking into the Training Layoff Scheme for very long, having only met with the DoL the week before to discuss how they might “unpack” such a scheme. He explained however that its commitment was set according to around R5 000 per individual and that it hoped to benefit around one hundred individuals. Therefore its commitment was currently set at R5 million. He explained that MAPPPSETA had not been looking into the Training Layoff Scheme for very long, having only met with the DoL the week before to discuss how they might “unpack” such a scheme. Its board was made up mostly of employers and employees and only one government official and that therefore the Board had a very good understanding of the effects of the recession, as well as an appreciation that action needed to be taken. He explained that absorption of learners after training had been calculated at around 80%, something he attributed to the established nature of many of the companies and industries with which the MAPPPSETA worked. The expense on retrenchments was unfortunate, but the SETA had had to take action against continuous overspending, and that was considered the appropriate route to follow in line with its code. In terms of the numbers retrenched, there were six members who had already submitted themselves for voluntary severance. Furthermore, some members were lost when they relocated to Johannesburg, at which time only one of the Cape Town Members wished to relocate. In total there were about ten individuals retrenched. Concerning the number of women and disabled people catered for by MAPPSETA, he said that it adhered to the following equity targets: 84% Black, 54% Women, 4% disabled. He noted that out of the twelve board members three were women, there was one woman out of three on the executive management, six members at management level of whom four were female, and the general staff showed a preponderance of women. He explained the areas in which  it was involved as live performance, sound engineering, printing and packaging, book binding, journalism, media studies, film and television, intellectual property and new venture creation. Lastly he explained that the relevance of the training was based on five year SETA plans which were drawn in line with the Sector Skills Plans as decided by the Minister of Labour. These plans addressed the question of  which skills were needed for a sector to function at its optimal level and which of those skills were in short supply. However he noted the need for SETAs to have the flexibility to respond to added requirements which might arise, such as the Training Layoff Scheme. He explained that there were funding and screening criteria to which companies and institutions that wished to provide training had to adhere.

Mr N Nhlemble, MAPPSETA Board Member, emphasised his belief that the schemes were going to work and that it was not a waste of money or time, but noted that MAPPPSETA had discussed the issue of ensuring that efforts and expenditure were sustainable. He felt that the schemes were important as the major issue of the economic crisis and unemployment had affected South Africa for a long time, and would continue to do so unless something was done. He noted, in regard to capturing high school leavers, that many programmes were specifically geared towards also capturing the learners who dropped out of high school education and training them towards setting up Small to Medium Sized Industries (SMEs) as these had been identified as the key to growing the economy sustainably.

Ms F Khumalo (ANC) asked what informed the target of five State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) found in the presentation.

Mr Louw asked whether the entrepreneurs who were trained by the SETAs  also learned how to apply and achieve some of the big tenders which hit the limelight as he felt that then they would truly be able to talk about reputable service providing.

Mr Chauke asked that the next time that SETAs engaged with the Committee, they should supply a detailed plan of how they intended to move forward with the encouraging plans which they had provided. He spoke to the possibility of further funds being deployed if the detailing of plans was satisfactory, and emphasised once more the need for good coordination. He stated that Members had been very critical that day, but that he was satisfied that the focus was beginning to change.

Mr Nyekembe commented that often those who volunteered retrenchment did so because they were well aware that they held skills which would soon be required again, and that they would then be called upon to assist the SETAs, but at the rate of an external consultant, which would necessarily be higher.

The Chairperson asked that the last questions be addressed rather when the SETAs came to present their Annual Reports in the following month. She added that the key issues were whether the individuals trained were actually employable, and whether the government and taxpayers were getting value for its money.

The meeting was adjourned.

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