The Department of Energy (DoE) said training needs included: energy efficiency management, renewable energy technology, nuclear engineering, advanced statistical analysis, Project Khaedu and legislative drafting. In total, DoE had implemented 463 training programmes and 81 workshops and conferences. Certificates of attendance were issued. The DoE had 76 bursary holders currently pursuing studies ranging from energy studies to law, supply chain management, transport and fleet management and MBAs. Two students were participating in a programme, sponsored by the DoE, PETRONAS and the Malaysian government. To date, 89 students have graduated in Information Technology (IT), Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Petroleum Geoscience and Civil Engineering. The DoE’s internship programme had 32 interns who were pursuing practical work-based experience in Chemical Engineering. The South Africa- South Korea student exchange programme formed part of the skills development initiatives of the South African government to enhance the capabilities of the nuclear energy sector especially in the context of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010).
EWSETA has the mandate to manage the skills development needs of the Energy and Water Services Sectors through strategic sector skills planning within the framework of the National Skills Development Strategy lll. The occupational coverage of the EWSETA included water, gas and electricity. The size of the EWSETA’s revenue relative to demand for skills in the sector necessitates a partnership with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges to meet intermediate skills needs and universities for high skills needs. Occupations in demand are: Water Quality Analysts, Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Energy Engineers, Solar Installers, Electricians.
MerSETA had embarked on a survey on “Green Activities, Technology and Innovations in 2013/14”, 664 companies responded to the survey questionnaires. Prior to embarking on occupational qualification development and advocacy, it was important to understand what the “GREEN” status was in industry. The Green Maturity Model formed the basis of the survey. The model looked at three key inputs and two key outputs in manufacturing and engineering: materials, water and energy input, and waste and emission outputs, and how those factors impacted people across job levels. merSETA had contributed R20 million to a partnership with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to support research and development in renewable energy and new technologies, the development of an electrical car, as well as a solar-powered golf cart. In addition merSETA has signed an agreement with the East London Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) worth R2 565 000 aligning the Eastern Cape’s Sustainable Energy Strategy with that of merSETA. The agreement includes training of the first 20 electrical apprentices with additional specialisations in renewable energy (green artisans).
According to CHIETA entrepreneurship and technology development were critical for successful exploitation of shale gas, and hydraulic fracking was also expected to commence in 2018. Therefore the field of forensic chemistry becomes important to establish baseline conditions before fracking starts to be used in potential litigation and monitoring of impact in years to follow. Key challenges and unrealised opportunities related to skills development were identified by the petroleum sector, Department of Energy, SAPIA and CHIETA:
▪ Ongoing artisan development
▪ Optimisation of recognition of prior learning (RPL) to develop semi skilled staff into artisans through industry acceptable programs,
▪ Poor quality of maths and science that stifle the supply of candidates, enhance the quality of training offered by TVET Colleges (currently not to the satisfaction of industry),
▪ Harnessing of resources released by industry by TVET Colleges,
▪ Artisan training programmes to be more geared for the specific and unique needs of the petroleum industry ▪ Much clearer articulation between TVET colleges and universities to allow for artisans to develop into higher level professionals.
Questions and comments by Members included:
- If R6 million was spent on training, why did DoE still employ contractors’ worth over R74 million yet in Medupi, for example, there was a problem with incompetent contractors leading to delays;
- of the 130 000 people working in the Energy and Water sector, how many of them were trained by DoE and how many were in permanent positions;
- how was the country balancing water usage and energy demands seeing that South Africa as the seventh driest country in the world;
- energy was noted as one of the biggest users of water and contributors to pollution;
- why was South Africa employing such a high number of foreigners for skilled jobs;
- how would CHIETA sustain itself over the years when only 45% of its income was from levies;
- were the certificates received at the end of a training workshop, certificates of attendance or accreditation;
- what measures were in place to ensure trainees at international training workshops, were retained within the country and not absorbed by foreign countries or the private sector;
- what youth development agencies did DoE partner with for its youth development programmes;
- what was the selection process and where were the 89 graduates of the Malaysian exchange programme;
- who were the 50 participants of the China Nuclear Programme and how were they selected;
- what was the difference between the grant DoE received and the R5.2 million allocated to DoE;
- did CHIETA have the skills needed to implement hydraulic fracking;
- what role did DoE play in providing guidance around skills development;
- what was the rate of employment of SETAs at DoE;
- why was there a need for 34 DoE executives to be sent for media training as DoE surely had communications specialists;
- 76 recipients were awarded bursaries from DoE’s internal bursary programme - why were five DoE executives studying towards an MBA when the cost of one MBA study could cover many students who needed bursary funding;
- how was an MBA qualification relevant to the work of DoE;
- could DoE provide a gender and race breakdown of its training and staff development;
- has EWSETA considered the current corruption at NECSA when considering partnerships with the entity?
Department of Energy (DoE)- Overview of the Human Resource Development
Mr Sandile Ntazi, DoE Acting Deputy Director General: Corporate Services, relayed apologies from the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Petterson, Deputy Minister, Thembi Majola, and the Director-General.
The Chairperson said the Minister of Energy and the Minister of Higher Education and Training both needed to be invited to brief the Committee in the future, and to discuss the work they have done in their departments in the area of skills development.
Mr Ntazi said the DoE’s training needs included: energy efficiency management, renewable energy technology, nuclear engineering, advanced statistical analysis, project Khaedu and legislative drafting. DoE has implemented the following training programmes:
Energy Efficiency Management; Substation Maintenance, Reliability and Operations; Grab 17; Radiation and the Environment; Shale Gas Exploration Technology and Environment; Introduction to Petroleum Industry; Advanced Certificate in Management for Oil and Gas; Financial Management.
Officials who completed these training programmes received certificates of attendance or certificates of competence, some were still in progress. In total, DoE implemented 463 training programmes. DoE had also implemented 81 workshops and conferences where certificates of attendance were also issued. With regard to international training, two South African students were awarded the two-year Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering through the South Africa-South Korea student exchange. Other international workshops included the 22nd Women in Nuclear Annual Global Conference, the Argus Africa Storage and Logistics workshop and the Power Purchase Agreement workshop. In total DoE took part in 19 international training workshops. DoE’s training budget for 2014/15 was R5.6 billion, training expenditure to date amounted to R3.06 billion and bursaries awarded to permanent employees amounted to R559.3 million. Levy payments were made to the three SETAs.
He indicated that DoE had 76 bursary holders currently pursuing studies in various fields, which ranged from energy studies to law, supply chain management, transport and fleet management and MBAs. The Malaysian Scholarship Programme had commenced in 1999 as a joint venture between the Department and the Malaysian government. The target groups were matriculants from disadvantaged communities. The intention was to bridge the scarce skills gap in engineering and information technology. Two students currently participated in the programme, sponsored by DoE, PETRONAS and the Malaysian government. To date, 89 students had graduated in the areas of Information Technology (IT), Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Petroleum Geoscience and Civil Engineering. Other youth development programmes included the Public Administration learnership; Project Management learnership and Internal Audit learnership. Learnerships were a structured learning programme which combined theoretical learning and practical workplace integrated learning that leads to a formal registered qualification for the duration of twelve months. The learnership programme targets unemployed South African youth seeking qualifications which will uplift them to become employable. DoE’s internship programme had 32 interns who were pursuing practical work-based experience in Chemical Engineering. DoE has established an Human Resource Development (HRD) Forum comprising of all state owned entities (SOEs) reporting to the Minister of Energy. The purpose of the HRD Forum was working together within the energy sector to promote and share social, economic and skills base growth for the energy sector at large.
The South Africa-South Korea student exchange programme formed part of the skills development initiatives of the South African government to enhance the capabilities of the nuclear energy sector especially in the context of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010). Within the exchange programme, two SANHARP students (a male and a female), who are graduates-in-training for NECSA, pursued a two-year Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering at the KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School (KINGS) in Busan from 2013 to 2014. These students returned to South Africa in February 2015 after graduating. The Department of Energy and NECSA will be training 50 South Africans via the China Nuclear Programme.
Energy and Water Services Sector Education and Training (EWSETA)
Ms Candice Moodley, Corporate Services Executive, explained that EWSETA was a skills development authority responsible for skills development within the energy and water services sector. EWSETA has the mandate to manage the skills development needs of the Energy and Water Services sectors through strategic sector skills planning within the framework of the National Skills Development Strategy lll. The occupational coverage of the EWSETA included water, gas and electricity.
There are approximately 129 592 people working in the Energy and Water (EW) sector in South Africa, comprising 0.9% of the country’s labour force. EWSETA has moved from a sector based structure to a value chain structure in order to respond adequately to sector needs. That included opening regional offices, with the first already operational in the Western Cape. The size of EWSETA’s revenue relative to demand for skills in the sector necessitates a partnership with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges to meet intermediate skills needs and with universities for high skills needs. EWSETA’s budget for 2015/16 was R229 110 000.
The scale of infrastructure challenges ahead requires skilled people in a number of occupations identified on the Scarce Skills Lists. Many of these challenges can be addressed through Strategic Infrastructure Partnerships (SIPs). Some of the occupations in demand are: are: Water Quality Analysts, Civil Engineers, Environmental Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Energy Engineers, Solar Installers, Electricians.
EWSETA has completed funded work-integrated learning for 30 graduates in Electrical Engineering. All graduates have subsequently been placed at DoE. Currently DOE has requested funding to place 50 graduates. There was a meeting in the pipelines between EWSETA and DoE to discuss partnerships on the following projects: the Nuclear Energy Training programme, the NECSA Nuclear Training Academy and the NECSA/EWSETA Collaborative Agreement. Collaborative Agreements have been signed with the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape Provincial Governments, the Vhembe and the Ehlanzeni District Municipalities and the Rustenburg Municipality among others. EWSETA has also partnered with a number of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and higher education institutions, and civil society organisations across the country. EWSETA was part of DoE’s Human Resource Development (HRD) Forum.
Ms Moodley indicated that one of the major problems in the South African skills development environment was that the identification of scarce skills does not appear to be supported by a factual, evidence‐led enquiry. EWSETA has responded to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) call for commitments to Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) priorities and will be placing strategic focus on the funding of learning programmes that respond to these SIP priorities through its Sector Skills Plan and Discretionary Funding process. Continuous collaboration with Higher Education Institutions for curricular development (EWSETA / Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University development of an Advanced Diploma in Renewable Energy) was underway. On the international front, one of EWSETA’s strategic partnerships was with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM).
Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services (merSETA)
Mr Wayne Adams, merSETA Chief Operations Officer, explained that merSETA was leading the “green” SETA initiatives and skills development actions, through collaboration agreements for green skills development, focused on artisans and artisanal skills in the green economy among other things. A position paper was developed in January 2013 to frame the merSETA developmental approach to green skills, with a focus on sustainability. MerSETA set up the “green dialogue” in 2012 to inform merSETA’s position and alignment with the: National Development Plan 2030; Green Economy Accord; White Paper on Post-Schooling Education and Training; and the Human Resource Development Strategy.
MerSETA embarked on a survey on “Green Activities, Technology and Innovations in 2013/14”, 664 companies responded to the survey questionnaires. Prior to embarking on occupational qualification development and advocacy, it was important to understand what the “GREEN” status was in industry. The Green Maturity Model formed the basis of the survey. The model looked at three key inputs and two key outputs in manufacturing and engineering: materials, water and energy input, and waste and emission outputs, and how those factors impacted people across job levels. As expected, large companies functioning on an international platform had already started to implement significant green technologies, inclusive of water and waste management strategies. However, medium and smaller companies had difficulty to outlay the financial resources to “go green” and although green values were desirable, the know-how was lacking. Small companies were mostly in “survival mode”.
He indicated that merSETA had contributed R20 million to a partnership with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to support Research and Development in renewable energy and new technologies, the development of an electrical car, as well as a solar-powered golf cart. In addition merSETA has signed an agreement with the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) worth R2 565 000 aligning the Eastern Cape’s Sustainable Energy Strategy with that of merSETA. The agreement includes training of the first 20 electrical apprentices with additional specialisations in renewable energy (green artisans). There has also been a partnership between merSETA and the British Council for the development of a curriculum for solar heating and green awareness. The implementation was with Northlink TVET College in collaboration with Gwent College in the United Kingdom. MerSETA was also working with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to explore a pilot for a Wind Turbine Service Technician occupation qualification.
Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA)
Ms Ayesha Itzkin, CHIETA Acting Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the status and impact of CHIETA skills development programmes in support of scarce and critical skills in the energy, oil and gas sub sectors, as well as CHIETA’s plans, contributions and support of future programmes. CHIETA covers about 157 992 employees, with 84% participating in the levy-grant system in 2013/14.
There are 195 levy paying companies in the petroleum sector, they constitute 10% of all levy paying companies within the chemical industry. The petroleum industry contributes 45% of the CHIETA levy income; the current value was R206 million per financial year. Employment in the petroleum sub sector constitutes a total of 29% of employees in the chemical sector. Females make up 26.6% of the total workforce while males make up 73.4%. CHIETA currently has 402 disabled people within its sector. Critical industry partners were the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), the South African Marine and Gas Academy (SAOGA) and National Petroleum Employers Association (NPEA). Currently in the petroleum subsector skills (September 2014) plan 1679 vacancies exist in priority skills areas which constituted currently 3.7% of total employment in the sector.
He argued that entrepreneurship and technology development were critical for successful exploitation of shale gas, and hydraulic fracking was also expected to commence in 2018. Therefore the fields of forensic chemistry becomes important to establish baseline conditions before fracking starts to be used in potential litigation and monitoring of impact in years to follow. Specialised skills development support was needed in hydro-chemistry, forensic chemistry, economics, social sciences, geo-hydrology, earth stewardship science and data management. Key challenges and unrealised opportunities related to skills development were identified by the petroleum sector, Department of Energy, SAPIA and CHIETA:
- Ongoing artisan development
- Optimisation of RPL to develop semi skilled staff into artisans through industry acceptable programs,
- Poor quality of maths and science that stifle the supply of candidates, enhance the quality of training offered by TVET Colleges (currently not to the satisfaction of industry),
- Harnessing of resources released by industry by TVET Colleges,
- Artisan training programmes to be more geared for the specific and unique needs of the petroleum industry
Much clearer articulation between TVET Colleges and universities to allow for artisans to develop into higher level professionals.
In terms of mandatory grant support to the petroleum sub sector CHIETA disbursed an amount of R126 million over the last three financial years commencing 2012/13 in support of their respective workplace skills plans. The grant would be disbursed to the following programmes: adult education and training (AET), apprenticeships, bursaries, learnerships, workplace experience and skills programmes. CHIETA’s budget for 2014/15 was at R458 170 000. CHIETA was committed to Operation Phakisa and related initiatives, which seek to advance skills development in the maritime sector in an effort to grow the ocean economy and related sectors.
Mr L Esterhuizen (IFP) appreciated the presentations. He referred to the DoE workshops and said there was a need for workshops where immediate communities were affected such as in the Medupi area. According to the presentation R6 million was spent on training but DoE still employed contractors’ worth over R74 million. Why was this still the case? Why was this much money still being spent on contractors when in Medupi for example there was a problem with incompetent contractors, which led to the delays? Of the 130 000 people working in the EW sector; how many of them were trained by DoE, how many were in permanent positions? He raised a concern about disabled people being trained by DoE but not receiving employment afterwards. How was the country balancing water usage and energy demands seeing that South Africa is the seventh driest country in the world? Energy was one of the biggest users of water and contributors to pollution. Why was South Africa employing such a large number of foreigners for skilled jobs? How would CHIETA sustain itself over the years when only 45% of its income was from levies?
Ms T Mahambehlala (ANC) said documents for meetings needed to be made available to the Committee before an entity comes to present to the Committee. Members receiving late documentation was not acceptable. The next time this happened the Committee would chase the entity away. Members needed to properly prepare for these meetings. She said there was a long list of DoE’s training needs, could DoE provide more information on their adult education training programmes to staff. These certificates which staff received at the end of a training workshop, where these certificates of attendance or were they accredited? With regard to the international training workshops, the presentations indicated that two South African students were currently taking part; what measures did DoE have in place to ensure that these trainees were retained within the country and that they were not absorbed by foreign countries or the private sector?
What youth development agencies did DoE partner with for the implementation of youth development programmes of the department? According to the presentation 89 graduates took place in the Malaysian exchange programme; what was the selection process and where were these graduates now, had they been placed within DoE? With regard to the 50 participants in the China Nuclear Programme, who were they and how were they selected? Could DoE explain the difference between the grant it received and the R5.2 million which was allocated to it? She indicated that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) seemed to be very popular in all the presentations. Why was this university popular? When would the Advanced Diploma at the university be finalized? She asked why the merSETA Chairperson and Executive Head were the same person. She asked what role did the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa (NUMSA); play in collaborations with DoE. How was DoE assisting in the area of localization of skills in the manufacturing sector? What kind of development was the R20 million allocated for community development in Khayelitsha?
She asked CHIETA about the 1679 vacancies which were unfilled; why was this the case and when would these vacancies be occupied? She said it had come to the Committee’s attention that there were challenges with hydraulic fracking in the Karoo. The United States has been cited as the best in this sector; has CHIETA approached the United States? Did CHIETA have the skills needed to implement that kind of a programme? What role did DoE play in ensuring that people were capacitated at Medupi and other major project sites?
Mr M Matlala (ANC) asked whether DoE was involved in guiding SETAs about where skills are needed. What role did DoE play in providing guidance around skills development? What was the rate of employment of SETAs at DoE?
Mr M Mackay (DA) agreed with Ms Mahambehlala that it was not acceptable that Members received documents late, not giving them enough time to prepare for the meeting. He said the list of workshops which DoE attended was quite extensive; what was the total cost of attending these? How did DoE decide which workshops and conferences where a priority to attend? He argued that it seemed as though ‘renewables’ were not high on DoE’s agenda. Why was there a need for 34 DoE Executives to be sent for media training? Did DoE not have communications specialists within the department? With regard to DoE’s internal bursary programme; 76 recipients were awarded bursaries; why were five DOE executives studying towards MBAs when the cost of one MBA study could cover many students who needed bursary funding? How was an MBA qualification relevant to the work of DoE? Could DoE provide a gender and race breakdown of the training and staff development within the department? He said DoE’s learnership programme was disappointing, there were excessively low numbers of learners taking place; what was the exact budget for learnerships? He argued that DoE’s priorities were quite questionable.
He indicated that the EWSETA presentation was very helpful. According to the presentation there was about 180 000 potential jobs in the energy generation sector. This however did not align with government’s move towards nuclear power; has this fact been taken into consideration? Has EWSETA considered the current issues of corruption at NECSA when considering partnerships with the entity? He asked that the baseline study report be made available to the Committee. He asked CHIETA about Project Phakisa; where there any concrete plans in place to develop the gas sector? How did CHIETA plan to develop this industry considering government’s interest?
Mr R Mavunda (ANC) appreciated the presentations made. He said South Africa had many training institutions that appeared to be fly-by-night institutions. Did DoE have a database of all the accredited training institutions? He warned that many institutions were not skills driven, they were fund driven. SETAs therefore needed to liaise more with the Department of Higher Education and Training in this regard. What mechanisms were in place to promote entrepreneurship training in the energy sector, especially in rural areas? Were there any case studies which SETA could provide?
Ms Z Faku (ANC) appreciated the presentations and asked how prepared was South Africa in embarking on its expansion programme. One of the presentations indicated that it had various programmes supported by SETAs in place in the Eastern Cape; in which municipalities were these?
Mr Ntanzi responded to the suggestion about workshops at Medupi and agreed with the sentiments that local community should be engaged. Government was advocating for opportunities for local communities on an ongoing basis, especially at Medupi where local residents were benefitting in a number of ways. On international training, he said attendees were each required to produce a report which would be a guiding document for DoE to assess whether the training was providing any benefit to DoE, and to assess what lessons were learned from it. The same material can also be used to capacitate other officials within DoE without them being sent to the same institution. On the budget of nearly R6 million as part of DoE’s training versus the R70 million still being used at Medupi for boiler maker consultants, he said DoE was not linked to the Medupi build programme; the programme was handled by Eskom.
He apologized about DoE submitting documents late to the Committee. DoE was aware that documents needed to be sent at least two days before the meeting. With regard to the concern about losing skills to other sectors, he said DoE had a retention strategy in place for training. It was based on employee personal development plans; each employee was required to obtain a certain amount of training. DoE was however guided by the availability of resources. DoE however did recruit from other sectors which they competed with; the only concern would be when DoE lost employees to the international community. On the youth development programme and whether DoE had partnered with youth agencies, he replied that DoE worked with a number of agencies on certain projects through the Community Upliftment Directorate, which dealt with youth development issues and opportunities within the energy sector. On the 50 South Africans attending training in China he replied that 19 of these were females and 31 were males; and were from DoE, the National Nuclear Regulator, Eskom, NECSA, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Tourism and from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
With regard to temporary workers at sites such as Medupi, he indicate that during the construction local communities are the ones offered jobs, some on a fulltime basis for those who had the necessary skills.
Mr Sandile Boyi, DoE Chief Director: Human Resources, on the employment of disabled people within the department, said DoE strived to absorb all interns into permanent positions in the department. On the question of adult education and training, there were officials within the department who did not have matric and they were now part of this training programme. He explained that the difference between the grant and DoE’s budget amount, was the grant focused on specific training, the grant was over and above the internal training budget for DoE.
Mr Edzisani Ndou, DoE Human Resources Chief Director, said DoE ensured that employees with disabilities went for the required training in line with their personal development plan. On adult training he added that DoE has looked at what programmes the department could assist in, especially with employees who did not have training. These employees were also put on learnership programmes to amplify their skills. On the question of whether the certificates were for competence or for attendance, the 486 were scarce programmes and officials received certificates of competence. Of the 81 conferences and workshops which DoE attended, employees received certificates of attendance. The 89 graduates from the Malaysian scholarship programme were in fact employed in the country; one graduate was employed outside the country. Most of these graduates were employed at DoE, at Eskom, at PetroSA and others by private entities. On the grant for 600 trainees requested from EWSETA, this was one of the areas which amplified issues around the solar water heating programme to assist DoE. On the question on MBAs, he said DoE was full of administrators therefore to some extent DoE needed to up-skill their senior managers. On the low number of learnerships, DoE was working closely with SETAs; DoE has applied for discretionary grants.
Mr Ntanzi replied to the question on the total costs of the workshops which DoE took part in, asking that DoE come back to the Committee with the exact figures. He explained that DoE’s training needs were based on personal training needs for each employee. DoE was prioritizing the training of employees on renewable energy, in line with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The managers who went for media training were sent for up-skilling; DoE did have a dedicated official which dealt with media. On Ms Faku’s question about whether the country was ready skills-wise, DoE was working with SETAs to ensure that the country did not struggle. DoE had a responsibility to ensure that there was adequate training.
Mr Tsholofelo Mokoledi, EWSETA Acting Chief Operations Officer, responded that the baseline report and a list of the Eastern Cape municipalities EWSETA was working with would be sent through to the Committee. On a mechanism to promote entrepreneurship he replied that EWSETA could provide a report to indicate which municipalities they were working with, especially those in rural areas. After training, some learners were given training on venture creation so they can work with municipalities when opportunities arose.
Ms Catherine Kobyana, EWSETA Acting Chief Financial Officer, responded that EWSETA had entered into collaborative partnerships with various higher education institutions and NMMU was one of them. The NMMU requested that EWSETA work with the institution in the development of the Diploma in Renewable Energy. The Diploma would be finalized before the end of 2015. On the question about EWSETA’s partnership with NECSA she said the partnership was within the context of the engagements which were taking place, led by DoE with all its relevant stakeholders. All potential collaborations have been discussed. A proper plan would therefore be put in place for the development of proper and relevant curriculum.
Ms Moodley responded to the comment that it seemed as though the sector was still importing a lot of foreign skills and acknowledged that this was indeed the case. EWSETA was doing as much as it could to reverse this and localize skills, by providing the necessary skills development and training to the local South African labour force. The establishment of the Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence was a direct result of a study which was done in the Northern Cape, where EWSETA interviewed and surveyed a lot of the independent power producers in the area. Many skills gaps were identified, but these skills could not be found locally, they were found in places such as Spain. She indicated that the job numbers in the report were “green jobs”. She said EWSETA was beginning to venture into the natural gas sector.
Mr Adams replied to the question on people not been adequately trained at Medupi and said training was not done under the auspices of SETAs but under that of labour brokers, who bring in a number of workers especially internationally. As a SETA, merSETA has made funds available for training. He explained that the Chairperson was not employed by merSETA on a fulltime basis. The Chairperson was independent and was appointed by the Minister in terms of the Skills Development Act of 1998. The Chairperson only attended meetings and did not receive a salary. The Chairperson could therefore be employed in another position on a full-time basis. On the choice of NMMU, he said there were 25 universities in the country, but NMMU has positioned itself in the right space, especially around waste and renewable energy. Port Elizabeth had three major motor manufacturers, General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford. For this reason merSETA had an interest in research and innovation with regard to solar energy and solar vehicles. MerSETA was not preferencing any university over another. On entrepreneurship, he said students who had completed their BSc Engineering in any field, were enrolled into a Masters Programme for Entrepreneurship for innovative learners so they do not get lost in industry. On localization, he said merSETA was training over 15 000 learners at a cost of over R1 billion. He said SETAs were ill-placed to develop businesses; therefore they work with SEDAs and other agencies.
Ms Itzkin said the vision of CHIETA was not to import skills but to export skills. CHIETA’s involvement in Operation Phakisa had brought up over 1200 welders, reducing the number of welders which the country imported from Taiwan. She said the country has made it “sexy” to go to universities rather than going to FET colleges or universities of technology; whereas this kind of thinking did not yield jobs. Skills development if it did not produce jobs was a waste of time.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their engagement with the presentations. He apologized that not all questions were answered. There was not enough time.
Mr Esterhuizen said presentations needed to be managed well because they took time away from Members asking questions they wanted to ask. The Chairperson agreed.
The meeting was adjourned.