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LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19TH MARCH 2003
SECTORAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITY (SETA): PROGRESS REPORTS
Chairperson: Mr M Manie (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Presentation by Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA)
Presentation by Media Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Authority (MAPP)
Presentation by Transport, Education Training Authority (TETA)
Presentation by Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Authority (THETA)
A second day of presentations by another four SETAs were heard. Again matters discussed related to the process of taking the skills and training concepts to SMMEs, the rural areas and the informal sector. Other issues were exorbitant salaries, the availability of comprehensive databases from government and a suggestion of more interaction between SETAs.
The Department in its response stated that it was satisfied with the steps taken by SETAs to apply equitable racial policies, dishonesty problems had been dealt with and there was an attitude of co-operation between SETAs and government. There was a need to implement legislative amendments arising from the SETA process and that a new strategy would be implemented in 2005 based on past experiences. It also commented that unless the youth employment issue was solved, there would be disastrous consequences for the country.
The Committee chairperson concluded that big things were going to take place in the economy as a result of the impact of the SETA programme.
Opening Remarks by the Chair
Mr S Manie called on the delegates to focus on factual achievements and the airing of specific problems experienced by all the SETAs. He encouraged the meeting to come forward with concrete recommendations and not deal with matters in broad brush strokes.
Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA)
Dr M Mthwecu, CEO of MQA, noted that the bulk of his presentation had been given the previous day in his joint presentation with Mr Volschenk. He would now deal with any questions carried over from that discussion. He introduced the MQA delegates. Mr V Mabena, Skills Development Adviser to the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, would be contributing to the discussion.
Media Advertising, Publishing, Printing and Packaging Authority (MAPP)
Mr C Sykes, CEO of MAPP, reported the MAPP performance against the targets of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). Skills development had taken place in a dynamic economic context. He believed that the economy was under performing and jobs had been lost. He stated that it was difficult to place graduate learners and the provision of jobs had become a national imperative.
MAPP had received plans from 383 companies out of a total of 4 600 contributing companies in the sector. MAPP had accredited 326 organisations and trained 2280 assessors. It needed to be impressed on companies that the contributions were an ongoing exercise and not a one-off event. He emphasised that business should understand that by applying themselves to the skills development programme, they stood to gain real economic advantages. He said that MAPP had started to embark on a widespread promotion of the need for skills development to employers and employees.
Transport, Education Training Authority (TETA)
Dr P Bothma (TETA CEO) and Mr T Dlamini (TETA Chairperson) presented. The CEO explained that the transport sector was very diverse and covered transport in the air, rail and road. Eight chambers had been constituted to promote the Skills Development Act. A total of 8053 companies in that sector had paid levies. He emphasised the need for qualified employers in the industry. The number of companies participating in the NSDS had increased by 107%. Thus training costs to the participating companies had dropped by 20% from 2001 to 2002. He believed that TETA had tackled its obligations with success. A target of 70% had been set for workers to gain NQF1 and the percentage achieved was 74%. Over the past two years, 11 268 workers had participated in ABET (Adult Based Education and Training) up to the NQF1 standard. Of these, 5354 had successfully completed the qualification. He noted that TETA had a keen interest in formulating and developing small businesses.
Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Authority (THETA)
Ms T Vallilum, CEO of THETA, gave an overview of the tourist industry which she confirmed had displayed encouraging growth in an otherwise sluggish economy. She said that interactive training was very successful and most operators had been highly trained. She spoke on the challenges that faced the industry including the need for excellent service.
Mr Manie stressed the need to keep the public informed of the work of the SETAs especially in the rural communities. He was convinced that big things were going to take place in the economy as a result of the impact of the SETA programme. Delegates should not lose sight of the need to deliver results to the public in terms of the Skills Development Act especially by reaching out to the rural communities. He was adamant that the quality of life of the people simply had to be substantially improved.
Mr D Oliphant (ANC) drew attention to the marginalisation of Atlantis during PW Botha's regime. He hoped that economic upswing in that area would be accomplished. He would like to see a greater potential for job placement there to accommodate workers already trained by Atlantis.
Mr S Mshudulu endorsed the great strides made by SETAs in terms of the Public Finance and Management Act. He questioned the allocation of bursaries since the World Summit on Sustainable Development, as well as the steps taken by MAPP to advertise. He wanted to know about the degree of progress in the alignment of SETAs with local government and other government institutions.
Mr Middleton repeated the need for SETAs to reach out to the communities. He asked for information about the approach of SETAs to AIDS and the disabled.
Mr Botha, on behalf of MAPP, gave details of learnership accreditations within MAPP. He assured the meeting of MAPP's attention to matters concerning the disabled and women. He assured the members that the PFMA Act had been efficiently implemented. He confirmed MAPP's focus on advertising through the media
Dr Mthweco, on behalf of MQA, echoed the response by MAPP. He said that the Mining Charter had complemented the MQA.
Mr V Mabena, on behalf of the MQA, said that it was very difficult to benchmark salaries. He felt that this aspect would evolve into a more equitable system. He reminded the meeting that the National Qualifications Authority functions were funded by the Education Department. He maintained that the budget allocation for that authority was inadequate.
Ms T Vallilum stated that the tourist industry had boomed. Skills development and training had benefited from this. She mentioned the participation of rural communities in conservation and tourism projects.
Mr Manie called for guidelines on salary scales. He said that some salaries were exorbitant.
Ms Malebana asked about the progress of the skills development and training programmes in the taxi industry. She expressed concern about people conducting informal businesses on pavements and the like and wondered whether they had received adequate attention.
Mr Mshudulu repeated the concerns expressed above and added that attention would need to be devoted to reconciling the needs of time off for training with the need for productivity.
Mr Moonsammy enquired about the availability of comprehensive databases from government.
Mr Manie advocated greater interaction between SETAs. He reiterated his request for dealing with specific problems. He wanted to know what had happened to roll-over funds and whether there were rules governing this aspect.
Ms Malebana asked about the development of B&Bs [Bed and Breakfasts] in the informal sector. She was concerned about the lack of employment for matriculants and tertiary graduates.
Mr Sykes on behalf of MAPP detailed the procedures introduced in accordance with the PFMA.
Ms Vallilum from THETA dealt with the development procedures and guidelines established for B&Bs. She mentioned that adequate attention had been given to informal traders especially those dealing in the craft sector. She explained how efficient databases had been compiled in the THETA sector.
Mr Botha from TETA said that the structures in the taxi industry had enabled the industry to settle down. He indicated that the taxi industry required huge financing to achieve the objectives. He repeated the foregoing assurances about the importance of databases and SMME strategies. He confirmed the keen interaction between SETAs. Regarding the need for time off for training versus productivity, he said that because the stakeholders were committed there was no a clash.
Mr Volschenk (INSETA) said that there were guidelines for roll-over funds which were carefully adhered to. He traced the participation of SARS in levy collections and confirmed that the allocation of funds between SETAs needed improvement. SARS had been collecting VAT on levies paid and said that this eroded the availability of funds to a SETA.
Mr S Morotoba ( Executive Manager of SETA Co-ordination - Ministry of Labour) summed up the meeting by saying that he would deal with his response in 5 categories:
-Government related issues.
-Capacity of stakeholders
-Government department related issues.
-Where do we go from here.
-His department was satisfied with the steps taken by SETAs to apply equitable racial policies in regard to their employees.
-That corrective action had been taken in regard to certain dishonesty problems and that SETAs needed to move on.
-That an attitude of co-operation between SETAs and government had pertained..
-That problems relating to mobility of employees affected his department.
-That the stakeholder interests had been served by appointing members to SETA boards selected from such organisations as FEDUSA , COSATU and the like.
-That there was a need to implement legislative amendments arising from the SETA process.
-That government had led by example in the fields of implementing the Employment Equity Act, training and skills development.
-That a final report would be issued on SAQA [South African Qualifications Authority].
-That government was cogniscent of the developments in the international arena.
-That a new strategy would be implemented in 2005 based on past experiences.
-That unless the youth employment issue was solved, there would be disastrous consequences for the country.
Mr Manie said that the committee would work closely with SETAs in the run up to the compilation of the report to parliament. He reminded delegates to submit written replies to unanswered questions within one week.
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