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EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
27 May 2003
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES SETA: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Professor S Mayatula (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Role of the ETDP-SETA: briefing
ETDP-SETA website: http://www.etdpseta.org.za
The Education, Training and Development Practices SETA briefed members on progress in this SETA (Sectoral Education and Training Authority) since its inception the previous year. Discussion focused on learnership graduates and the use of consultants. A representative of the National Council of Teachers of South Africa (NACTOSA) said that, in general, the SETA had not met the expectations of organised labour. However, he acknowledged the progress that had been made so far.
Ms N Mahajana (Chief Executive Officer of ETDP-SETA) outlined the structure, objectives and progress of the organisation in terms of staff recruitment and systems development since it had been established. She presented statistics on funding and learnerships according to sectors and provinces. She also outlined activities that had been undertaken by the SETA as well as future plan and tasks.
Present in the delegation were Ms Le Grange (Committee of Technikon Principals), Mr S Diphadi (Department of Labour), Mr. E Rabotapi (NACTOSA), Mr. Mulawudzi, National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), Mr M Henning (Independent Schools) and Mr D Hindle (Department of Education).
Prince N Zulu (IFP) wanted to know how easily learnership graduates found employment, noting the high number of unemployed graduates in South Africa. Ms Mahajana explained that learnership students were already employed and only upgrading their qualifications. She admitted that the ETDP-SETA had no tracking system for learnership graduates.
Prince Zulu wanted to know why there were only eighty-three learnerships in KwaZulu-Natal compared to bigger numbers in other provinces. Ms Mahajana explained that those had been the only applications received for discretionary funds earmarked for KwaZulu-Natal. She added that there were other initiatives in KwaZulu-Natal offering learnerships. The total number of learnerships in the province was therefore much higher.
Mr S Ntuli (ANC) asked if the SETA was doing anything to help undergraduate university students with self-management skills in the light of high first-year failure rates at universities. Ms Le Grange explained that there were various programmes for both lecturers and students at higher education institutions to address the problem. She gave examples of some initiatives in progress at Pretoria Technikon.
Mr I Vadi (ANC) asked if labour representatives were satisfied with the SETA's progress.
Mr Rabotabi replied that, as a whole, SETAs had not made as much progress as organised labour would have liked. However, labour acknowledged the progress that had been made so far. Some employers were not taking skills development seriously and, in some instances, labour was not giving SETAs the level of attention they required. He assured members of labour's commitment to resolving problems in the SETAs in a co-operative manner.
Mr L Kgwele (ANC) wanted to know how much of the SETA's discretionary funding had not been used. Mr Hindle explained that the R4 million rollover was primarily from unclaimed levies by private employers and unspent allocations for administration.
Mr Kgwele wanted to know what kind of work consultants did for the SETA. He was not happy with the increasing use of consultants in government departments and public projects.
Ms M Olckers (NNP) wanted to know the number of consultants still employed by the SETA. Ms Mahajana said she understood the concern, explaining that the SETA was using consultants while trying to fill vacant posts that would otherwise have carried out the tasks involved. She gave examples of some of the progress made in phasing out consultants but did not have the actual figures to hand.
Mr Kgwele asked what percentage of the budget was used for administration and salaries. There was no clear answer.
Mr Kgwele asked about R50 thousand the SETA had allegedly spent on additional toilets.
Ms Olckers asked if this figure was correct.
Mr Hindle dismissed the allegation and explained that the additional toilets had been built because there were not enough for staff and visitors. Ms Mahajana denied that the toilets had cost R50 thousand.
One member asked about the level of staff turnover. Ms Mahajana said that only eleven staff members had resigned since the organisation's inception.
Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked for statistics on teachers that had undergone learnerships in Mpumalanga. Mr Hindle replied that this was a question for the Department of Education.
Mr B Mthembu (ANC) asked what the SETA planned to do about the large number of under-qualified teachers. Mr Hindle explained that the SETA was not responsible for teacher training and that this, too, was a question for the Department of Education.
Professor S Ripinga (ANC) asked if the SETA worked with small service providers and was told by Ms Mahajana that it did.
Mr B Komphela (ANC) asked if teachers' salaries increased according to their qualifications. Mr Hindle replied that the salary grading system did take account of qualifications. However, a teacher's salary was not automatically increased with each new qualification.
The meeting was adjourned.
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