Sector Education & Training Authorities on Intelligence, Defence, Trade, Banks, Health & Welfare: Annual Report

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Employment and Labour

13 October 2005
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
14 October 2005
SECTOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING AUTHORITIES ON INTELLIGENCE, DEFENCE, TRADE, BANKS, AND HEALTH AND WELFARE: ANNUAL REPORT BRIEFINGS

Chairperson:

Ms O Kasienyane (ANC)

Documents handed out:

Diplomacy, Intelligence, Defence and Trade Education and Training Authority (DIDTETA) Annual Report: PowerPoint presentation
Bank Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA) Annual Report: PowerPoint presentation
Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA) Annual Report: PowerPoint presentation

 


SUMMARY
The Diplomacy, Intelligence, Defence and Trade Education and Training Authority (DIDTETA) delegation began by noting that DIDTETA had merged with the Poslec Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), in July 2005, to form the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). The delegation provided a list of the entities in the sectors covered DIDTETA. The delegation then highlighted the progress that DIDTETA had made towards meeting the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) targets. Indeed, DIDTETA had bettered all but one of its NSDS targets. The only NSDS target that it had fallen short of, was the target for the number of learnerships that it was required to register. It was noted that it had received an income of R 7 784 000 in 2004/05 and had spent R 7 182 000. Most of this expenditure had been spent on administration costs. Unfortunately, DIDTETA had received a qualified audit report in 2004/05 from the Auditor-General. The delegation also outlined some of the challenges that DIDTETA had faced during 2004/05, which included preparing for the merger with the Proslec SETA. In the discussion that followed, Members enquired about the challenges and opportunities that had arisen out of the merger; access to information on the training programmes that were accredited by it; if it had Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programmes; if SASSETA had an effective marketing strategy and if it met the skills needs of the sectors it covered.

The Bank SETA delegation provided an overview of the banking sector and discussed the structure and objectives of the Bank SETA. It was noted that the Bank SETA had surpassed its NSDF targets. The delegation then discussed the Bank SETAs 200/05 financial statement. They noted that the Bank SETA had received a total income of R 239 886 000 in 2004.05. During 2004/05 but had spent R 250 327 000. Most of this had been spent on grants, project expenses, and administration. The delegation also noted that, over the last five years, the Bank SETA had approved R 501 million in mandatory grants. Challenges it faced included the danger of embarking on too many small scale projects, a negative public perception of the SETA; and difficulties in reaching small businesses in the banking sector. Members asked the Bank SETA about its deficit of approximately R 10 million in 2004/05; whether the Bank SETA offered skills development to people in the rural areas; whether the Bank SETA had programmes for unemployed graduates; whether it was addressing the negative public perception that surrounded it; and why it co-sourced non-core delivery mechanisms.

The delegation from the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA) provided an overview of the health and welfare sectors, which included highlighting the skills needs of these sectors. A progress report outlined how HWSETA had faired in terms of meeting NSDS targets and some of the challenges it faced. The HWSETA had met most of the targets, except for the skills development support target for large and medium sized enterprises. HWSETA had received an unqualified report for 2004/05. Its total income for the year was R 145 410 000, while its total expenditure was R 91 365 000. It had, however, allocated a further R 128 million to future projects and skills priorities. In the ensuing discussion, Members asked whether its accredited programmes were available in the rural areas; why HWSETA was not able to track its graduates; how it was addressing its challenges; and why it was involved in litigation

DIDTETA
The Diplomacy, Intelligence, Defence and Trade Education and Training Authority (DIDTETA) delegation began by noting that DIDTETA had merged with the Poslec Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), in July 2005, to form the Safety and Security SETA (SASSETA). The delegation then provided a list of the entities in the sectors covered, and progress made towards meeting the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) targets. Indeed, DIDTETA had bettered all but one of its NSDS targets. The only NSDS target of which it had fallen short, was the number of learnerships that it was required to register. DITETA had received an income of R7 784 000 in 2004/05 and had spent R7 182 000. Most of this expenditure had been spent on administration costs. However, DIDTETA had received a qualified audit report in 2004/05 from the Auditor-General. The delegation also outlined some of the challenges that DIDTETA had faced during 2004/05, which included preparing for the merger with the Poslec SETA.

In the discussion that followed, Members enquired about the challenges and opportunities that had arisen out of the merger with the Poslec SETA; whether the Committee could access information on training programmes accredited by DITETA; whether DIDTETA/SASSETA used Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programmes; whether SASSETA had an effective marketing strategy; whether the courses accredited by SASSETA met the skills needs of their sectors; and whether SASSETA had met its targets for training disabled people.

Bank SETA
The Bank SETA delegation then provided an overview of the banking sector and discussed its structure and objectives. It was noted that the Bank SETA had surpassed its NSDF targets. The delegation then discussed the Bank SETA’s 200/05 financial statements. They had received income of R239 886 000 in 2004/05, and spent R250 327 000. Most of this had been spent on grants, project expenses, and administration. The delegation also noted that, over the past five years, the Bank SETA had approved R501 million in mandatory grants. They faced a number of challenges, including the risk of embarking on too many small-scale projects, a negative public perception of the SETA; and difficulties in reaching small businesses in the banking sector.

Members asked the delegation a number of questions, which included why the Bank SETA had a deficit of approximately R10 million in 2004/05; whether they offered skills development to people in rural areas, as well as programmes for unemployed graduates; how they had addressed negative public perceptions; and why it co-sourced non-core delivery mechanisms.

HWSETA
The delegation from the Health and Welfare SETA (HWSETA) discussed their main objectives. The delegation also provided an overview of the health and welfare sectors, including the skills needs. The HWSETA had met most of the NSDS targets, except for the skills development support target for large- and medium-sized enterprises. Officials then discussed the 2004/05 financial statements. HWSETA had received an unqualified report for 2004/05 from the Auditor-General. Its total income for the year was R145 410 000, while its total expenditure was R91 365 000. It had allocated a further R128 million to future projects and skills priorities. The delegation also outlined some of the challenges that HWSETA had faced during 2004/05.

In the ensuing discussion, Members asked whether HWSETA accredited programmes were available in the rural areas; why HWSETA was not able to track its graduates; how it was addressing challenges; and why it was involved in litigation

MINUTES

Diplomacy, Intelligence, Defence and Trade Education and Training Authority briefing
Mr E Louw (DIDTETA Acting Chief Executive Officer) began by noting that DIDTETA had ceased to exist in July 2005, as it had been merged with the Poslec SETA to form SASSETA. He noted that DIDTETA had serviced ten institutions, which included the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade and Industry (DTI); the SA Secret Services (SASS); Armscor; the National Intelligence Agency (NIA); the Competition Commission; and the International Trade Administration Commission. Overall, the sectors that DIDTETA had covered employed 81 335 people. Mr Louw outlined the scarce and critical skills that were needed in these sectors. DIDTETA had focused on training women and black Africans in these critical skills.

Mr Louw highlighted the progress that DIDTETA had made towards achieving the NSDS 2001-2005 targets, which were:
- To develop a culture of quality, life-long learning. In terms of this, the NSDS had stipulated that DIDTETA needed to ensure that 3 520 workers in its sectors, had NQF Level 1 qualifications. DIDTETA had managed to exceed this target as 5 281 workers had such qualifications.
- To ensure that 56 000 workers had successfully completed structured learning programmes. DIDTETA had surpassed this target as 73 369 workers had completed structured learning programmes.
- To ensure that one government department and two divisions of the Defence Force complied with the Investor in People (IIP) Standard. DIDTETA had surpassed this target, by guaranteeing that Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Defence, and Armscor signed letters of commitment to the IIP standard.
- To ensure that 60 learnerships had been registered. DIDTETA had only managed to register 11 learnerships. It had planned to convert 48 apprenticeships in the Department of Defence into learnerships. However, this had never materialised.
Mr Louw then discussed some of DIDTETA’s other achievements, which included supporting 80 learners in the New Venture Creation programme; and providing skills training to 4 350 veterans through Project Military Veterans.

Mr Louw also discussed the details of DIDTETA’s 2004/05 financial statements. DIDTETA had had an income of R7 784 000 in 2004/05, which had mostly come from the Skills Development Levy (SDL). DIDTETA’s total expenses for the year were R7 182 000 - most of this had been spent on administration costs. One of the reasons why DIDTETA had merged with the Poslec SETA was because of its small income; a SETA needed an annual income of approximately R25 million to be a viable entity. Unfortunately, DIDTETA had received a qualified audit report from the Auditor-General. This had arisen due to a lack of appropriate documentation and problems with the procedure framework for recording, monitoring and reconciling the SDL income. There had also been a number of other problems. For example, there was an unexplained difference of R52 000 between the amount transferred to DIDTETA by the Labour Department, and the amount recorded as SDL by DIDTETA.

Mr Louw discussed some of the challenges that DIDTETA had faced during 2004/05. One of the main challenges was the uncertainty caused by the merger with the Poslec SETA. Employers had also reacted cautiously to the changes in the Levy Grant Distribution Regulations.

Discussion
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) and M Mzondeki (ANC) asked about the challenges and opportunities that had arisen out of the merger between DIDTETA and the Poslec SETA.

Ms V Penxa (SASSETA Chief Executive Officer) replied that the merger into SASSETA had posed various challenges and opportunities. SASSETA had decided to implement a chambers system, with one chamber covering each of the sectors under its auspices. There were therefore eight chambers that covered the defence, police, private security, justice and correctional services sectors, the NIA, and the SASS. Employers and employees were represented equally in each of these chambers. This allowed the chambers to identify the sector’s training needs in a balanced manner. The chamber system also allowed for effective monitoring. Nonetheless, problems had been being experienced with the NIA and SASS. These two organisations had agreed to form a joint chamber, but had failed to so. SASSETA had written to these two organisations informing them that they needed to establish a chamber, but they had never responded. SASSETA was examining alternative options to get these two organisations to form a chamber. Only members of NIA and SASS would serve on this chamber so there should not be issues around confidentiality or security.

Ms Penxa added that SASSETA faced challenges around the promulgation of the Firearms Control Act. SASSETA was tasked with providing training and accreditation around this Act. The problem was that many firearms use training institutions provided inappropriate training. There had, therefore, been a predicament around accreditation, although these firms had a constitutional right to apply. The Minister of Safety and Security was mandated with reducing firearms in South Africa.

Ms Penxa noted that the merger between DIDTETA and the Poslec SETA had brought two different institutional cultures together. There was therefore a challenge to merge these two cultures, so SASSETA had contracted a human resource consultancy to assist with the process.

Mr Mshudulu stated that it was difficult to ask DIDTETA/SASSETA certain questions because it dealt with classified information. He asked whether it was possible for the Committee to gain access to information on DIDTETA/SASSETA accredited training programmes. Mr Louw replied that certain information around the high-tech training accredited by DIDTETA/SASSETA, was confidential. They also could not disclose any information about the skills needs audits conducted in the NIA and the SASS.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was undertaking the Youth Foundation Training Programme, which involved providing bridging training to 500 black youths. These young people had a great deal of potential, but due to a poor schooling system, had not attained top marks in maths and science. The Youth Foundation Training Programme tutored these youth in these subjects. At the end of the year, these youth would be rewriting those matriculation papers. Once they had done this, they would be recruited into the SANDF’s fighter pilot and engineering training programmes.

Mr Mshudulu commented that many of the institutions under the auspices of DIDTETA, by their nature, were not covered by organised labour. How had the training needs of these institutions been identified? In most sectors, training needs had been identified jointly by employees and organised labour.

Mr Mshudulu asked whether DIDTETA/SASSETA had any programmes that allowed people to convert their work experience into formal qualifications, such as a RPL programme? It seemed that it would be difficult to have Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in sectors that dealt with classified information. Employees at certain institutions were not allowed to disclose any information about their work. Mr Louw responded that SASSETA did acknowledge prior learning. Indeed, SASSETA was in the process of establishing RPL programmes. Many people had worked in army workshops, but had never received formal qualifications. Their experience and knowledge needed to be formally recognised.

Mr Mshudulu asked whether SASSETA would be willing to work with Parliamentary Constituency Offices (PCOs) to identify prospective learners for skills training or RPL programmes. Could unemployed liberation struggle veterans be enrolled into SASSETA’s skills development or RPL programmes? Mr Louw replied that DIDTETA, and now SASSETA, had implemented the Veterans Project, with a Steering Committee to oversee it. This Steering Committee consisted of veterans from the various liberation armies. These Steering Committee representatives worked closely with the provincial offices. Added to this, a database of veterans had been compiled. SASSETA was using this to establish skills development needs. To date, through this Project, 105 veterans had received skills development training.

Mr Mzondeki enquired whether SASSETA had a marketing strategy to inform the public about the work that it undertook. Added to this, he asked whether SASSETA’s marketing strategy reached the rural areas. Ms Penxa replied that SASSETA would be undertaking promotional visits to the various provinces. She added that SASSETA was marketing itself by publishing articles in the local press and relevant journals.

Mr L Maduna (ANC) stated that some South Africans were being recruited by security companies to operate in Africa, and even other continents, as mercenaries. He asked how SASSETA was addressing this problem. How did SASSETA ensure that it did not inadvertently accredit a private security training provider that was also illegally involved in recruiting mercenaries? Ms Penxa responded that SASSETA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with private security service training providers. Before a private security service training provider was accredited, they needed to receive clearance from the Central Firearms Registry. Prospective private security service providers that did not receive this clearance, were not accredited. SASSETA was vigilant about the types of institutions that it accredited.

Mr Maduna asked whether the courses accredited by SASSETA addressed the needs of its sectors. Ms Penxa responded that the stakeholders represented on the sector chambers, were involved in identifying the needs of the sectors that they represented. Courses were then designed according to these skills.

Mr Maduna enquired whether SASSETA had met its targets for training disabled people. Ms Penxa replied that SASSETA had recently held a graduation ceremony for approximately 20 physically disabled people that had completed call-centre training courses. SASSETA also had a partnership with Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA) to identify skills and training needs. The DPSA felt that there was an overemphasis on training disabled people as call-centre and switchboard operators. They felt that disabled people should be trained in a wider variety of skills. Thus SASSETA was examining how it could broaden the courses. Mr Maduna and Mr Mzondeki agreed that this was essential.

Bank SETA briefing
Mr F Groenewald (Bank SETA Chief Executive Officer) stated that their mission was to support transformation and the development of people to enable stakeholders to advance the national and global position of the banking and microfinance sector. Those sectors consisted of 1 331 companies which employed 146 149 people. He then outlined the critical skills that were required.

Mr Groenewald discussed the strengths of the Bank SETA, which included a competent Board; a strong culture of corporate governance; clear objectives; knowledgeable staff; a strong culture of delivery; and a strong focus on evaluation. Their main strategic focus areas were the Financial Sector Charter, youth development, consumer education, the development of small-, medium- and micro-enterprises (SMMEs), and undertaking research to ensure that the sector’s competitiveness was advanced through skills development. Their aims were to accelerate social transformation through skills development; to leverage skills levy funds to meet the NSDS targets; to be cost-effective; to use advanced technology and best management practices; and to be the hub for sector collaboration.

Mr Groenewald then outlined some of the major issues that faced the sectors, including possible difficulties in complying with the Financial Sector Charter, dealing with market competition, and finding funding structures for black economic empowerment (BEE). He then outlined the employment trends in the banking sector. On the whole, progress had been made towards meeting employment equity targets from 2001.

Mr Groenewald discussed how the Bank SETA had fared in meeting the NSDS targets, which were:
- To develop a culture of life-long learning. Bank SETA had exceeded the NSDS target of ensuring that 70% of sector workers had at least an NQF Level 1 qualification. The NSDS had also stipulated that at least 30 organisations in the sector should be compliant with IIP. The Bank SETA had surpassed this target, and there were currently 66 sites, from a number of companies, that were committed to complying with IIP.
- To foster skills development in the formal economy for productivity and employment growth. The SETA had surpassed the NSDS targets for providing grants to both large- and medium-sized companies. It had also met the NSDS worker learnership targets.
- To stimulate and support skills development in small businesses. The NSDS had specified that the Bank SETA should be supporting 20% of small companies with skills development. The Bank SETA had bettered this target and was providing support to 46% of the SMMEs in the sector.
- To assist new entrants into employment. The NSDS had stipulated that they needed to register 1 976 learnerships for people under the age of 30. The Bank SETA had registered 2 044 learnerships for young people. It had also ensured that 83% of these people were employed on completion of their learnerships. At the Letsema Learnership Project over three years, 2 463 unemployed learners had been recruited, including matriculants and postgraduates.

Mr Groenewald noted that the Bank SETA had received a total income of R239 886 000 in 2004/05. Approximately R192 million of this had been derived from the Skills Development Levy (SDL). During the past year, their total expenditure was R250 327 000. Most of this had been spent on grants, project expenses, and administration. As a result, the Bank SETA had had a budget deficit of R10 441 000. He then discussed the discretionary and mandatory grants they had approved and allocated to companies. Over the last five years, Bank SETA had approved approximately R501 million in mandatory grants.

Mr Groenewald outlined some of their concerns. These included the dangers of a lack of focus and undertaking too many small initiatives; unrealistic public expectations; a negative public perception towards the SETA; and the loss of small organisations as skills development beneficiaries due to the increase in the SDL threshold.

Discussion
The Chairperson was very concerned that the Bank SETA had had a budget deficit of approximately R10 million in 2004/05. Mr Groenewald explained that this deficit should be seen in a positive light as it meant that the SETA was beginning to spend the reserves that it had accumulated in previous years. The deficit was a reflection that it was increasing its rate of service delivery.

Mr Maduna complemented the Bank SETA for receiving an unqualified report from the Auditor-General. He further noted that many people in South Africa were bank loan defaulters. Perhaps the Bank SETA could design a programme to assist the banks to deal with such people? Bank employees could be trained to explain the details of long-term and short-term loans. Mr Groenewald agreed that there was a need to train bank employees to handle defaulters. Nonetheless, there was also a need to provide the public with consumer education and financial literacy training. They already used the labour centres to make consumer education and financial literacy material available to the public.

Mr Mshudulu commented that the Bank SETA’s programmes should be aimed at addressing social imbalances. He asked whether they offered training to historically disadvantaged people in marginalised rural areas.

Mr N Godi (PAC) added that it was important for all the SETAs to reach the rural areas. Mr Groenewald replied that the Bank SETA had recently undertaken a ‘village bank development project’. This involved undertaking a number a skills development initiatives in the rural areas.

Mr Mshudulu enquired whether the Bank SETA worked closely with learning institutions. Mr Groenewald replied that a number of educational institutions had been contracted by Bank SETA as its skills training providers.

Mr Mshudulu observed that there were many unemployed graduates and enquired whether the Bank SETA had any relevant programmes. Mr Groenewald replied that 400 graduates were part of the Letsema I and Letsema II projects. Unfortunately, due to National Skills Fund (NSF) funding stipulations, the Letsema III project was only aimed at school leavers. However, the Bank SETA had created another learnership programme for unemployed university graduates

Mr Mshudulu noted that the Bank SETA had stated that some people had dropped out of its learnership and skills development programmes. Many might have dropped out due to their social and physical surroundings. Mr Groenewald replied that the Bank SETA’s courses had a 5% drop-out rate. This was low when compared with other educational institutions. The Bank SETA had achieved this level because it provided extensive support programmes to its learners. For example, its learners were provided with mentors and learning coaches. In the Letsema project, learners were also required to meet once a month with councillors. During these sessions, they could discuss any problems. Nonetheless, some learners still opted not to complete their training.

Ms N Ngcengwane (ANC) asked how the Bank SETA marketed itself. Mr Groenewald answered that the Bank SETA published articles in a number of magazines and journals. Representatives of the Bank SETA had also appeared on radio and television programmes. In addition, the Bank SETA had participated in the Minister of Labour’s Imbizo tours, and had undertaken a number of outreach visits to schools and universities.

Ms Ngcengwane asked why the banking sector felt that there might be certain problems in the future, around funding BEE. Mr Groenewald commented that sourcing funding for BEE had been identified as a possible challenge by a number of banks. Nonetheless, banks were working on addressing the issue before it became a challenge.

Ms Ngcengwane enquired why the Bank SETA had co-sourced some of its non-core delivery mechanisms. Mr Groenewald replied that the Bank SETA had co-sourced these in order to focus on its core function, which was skills development.

Mr Godi noted that the Bank SETA had identified a negative public perception. He asked whether this had referred to a negative public perception towards the Bank SETA or towards the banking sector as a whole. He also enquired about the steps they had taken to address this negative public perception. Mr Groenewald acknowledged that there was a negative public perception of SETAs as a whole. The SETAs needed to improve their communications so that the public was aware of their mandate and work.

Mr Godi asked why the Bank SETA had presented some of its NSDS objectives and achievements in percentage terms. All the NSDS objectives and achievements should have been presented in actual figures.

Mr Maduna stated that there was a public perception that some of the SETAs were not committed to Parliament’s goal of transforming society. Indeed, many people believed that some of the SETAs were only concerned with meeting the needs of the corporations in their sectors. It seemed as though some SETAs even believed that they were not accountable to Parliament. This was because they felt that their funding came from the SDL, and not directly from government. Nonetheless, the SETAs had been established through an Act of Parliament and were thus accountable.

Mr Groenewald replied that the Bank SETA had two major target markets: people employed in the banking sector and the broader unemployed population. The Bank SETA was also a sector body, and so had to consider the sustainability of the sector. A set standard criterion could not be used to measure the success of all the SETAs. There needed to be a certain amount of leeway around the criteria used to measure a SETA’s success.

Health and Welfare SETA briefing
Dr K Govender (HWSETA Chief Executive Officer) outlined their mission to create and implement an integrated approach to develop a skilled workforce empowered to render quality health and social development services. He then discussed their values. The HWSETA was responsible for covering the social development and health sectors, including both public and private entities. There were approximately 4 100 employers in these sectors. He then outlined the critical and scarce skills required, and their organisational structure.

Dr Govender discussed the progress that HWSETA had made towards meeting the NSDS targets, which were:
- To ensure that 225 651 employees in the health and welfare sectors had NQF Level 1 qualifications by March 2005. HWSETA had ensured that 409 486 health and welfare employees had these qualifications.
- To ensure that a minimum of 15% of health and social development workers had embarked on structured learning programmes by March 2005. HWSETA had bettered this target by 152%.
- To guarantee that at least 20 enterprises in their sectors agreed to commit to the IIP standard. HWSETA had ensured that 37 enterprises had committed to the IIP standard.
- To ensure that 75% of large-sized enterprises and 40% of medium-sized enterprises were receiving skills development grants. Unfortunately, HWSETA had not met these targets.
- To register 16 learnerships by March 2005. HWSETA had surpassed this target by registering 20 learnerships.
- To ensure that five government departments submitted Workplace Skills Plans (WSPs). This target had been surpassed, and 15 government departments were submitting WSPs.
- To guarantee that 780 small enterprises in their sectors were receiving skills development support and WSP grants. HWSETA had bettered this target by providing skills development support and WSP grants to 2 759 small businesses.
- To ensure that 3 100 unemployed people under the age of 30, were enrolled in learnerships by March 2005. HWSETA had surpassed this target by registering 7 988 unemployed people.

Dr Govender noted that had HWSETA received an unqualified report for 2004/05. They had had a total income of R145 410 000 in 2004/05. The SDL income accounted for R133 633 000. HWSETA’s total expenditure for the year was R91 365 000. Their total amount of cash, or cash equivalents, was R224 142 000. HWSETA had approved and allocated approximately R128 million to future projects and skills priorities.

Dr Govender outlined some of the challenges that HWSETA faced. These included the need to:
- design a tracking system for learnership and programme graduates;
- expand its skills development agenda to reach the second economy;
- reduce legal challenges;
- implement the new NSDS;
- implement a Quality Management System; and
- effectively monitor constituent providers’ education and training activities.
HWSETA would also be losing some of its income due to the new SDL threshold.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked whether HWSETA had taken any steps to ensure that its services reached the rural areas. Dr Govender replied that in order to provide skills development in any area, there needed to be an employer, a training provider and prospective learners. In many rural areas, there were no employers or training providers. Nonetheless, HWSETA had committed resources to ensure that skills development programmes were available in all provinces, and ideally wanted to have offices in the rural areas. However, this was not possible due to financial constraints. As a result, HWSETA was examining the possibility of sharing offices with other SETAs in the provinces. HWSETA had also undertaken road shows to the various provinces, which included visiting rural areas.

Mr Mzondeki suggested that the HWSETA should use the PCOs to reach communities in the rural areas. Dr Govender replied that HWSETA would be willing, and would compile information packages that could be distributed in the PCOs. HWSETA was also exploring the possibility of forming a partnership with labour centres around outreach.

Mr Mshudulu noted that many qualified people, such as nurses and doctors, did not wish to reside in the rural areas. This needed to be addressed. Perhaps the government could provide incentives to attract people to work in the rural areas. Dr Govender agreed and said the SETAs also needed to consider the role they could play in ensuring that skilled people moved to the rural areas.

Ms L Moss (ANC) stated that many people in the rural areas were involved in home-based care. She asked how these people could register as care providers. Added to this, where could these people get funding?

Mr Mzondeki was concerned that HWSETA was unable to track its learnership programme graduates. This needed to be addressed. Dr Govender acknowledged that HWSETA needed to formulate a graduate tracking system. In order to do so, HWSETA needed the co-operation of the learners, the employers and the training providers

Mr Mshudulu noted that South Africa had a shortage of nurses and had an emigration problem. He enquired whether HWSETA had a long-term plan or programme, to address this problem. Dr Govender replied that HWSETA was responsible for skills development. The problem of nurses leaving South Africa perhaps needed to be dealt with at a policy level.

Mr Godi commented that, under the NSDS achievements, HWSETA had reported that there were 322 358 employees in the sectors it covered. However, the delegation had stated that 409 486 employees, in the sectors it covered, had at least NQF Level 1 qualifications. He asked how this was possible when there were only 322 358 employees in the health and welfare sectors.

Dr Govender noted that the figure of 322 358 represented the number of employees in the sectors in 2001. Since then, the number of people employed had increased. Added to this, a comprehensive survey of employee numbers in the health and welfare sectors had not been conducted. The figure of 322 358 was, therefore, an estimation. In addition, a number of employees might have been involved in more than one training course. This explains the difference between the figure of 322 358 and the figure of 409 486.

Ms Moss asked how school leavers could access the bursaries. HWSETA should undertake visits to schools to inform learners of the subjects that they needed to qualify for these bursaries. Dr Govender replied that the Departments of Health and Social Development were responsible for handling the bursaries. These government departments needed to liaise with communities around their needs.

Mr Mzondeki enquired why HWSETA had been involved in a number of litigation cases. Dr Govender answered that HWSETA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its service providers. However, there had been cases where service providers ignored these agreements. In such cases, HWSETA had taken legal action. There had also been instances where service providers falsely claimed that they were HWSETA accredited or falsely represented the course that they offered. HWSETA had also taken legal action against them.

The meeting was adjourned.

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