ATC160318: Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on a workshop on the role of SETAS in South Africa’s Economic Growth and their relevance to the needs of the Industry in the Country held at the Cape Town Lodge Hotel, on 21 October 2015, dated 16 March 2016

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture
















1.     Introduction. 4

2.     Purpose of the Workshop. 4

3.     Background. 4

4.     Summary of the Presentations. 5

4.1   Presentation by the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) 5

4.2    Presentation by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (CATH SETA) 7

4.3      Presentation by the Education, Training and Development Practices (ETDP) 7

4.4    Presentation by the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) 8

4.5    Presentation by the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority BANKSETA) 9

4.6    Presentation by the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) 10

5.     Remarks/input by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) 11


7.     CONCLUSION. 12









AQP-Advanced Qualification Programme

AQP-Advanced Qualification Programme

DQP- Degree Qualification Profile

DHET-Department of Higher Education and Training

ETD- Education, Training and Development

ETQ- Education and Training Quality

ICT- Information Communication Technology

JCPS- Justice Crime Prevention Security

MIS- Management Information System

NLRD- National Learners' Records Database

NDP-National Development Plan

NQF - National Qualifications Framework

NSDS- National Skills Development Strategy

NSFS – Naval Surface Fire Support

PSIRA- Private Security Industry Regulator Authority

PFMA – Public Finance Management Act

QDO-Degree Qualification Profile

QCTO-Quality Council for Trades and Occupations

SAQA- South African Qualifications Authority

SSP- Sector Skills Plan

SBDS – Small Business Development Strategy

SETA – Sector Education and Training Authorities

SSP – Sector Skills Plan

SMMEs- Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises

TVET- Technical Vocational Education and Training

TETA- Transport Education Training Authority

WSPR-Work Skills Plan and Report 






















  1. Ms LL Zwane – Chairperson: Select Committee on Education and Recreation
  2. Ms LC Dlamini
  3. Mr M Khawula
  4. Ms TK Mampuru – Committee Whip
  5. Ms TG Mpambo-Sibhukwana
  6. Mr DM Stock
  7. Ms L Mathys
  8. Ms M Tlake
  9. Ms P Samka – Apology





Mrs LM Anno-Frempong- CEO TETA

Ms JA Irish-Qhobosheane – Administrator SASSETA

Mrs SN Huluman – CEO P-SETA

Mr EP Kedama – Administrator CATHSETA


Mrs B Dziruni – Acting CEO BANK SETA

Mr EP Lumka- Chief Director, Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)




  1. Mr M Dlanga  – Committee Secretary
  2. Ms T Ketye – Content Advisor (Select Committee on Social Services)
  3. Ms L Stofile – Committee Researcher
  4. Mr M Molo – Committee Researcher (Select Committee on Social Services)
  5. Mr G Mankay – Committee Assistant
















1.            Introduction


The Select Committee on Education and Recreation hosted a Workshop on the role Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) play in the country’s economic growth at the Cape Town Lodge Hotel on 21 October 2015. This was in line with the Committee’s Annual Performance Plan.


2.            Purpose of the Workshop


The objectives of the workshop were as follows:


  • To provide Members of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation with better understanding on the role of SETAs on policy-making and policy implementation.
  • To provide a platform for participation by SETA and DHET leadership  and provide them with opportunity to discuss challenges/ concerns and come up with possible solutions around policy and programme implementation in South Africa.
  • To expose members of Parliament to the challenges of the SETAs.

3.            Background


There are 21 SETAs in South Africa. All the SETAs are classified according to each economic sector. The functions and responsibilities of SETAs are set out in Chapter 3, Section 10 of the Skills Development Act of 1998.

SETAs are established by Act of Parliament, and are given clear responsibilities to  discharge for the public interest. They are accountable to the Department of Higher Education and Training. This makes them statutory bodies.


The role of SETAs include the following:

  •  Develop a sector skills plan and describe the trends in each sector, the skills that are in demand and to identify priorities for skills development.
  • Develop and administer learnerships, which include the traditional apprenticeships of the past, and combine practice and theory.
  •  Prepare people for jobs in the new services sector and for higher para-professional occupations.
  • Support the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), on which any qualification or learning outcome can be registered.
  •  Undertake quality assurance in promoting quality provision, SETAs accredit education and training providers; monitor provision to ensure that programmes are being followed; register assessors; collaborate with other Education and Training Quality (ETQ) assurers; report to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on how they fulfil the ETQ role; and disburse levies collected from employers in their sector.


SETAs are governed by the Public Finance Management, Act (PFMA), 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) the provisions of which are designed to ensure that public bodies operate in a manner that is not wasteful or irresponsible. To make SETAs publicly accountable, and to give them full responsibilities and the scope to organise their work, each SETA is required to enter into a Service Level Agreement with the Department of Higher Education and Training.


Each SETA is required to draw up a sector skills plan (SSP), which is important when making decisions about the priorities for skills development. The SSP provides the framework and background for the SETAs’ actions.


4.            Summary of the Presentations


The presentations made at the Workshop explored and led to engagements on the following key questions:

  • What challenges are faced by SETAs in the sector?
  • What are the capacity constraints and possible solutions (alternatives) for the different sectors?
  • The role of each SETA on implementing the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) III goals, strategies and achievements; and
  • What are the as solutions or alternatives that South Africa can learn from to improve the sector?


All the presentations are available from the Committee Secretary.


4.1   Presentation by the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA)


The presentation highlighted the integrated national priorities and transformation imperatives that led to the development of TETA’s 10 strategic priorities. The strategic priorities led to skills programmes, stakeholder capacitation and research. TETA’s strategic priority wheel provided a place for its interventions and optimised its resource allocation. The presentation also provided clear score card by each strategic goal.


Through industry research TETA has identified the following pivotal skills for the Transport Sector that its training programmes are aligned to:

  1. Mechanical Engineers;
  2. Diesel Mechanics;
  3. Transportation Electricians;
  4. Supply and Distribution Managers
  5. Ship Engineers;
  6. Electrical Engineers;
  7. Logistics Managers;
  8. Mechanical Engineering Technician Drivers;  and
  9. Facility Managers.


The new grant regulations which were introduced during NSDS III, effective from 1 April 2013, posed the following challenges:

  1.   29.5% additional Discretionary Grant (DG) funding;
  2. 30% decrease in Mandatory Grant funding and
  3. The increase in DG budget made it possible to fund more and bigger projects.

  However, the organisation developed the Small Business Development Strategy (SBDS) as a tool to support non-levy paying small enterprises, Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises( SMMEs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs)_, Non-Governmental Organisation(NGOs) and Cooperatives with the objective of growing them to become levy-paying. TETA has successfully deployed Small Business Development Strategy (SBDS) to support rural small business as part of rural development.


The following challenges were highlighted:

  • Fraudulent use of TETA accreditation status logos;
  • Fraudulent training without appropriate accreditation approvals;
  • Poor training delivery by stakeholders resulting in low completion rates and high dropout rates;
  •  Fraudulent bursary applications by some unscrupulous institutions on behalf of students.
  • The existence and availability of inadequately equipped and non-accredited apprentice training workplaces have presented challenges;
  • Lack of capacity and flexibility at some TVETs and HEIs compromise collaboration efforts and stifle implementation of skills development initiatives with the institutions.


The following were highlighted as mechanism to address challenges by TETA:

  • A majority of stakeholder fraudulent use of TETA facilities are picked up from the TETA Fraud Hotline;
  • Delivery efficiencies which leads to cancellation of contracts.


4.2   Presentation by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA)


CATHSSETA is the second smallest SETA in the country with an average levy income of approximately R260 million per annum. The SETA has a scope of six sub-sectors:

  1. Arts, culture and heritage;
  2. Conservation gaming and lotteries;
  3. Hospitality;
  4. Sport, recreation and fitness; and 
  5. Travel and tourism.


The NSDS III caters for transformation and developmental imperatives. Approximately 60% of all CATHSSETA beneficiaries were 35 years of age or younger. Where possible, people with disabilities are considered and offered first priority. It was reported that approximately 65% of beneficiaries are female and 85% black (Indian, Coloured and African). At least 45% of selected beneficiaries come from rural or informal settlements.


The following challenges were highlighted:

  • There are insufficient funds to address the needs of the sector;
  • A significant number of employers and providers in the sector are based in urban areas; and
  • CATHSSETA works with a diversity of sectors (conservation, tourism and travel, arts, culture and heritage, gaming & lotteries, hospitality, sport, recreation & fitness).


4.3   Presentation by the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training (ETDPSETA)


The core responsibility of the ETDPSETA is to develop a credible SSP. The SSP provides a profile of the labour force within the sector; supply and demand information; the current projected needs of the sector and sector employers; identifies areas of skills growth and skills need; identifies the strategies and interventions to address the Skills priorities.


ETDP has developed the following programmes to respond to the NSDS III:


  1. Supporting the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to be responsive to the Education, Training and Development (ETD) sector and national priorities;
  2. Teacher development in support of the integrated strategic planning framework for teacher education and development in South Africa;
  3. Increasing student access to and graduate output in higher education and further education institutions;
  4. Youth development for employability;
  5. ETD constituency support and development; and
  6. Strengthening of the quality assurance system and improving monitoring and evaluation for impact assessment.


The following challenges were highlighted:


  • Introduction of the New Grant Regulations resulted in the reduction of mandatory grant from 50% to 20%. This had a bearing in the submission of Work Skills Plan and Report (WSPR);
  • Changes in the Grant Disbursement Policy led to insufficient funds resulting in inability to meet needs of the stakeholders;
  • Challenges with the information management system as a result of ageing system and capacity constraints. The SETA has since introduced a new Management Information System (MIS) in 2015/16; and
  • Meeting the 5% ETDP SETA set target for people living with disabilities while exceeding the national target of 2%.


4.4   Presentation by the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA)



The presentation indicated that the performance has not been at the required level and there were governance weaknesses with SASSETA. There was a need for greater focus on research and engagement to strengthen the Sector Skills Plan and ensure that the plan speaks to both the identification and targeting of the real skills needs in the sector.


It was reported that the SETA needed to develop a greater understanding of key policies, strategies, legislation and developments within government that impact on the Safety and Security Sector (e.g. National Development Plan (NDP), Justice Crime Prevention Security (JCPS) Revamp, and Private Security Industry Regulator Authority (PSIRA)). The SETA acknowledged the need for better understanding of transformation issues within the security sector. 


SASSETA has identified the following key skills interventions:

  1. Medical including nurses, doctors & pharmacists;
  2. A variety of artisans;
  3.  Information Communication Technology (ICT);  
  4. Forensics and investigations ;
  5. The development of specialisation, such as specialist in public order policing, cybercrime, firearm trainers, control room operators, commercial crime and specialist in sexual offenses;
  6. Legal and criminal research;
  7. Management and leadership, education, training and development;
  8. Legal practice management, legal drafting, paralegal, mediation and case management.


The following challenges were highlighted:


  • The need to define occupations and their specialisations more clearly in relation to the sector;
  • Governance and professionalisation of SASSETA;
  • Alignment of planning and implementation processes with SASSETA in the context of national imperatives for the sector;
  • A need for greater emphasis on monitoring and evaluation to ensure better impact;
  • Public-private partnerships and co-funding projects and the quality of training being provided.


4.5   Presentation by the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA)


The Banking Sector has approximately 3 900 registered employer organisations with

778 Skills Levy Paying companies.  The sector had high participation in Skills Planning with a 97% Mandatory grant payout. The profile of the SETA had approximately 200 000 employees, excluding co-operative members. The sector remains valuable for the delivery of a financially inclusive economy.  


The focus areas of the BANKSETA were highlighted as follows:


  • Research and benchmarking;
  • Youth Development programmes to address unemployment;
  • Skills development for the employed;
  • SMME support programmes aimed at assisting youth to reduce unemployment including co-operative financial institutions and development finance institutions);
  • Capacity building of public training providers;  
  • Transformation and rural skills development; and
  • Alignment to national priorities.


The following challenges were highlighted:


  • Licensing periods limit the implementation of long term projects to address structural skills shortages;
  • Annual planning and allocation based on zero-budgeting process for administration budget has challenges;
  • Lack of current systems to integrate data from various external data limits skills planning; and
  • Insourcing of functions, finance, Information Technology (IT), internal audit, supply chain management.


4.6   Presentation by the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA)


PSETA’s vision is to ensure a skilled and capable workforce that shares in, and contributes to the benefits and opportunities of economic expansion and inclusive growth path.


The following were highlighted as achievements during NSDS III.


  • Acquired degree qualification profiles (DQP) and an advanced qualification programme (AQP) status with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO);
  • Developed 5 occupational qualifications with QCTO for public service administrators, managers, diplomats, mission administrators and legislature occupations;
  • Increased its provider capacity from 23 in 2011 to 215 training providers by 2015 (90% increase);
  • Increased assessors in 2012 from 78 to 1130 in 2015; from 60 moderators in 2012 to 833 in 2015; from 8,096 learners per annum in 2012 to 25,205 by 2015;
  • The status of its national learners' records database (NLRD) or SAQA learner database) has been improved and
  • Developed a strategy to expose and assist TVET lecturers to public service workplaces.


5.    Remarks/input by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)


It was reported that National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides bursaries and loans to students nationally, and the Department was planning to ensure that SETAs bursaries are managed and distributed by NSFAS too. SETAs collaborated with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges on the training programmes offered by TVET Colleges. The Department was of the view that TVET Colleges had been neglected for a long time. The plan was to ensure that there was closer working relationship and monitoring of SETAs by the Department.


The Department noted that resistance was expected from the SETAs when the New Grant Regulations were first introduced. The Department was of the view that SETAs were spending the money on short courses instead of full academic qualifications. The Department had advised SETAs to open offices in TVET Colleges to ensure accessibility.


It was noted that NSDS and SETA landscape beyond 2018 programme was aimed at ensuring standardisation within SETAs as others were performing well and others not doing well at all.  It was noted that at times SETAs differ in how they pay stipends, others pay R3000, others pay R5000, and this clearly indicates that standardisation was needed.




  1. PSETA should improve the transition into work through internships
  2. PSETA should ensure that existing employees up skilled (e.g. competency gaps reflected in Human Resources Connect data) or reskilled (e.g. e-Learning).
  3. The SETA landscape should respond to all key challenges faced by all SETAs regarding  in NSDS III
  4. SETA offices should be established in all provinces to ensure accessibility.
  5. All SETAs should have programmes that are biased to the rural communities.
  6. It should be a requirement that all training facilitators are qualified in the fields they provide training.
  7. All SETAs should cater and be inclusive of the disability sector.
  8. SETA programmes should be simplified and communicated in the languages that communities are able to understand.
  9. All SETAs should ensure that there is a standardisation in the formula used to allocate bursaries and they should use NSFAS as a conduit.
  10. SETAs should ensure that students placed under learnerships and apprenticeship programmes are not exploited.
  11. SASSETA should ensure that all security companies that are owned by foreign nationals are accredited.
  12. SASSETA should develop a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Basic Education to enhance the school safety programme.
  13. Bank SETA should ensure that in its programmes stokvels and co-operatives are brought on board.
  14. All SETAs should ensure that they meet as clusters to ensure that there is no duplication of work.  
  15. SETAs should widen access and ensure that all TVET lecturers are highly qualified as well as ensuring that training facilitators are accredited all the time.
  16. SASSETA should address the extent to which the focus of programmes has been on quantity rather than quality and relevance of projects implemented by it.
  17. SASSETA should consider strong partnerships with other organisations to ensure skills development as part of the development agenda;


7.            CONCLUSION


The Workshop was a good initiative. It provided a platform for deliberations and discussions on skills shortages in the country as well as the role played by SETAs in the economic growth of the country; however, more needs to be done to address gaps in the way SETAs perform their functions so that the targets of the NDP can be realised.  The Committee made recommendations acknowledging the budgetary constraints that many SETAs continue to be faced with.


The Select Committee on Education and Recreation intends to hold a similar Workshop with the SETAs that were not part of the workshop in future.




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