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Dear Employer
The Department of Higher Education and Training has published a proposal for a new National Skills Development Strategy and SETA landscape within the context of an integrated and differentiated post education system.
The stated aim of the proposal is to find a way to achieve better integration of skills development into a post-school system and to improve the coordination of the skills development levies in order to support education and training.
Although it would be difficult to criticise the objectives of the proposal, unfortunately the same cannot be said with regard to the practical implementation of the proposal. In practice the proposal impacts heavily on SETAs, especially with regard to their structure, functions and funding. The major changes which will negatively impact on SETAs are the following:

1. SETAs will lose much of their current autonomy as they will be located within the Department of Higher Education and Training as specialised service delivery units.

2. SETAs will be renamed Sector Education and Training Advisory Boards (SETABs) which is an indication of the curtailment of their current powers.

3. SETAs currently receive 80% of the Skills Development Levy, which is payable by employers. 90% of this levy is utilised to the advantage of either employers, within the specific sector, or the sector as a whole. The proposed amendment reduces this percentage to 40%. The SETABs will utilise their funds for administration, mandatory grants (including submission of WSPs) and sector specific grants.

The implication of the above is that a far larger proportion of the Skills Development Levy payable by employers will be allocated to the National Skills Fund which will be utilised for national skills priorities and not necessarily sector specific priorities.
NEASA plans to comment on the proposal and therefore your input as an employer will be valued. Please send your comments by close of business Friday, 22 January 2016 to annika@neasa.co.za.
Gerald Leith
NEASA Skills Development