On 1 April 2013 new regulations (RSA 2012) about monies received by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs); mandatory and discretionary grants; proportion of administration costs; discouraging accumulation of surpluses; and related came into effect. Simultaneously the previous grant regulations were repealed, namely Government Notice No R713 in Government Gazette No 27801 of 18 July 2005 and Government Notice No R88 in Government Gazette No 29584 of 2 February 2007.
Of particular importance to higher education programmes that contains work-integrated learning in the curriculum is §6 (pp. 11-13), “allocation of discretionary grants by a SETA”:
- §6(12)—“at least 80% of discretionary grant funding must be allocated to PIVOTAL programmes”, which are defined (p. 5) as an acronym meaning “professional, vocational, technical and academic learning programmes that result in qualifications or part qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework …” [also §3(6)]
- §6(11)—addressing scarce and critical skills through programmes designed to address such, which include work-integrated learning must be the key focus of SETAs. Work-integrated learning is defined (p. 6) as an umbrella term for curricular, pedagogic and assessment practices; integrating formal learning and workplace concerns; culminating in a qualification or part thereof; and may include practicums, professional practice, internships, workplace experience, industry-based learning, cooperative education, service learning, real work learning, placements, experiential learning, and clinical placements
- §6(14)—obtaining the funding above is subject to a legal person completing and submitting a PIVOTAL training plan and report as per annexure 2 (private), sections E & F (pp. 22-23) or (public), sections G & H (pp. 30-31). A legal person [§6(10), p. 12] includes public education and training institutions; an employer or enterprise that falls within the jurisdiction of a SETA, but includes those not required to pay the skills levy; and other such as NGOs [refer to §6(7), p. 12].
- §6(15)—however, employers with less than 50 employees will not have to submit the PIVOTAL training plan and report indicated above, “but will be asked to provide information on participation in PIVOTAL programmes and the impact of these”. SETAs will develop suitable templates for small and micro enterprises.
- Note, however, §7 specifies that the “SETA criteria for grants must be approved by the SETA Accounting Authority before funds are allocated”; and §8 that each SETA is required to prepare and distribute a schedule indicating the dates by which applications for grants must be submitted and the timeframes for disbursements [also §3(7)].
- §6(1-2 & 4-5)—each SETA must develop a Sector Skills Plan (SSP) in accordance to the National Skills Development Strategy and strategic goals; and each SETA must annually approve a Discretionary Grants Policy, developed in accordance to the issued DHET guidelines; which will determine and specify its discretionary grants allocation to meet the sector’s needs through different delivery models and project types that will be deployed.
- §6(3)—each SETA’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) clarifies how discretionary grants are allocated to prioritise skills development of the sector through public education and training institutions.
- §6(9)—the Discretionary Grants Policy of each SETA must “indicate the purpose of the various grants, funding frameworks and projects …”; and give the communication procedures, which must embrace the “principles of transparency, opened, access and fairness” [§6(8)].
The remainder of the regulations deal with (§1) definitions; (§2) specifying the limitations on administrative costs of SETAs; (§3) the compliance of SETA finances and financial management; (§4) the allocation of mandatory grants, and (§5) the payment mandatory grants to levy paying employers; (§9) the payment of services rendered by SETAs; (§10) the repeal of previously published regulations; and (§11) finally the short tile and commencement of the regulations.
Republic of South Africa. 2012. Skills Development Act (97/1998). The Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) grant regulations regarding monies received by a SETA and related matters. Government Gazette Vol. 570; Regulation Gazette No 9867; Government Notice No R990; Gazette No 35940; 3 December 2012. The Government Printing Works.