As more and more training providers, SDFs and HRs return to work and start clearing their Inboxes, the full implications of the new SETA funding regulations are starting to become eye-wateringly clear. It seems also that the overwhelming reaction is worry, and fear, and panic. With good reason, of course, but still maybe not entirely productive.

I think it is time to adjust our thinking, and I believe the new regulations is just the jolt we all need to get out of some very dangerous trends that have been developing over the last 10 years. Yes, the SETA-managed SDL levy/grant system has made more funding available for skills development since its inception and it has created learning opportunities for a great many who would otherwise have had to do without, but it has come at a cost way beyond 1% of the payroll - it has cost us direction and clear thinking in skills development. Let me make the following statements, and you see what you think:

  • The SETA is not your customer - employers are
  • SETAs and the QCTO do not need 25 million skilled workers - employers do
  • SETAs, SGBs and the QCTO do not know what makes a worker skilled - employers do
  • DHET might determine funding priorities, but they do not determine learning priorities - employers do

So how about we start listening and responding to our customers again.

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For those who missed the Regulations in December, you can find them in the Group Skills Development Facilitators on this link:

Seta Grant Regulations

or in the Downloads section:

Download section

Wise words again, but as usual it wont help us.

We will have 1million discussions on this topic and nothing will come from it. Sometimes I wonder if anyone from the SETA's or the QCTO ever read these discussions. (Read and actually doing something about it)

Welcome to South Africa.

Ezra, my argument is that it is no use waiting for the SETA or the QCTO to change their ways - it is service providers that need to rethink and change theirs.

What if you had to develop a business plan purely to deliver the skills development services they need to your customers, ignoring all red herrings (and ministers)?



This is the best words I have read on the skills universe for a very long time. It is so important these days to focus our energy on the right things. Being in the skills development arena for 12 years now, one thing keeps coming back to you... your customer. Employers have a desperate need to be supported and advised by positive, enthusiastic, passionate skills development experts.  Thank you for showing your guts.

The SETAs were unaware of these Grant Regulation changes, they were just as surprised when their skills plans were rejected in December and they were told by letter "to comply with the new regulations" and to have new skills plans ready by today, 15 January.  SETAs are also now expected to financially support the QCTO.  The new Regulations make no provision for comments or a consultative process and it repeals two previous Regulations.  We need to do something about this, we cannot merely accept it and carry on - this is business as unusual.  We have to put our heads together on how and who are going to speak out on these changes.

Christine your comment is interesting.  They published a draft regulation and asked for consultation on that.  Then they published as final something new and very different with very different implications. 

The question is: why wasn't the new revised - very different - regulation not published for comment?  In terms of our Constitutional rights in our law-making process - is this legally correct?

Maybe they should involved skills-universe in the future as we see more involvement here. Interesting point of Christine above. Now how do you implement a process like this if you haven't involved the SETA's or the Employers?

We should get a discussion forum on Skills-universe for every SETA, to consolidate the discussions and create a petition for stuff like this. They must revise if enough people sign. Interesting points.

Due to the controversial new stipulations in the Grant Regulations (Gov Notice R990), another draft debatable version would have been fair - as noticed by our SDF Forum.  It is not a fair process and it cannot be legal.

BUSA has come out very strongly against the regulations, and there are various other organisations that, I am sure, will be verifying whether they are legal or not. My advice is to make your voice heard through organised pressure groups you belong to.

Now, leaving aside things we cannot do much about, what will you do about your business? And your customers?

Very good points, thanks Jacomien.

There are many training and development interventions out there that add great value, but don't fit the DOHE funding priorities. We don't have to change the priorities. Our job (whether we are internal or external) is to persuade employers of the value we can add, and make sure we can deliver.



It is refreshing to finally hear a marketing approach - that is, identify the target market and then determine needs and wants - not the reverse of making assumptions - thank you!

Thank you for wise words,many SDF's i know loose the plot and thus do not service employers properly.Our business plans should be looking at finding best solutions for employers so that employees and organisation can benefit fully on skills development thus contributing to the country at large,it all starts with us HR practitioners.


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