Hi Carl, I’m not sure why you believe that small business cannot participate in Seta projects because they don’t pay SDL.
Take Foodbev Seta as an example they have an SME grant where the company can apply for up to R30,000 per annum. Although every Seta will have different policies for implementation, it is one of the goals of the NSDS III that SMME’s, co-operatives, NGOs are supported. So I would suggest that you contact the relevant Seta to enquire what SMME projects they are currently running.
There’s also no reason why if they implement a learnership they can’t participate in the SARS benefits at the beginning and conclusion of the learnership.