Totally stupid provider got it right! 16

In follow-up to the posting on August 11, I would like to announce that the ETDPSETA has finally managed to evaluate my three levels of ABET Literacy programmes and has declared them APPROVED!

Even though I am very thankful to be able to continue with this line of business, I am convinced that the process to comply to the requirements should not be so energy draining and definitely should not take this much time and effort from the client-end to drive the progress. I will continue to raise my voice about the procedures until they are prepared to listen, as I believe that SETA staff should be made aware of the impact of their actions (or non-actions) in the business of a small provider and its facilitators. I refuse to accept that providers of integrity cannot be part of the solutions in current South Africa, both in effecting quality learning, but also in providing employment to graduates and experienced people.

I include my celebratory notice to all who has grit their teeth through my process!

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16 thoughts on “Totally stupid provider got it right!

  • Dr Jacqueline Baumgardt (Jax)

    Hi all – the survey has been sent and a reminder was sent today – comp;letion date is 15 September. For those who have already participated, thank you.

    Please note that a couple of emails have bounced back so if you have not received the email and still want to particpate, please advise me via my inbox as ooposed to his public forum in order to prevent spam messages being sent to you



  • Shannon Davidoff

    It is important that we never give up!  I am encouraged that so many dedicated providers are still pushing ahead.  It is important that equal recognition is given to all and they should receive backing from SETA.  I look forward to the day when a skills strategy we design is workable and we can cherry pick the basket of providers for the various US and programmes for the best outcomes.  SETAS have to begin to acknowledge the vital role that providers play that THEY have accredited and now get their support, and may I say, respect?  There exists an ‘inner circle’ we know, but it has to be a level playing field to be fair and efficient. I have moved on but still mentor SMME’s where possible.  It will always remain a passion! I am sure you are going to get tons of support now and will watch this forum for success stories.

  • Zerelde Uys Post author

    Thanks Peter, I trust you will make your voice heard through Jacqui’s Survey. Please!

    Shannon, you have been on my mind all day. I share your heart and I understand that feeling of despair and disappointment at what could have been such an empowering system. Sometimes we just need to re-think traditional ways and seek for innovative and creative solutions. I refuse to accept that the mismanagement and the lack of any vision or big picture by those instrumental in SETAs must kill all opportunities for givers and receivers. I understand that they have ruined the spirit of really inspired change agents in society, but let’s just stand together and cheer one another on. This platform for one is great opportunity to read expert opinions and advice. I trust you have found a niche since where you can contribute valuable experience and expertise!  

  • Shannon Davidoff

    Thank you Zerelde. Maybe I am venting here and it may not be ‘politcally correct’ but I have nothing to lose as I am not in the fragile situation you providers find yourselves in.  I have championed the whole SDA and LRA and BCEA, etc., since the beginning. I have taken the unemployed and the unskilled up to the door of enlightenment, only to find it is closed tight. I have searched high and low for training providers for ABET for candidates literally starving for help, just to find there were no ‘referred’ or ‘preferred’ providers in place to deliver. How could training happen if not accredited? I actually was one of the first training providers accredited by MERSETA, but the lack of role players meant this was never got going to happen. Red tape. I then was part of the SSeta, and ended up encouraging potential training providers to write material, they did so but hit stone walls. I was working for a group of companies that badly wanted ABET training, had the candidates in place, and when I asked my SETA where can I find a training provider to meet our needs, I bounced off a wall of silence. – 8 years ago.  I was told no material was avasilable, but the government was demanding ABET training, it made my head spin. Get somebody to write the material. Hello – is this not a basic of main stream education? Where was the missing link? I got involved at board level, I asked what are we doing to ensure best practise and accredited training providers. Stone wall.  History has provided the evidence of what happened to awarded training. We had the passion, the candidates, the buy in from willing employers, but asking for a qualified training provider was like asking for the holy grail.  The best answer I got was was “you have to source your training providers” and my retort was, surely you know who they are because the ETQA/SAQA has accredited them, please give me information – no directory no information and I bet no SETA has yet listed their accredited providers in full on their websites?.  Stone wall. Granted there were fly by nights that disappeared with millions in value by way of grants – exactly – they were not on a preferred and referred list of providers, they won tenders or snuck in the back door. Therefore every training provider became suspect?  I listened to the masters about best practise, corporate governance, I studied ISO and a few other accreditations in order to achieve veracity ‘on the street’ …..but when I looked for back up there was little or none.  It was a closed clique.  The process worked but there was no respect for training providers – I know some of you guys starved as you dedicated yourselves to writing material, sweated it out to get approval/accrediation that took for ever.  You have made hstory in that for the first time an ABET course/es have been verified. The question begs, how can a learning system not have all the players in place? I wish you all your blessings as you tread the road untravelled. You are needed out there.

  • Ashwell Glasson

    Dear Zerelde,


    That is great news, congratulations on a sterling achievement. I would really be interested in your licensee model. Please could you contact me via my email address on so we can discuss it further.


    Well done again.


    My best, Ashwell Glasson

  • Lynette Barbara Myers

    Dear Zelda,

    I would be interested in joining your team. I have designed and developed similar courses but never had the courage to try to get them accredited ( upon the advice of a senior memeber of SSETA more than 3 years ago). Congratulations you have certainly jumped through a ring of fire!!!


  • Zerelde Uys Post author

    Thanks to all for the support. Shannon, I want to reply to your comment specifically. You summarise the problem I perceive beautifully. I want to take this message back to the SETAs and challenge their thinking about the average provider. Further, I would like to show them in terms of business and economics, what it takes to be a responsible provider of good learning, because I believe very few of them have any understanding of entrepreneurship at all. And no idea what we do to Facilitators waiting for contracts…

    Regarding the material available for other providers – this is exactly what it was designed for. We have really invested in the facilitator, providing detailed guidelines and a resource kit to suit the adult learner in a South African context. A quality management system guides the mentoring and coaching of the facilitator so that best quality of learning is ensured. It fits the SETA requirements of moderation and reporting exactly, but it is practical and no nonsence so that good learning can happen. So much so, that we discovered that a facilitator can in a two year employment programme be awarded the Diploma in ABET practice by RPL. The guide is done (very clear and direct for evidence to be collected), needs to be submitted for approval…here I go again….

    So yes, I would like to share this model, and we already have Licensees in relationship with Kaleidoprax to make the difference out there. More welcome!

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Wonderful news Zerelde.  It’s such a pity that providers who have the ability to make a difference for illiterate adults are stymied by Seta bureaucracy, where there seems to be no sense of urgency or commitment to making things happen.   

  • Shannon Davidoff

    Well done Zerelde!  A much needed achievemnet and deperately needed scarce skills!  It breaks my spirit that training providers are not getting full backing and support from the SETAS, time and again, providers are virtually ignored in their dedicated efforts to get these sorely needed skills to the youth especialy – it almost gives rise to paranoia – do ‘they’ really support providers of skills training? And the staff at SETAS do not understand what their carefree attitude has on the whole system.  Pass the buck is the general rule, no decision makers. Perhaps there are no qualified decision makers? I hope you will make your material available to other accredited providers who need this as the most elementary training for ANY and ALL other programmes.  Then our Minister wonders why we have such a poor literacy level in school leavers, maybe you can help the DoE out…..start this in schools, starting with the teachers.

  • Mark Naidoo

    Congrats Zerelde. and i suppose you also had to show the ETDP SETA staff what to do as well, lol. I admire your tenacity and resilience in this process. I am a student at UWC (M Ed – Adult Education) and would love to draw on your experiences and knowledge. Stay Blessed

  • Paula Whitaker

    Congratulations Zerelde. We really need good ABET Providers in SA! I think we may have :beaten” you – although we have accreditation with Umalusi for our ABET, we have to seek secondary (extension of scope) for the FET English and Maths that we do. We have waited 5 years in total for The CETA to give us the correct documentation! We live in hope…….
    All the best with your ABET!!