Copy of email sent to QCTO CEO Vijayen Naidoo – today

Front Page Looking For… Quality Council for Trades & Occupations (QCTO) Copy of email sent to QCTO CEO Vijayen Naidoo – today

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    Dear Vijayen,
    As you know, I manage the skills-universe, however many people do also email me for advice.

    You will see many posts on the skills-universe, including one this morning regarding the failure of the QCTO to respond to requests for extension of scope.

    Then I go to my email inbox & there is another complaint – submitted letters of intent – no response, “no one picks up the phone”. Apparently, this one concerns a number of SETAs.

    I understand that the ETQA/QAP/AQP responsibilities of the SETAs are delegated to the SETAs by QCTO, and so therefore, QCTO remains legally, ultimately responsible for their actions. If the SETAs fail to perform, the QCTO should act to remove the mandate. If the non-performance is within the QCTO, I understand that to be your responsibility.

    While I understand that we are in difficult times, the conditions have pertained (albeit in various forms) since last March, 2020. Therefore, competent management should have been able to make the necessary accommodation to the circumstances.

    In addition, these conditions have not suddenly arisen. Look at the site, and you will see previous posts – dating back to last year, and into prior years, regarding the same issue.

    I do not know what the problem is – but I bring it to your attention. There is a new post on the skills-universe site this morning, and an email in my inbox – that is just today.

    Please would you endeavour to resolve this situation. Clearly, it hampers implementation of skills development, which I understand to be a national priority.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards
    sylvia hammond

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    Bernard Botha


    Thanks for the post. In all honesty, do you expect a reply?

    I appreciate that the QCTO is (like the rest of the world) suffering from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic but unlike the rest of the world they seem to have gone totally underground. Asking for the most basic of courtesies, i.e. acknowledgment of a submission, is met with total silence!

    There are fortunately one or two exceptions but they are far and few between.

    In stead of using this unique opportunity to resolve the issues the QCTO unfortunately takes the opportunity to hide behind it!

    Can I quote an example? A small town in the Southern Free State, called Bethulie has grabbed the COVID 19 opportunity by marketing the town as ‘wide open spaces far from the polluted areas’ and ar being swamped by <35 year olds who are resettling there!


    How absolutely wonderful – Bethulie – a place to bring up your young family.

    & from the little I know of the Free State only having been there once or twice – might be 3 times – the place to grow roses.

    I’ll tell you the story of one visit in an email.


    Thank you Sylvia for the effort. I myself have posted on Skills Universe about my experiences with certain seta’s, but I have given up. I have also complained directly to the qcto in 2019 and action was taken, but only that one time. Thereafter the urgency to deliver from the setas side went back to dung. I personally dont see the use of the seta’s in their current form. South Africa needs a newer better system, and obviously with more competent people on the deck.

    And casually they blame the lockdown or covid for service that have been neglected for years, while we as providers are still required to conform to all the requirements or else…we lose our accreditation. We as providers have non-conformances that sometimes can only be rectified once accreditation has been approved. We sometimes have non-conformances as a direct result of the setas not doing external moderations, monitoring visits and the list goes on and on…

    I sincerely hope you get some good and fruitfull reaction from this.

    Renee’ McGibbon

    Hi Sylvia,

    As an accreditation service consultant, I deal with most of the SETAS and the QCTO on a daily basis.
    This issue is prevalent throughout the SETAS, and where the QCTO previously tried to be efficient, they have joined the ranks of the SETAS in terms of their inefficiency and refusal to respond to enquiries, Letters of Intent, etc.

    The entire supposed Quality Assurance system is a total mess. They all seem to be working against actually ensuring that SDP’s are accredited and quality assured, i.e. they are working against the National Skills Development Strategy that they are supposed to ensure is implemented.

    It is a total nightmare! I have even had a 2 hour zoom meeting a couple of months ago with Thomas Lata and a number of other employees/managers, including the CEO of the SSETA who actually had nothing or little to say of value in the meeting. One of my issues was the SETA lack of staff capacity to “get the job done”. The excuse was that the SETAS are government departments and they don’t have the funding to increase capacity. What a load of $#1+! They are well funded by SDL’s.

    The SSETA, being the largest SETA, has had staff capacity issues for the last 10 years and nothing has been done. They have now unilaterally imposed restrictions on the maximum number of qualification that a SDP can apply for accreditation for to 3! The issue is that this is not advertised or displayed anywhere on their website, and they have not formally informed stakeholders. This means that large SDP’s who have been able to invest millions in purchasing of “accreditation ready” materials and employing the relevant staffing etc to be compliant for skills development and learnership initiatives have will not be able to see a return on their investment. This has extremely dire consequences for education in our country at a time when even more should be done to educate our population for employment opportunities because of loss of employment due to the effects of the COVID pandemic.
    Education in SA needed drastic measures to be implemented before COVID.
    The situation now is so much worse, yet less is been done.
    It is as if those who are very gainfully, and securely employed in Managerial positions (and other positions) at the SETAS and the QCTO are being paid as salary, so don’t care about the rest of the population who want to be upskilled for meaningful work opportunities.

    There are so many solutions to this “lack of capacity” issue where the entire SETA/QCTO system could be streamlined and be more effective without having to increase or decrease staffing numbers, but…..

    It’s a sad, sad situation, and if it continues, I do not see a future for “quality assured” education in SA.

    Apologies for the negative tone of my post, but I spend my days fighting with the QCTO and the SETAS on behalf of my clients, but I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle.

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