Have the SETAs been gulity of wasting money?

Front Page Looking For… Seeking Accreditation or Training material Have the SETAs been gulity of wasting money?

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    Des Squire

    Earlier this year, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande took his fight with the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) to Parliament, saying there was “little” to
    show for the R37,5bn ploughed into them since 2000.
    He says the Setas are not giving the government value for money, with the boards and management members enriching themselves.
    Mr Nzimande, who is trying to transform the Seta system, criticised “parasites” who had fleeced the system to make themselves “filthy rich”.
    The R37,5bn sunk into the Setas over the past 11 years was money “going down the drain with no accounting”, Mr Nzimande said. At the same time that all this wastage was taking place, there was a “ticking time bomb” of youth unemployment, he said.
    Mr Nzimande said the state should provide more learnerships and that no government tender
    should be issued without a commitment to provide training on the project.
    Baring this in mind I pose the question – should the monies spent by the Setas be ploughed into apprenticeships, learnerships, artisan training or internships ?
    Where can we and how can we get the best value for money?
    Should the discretionary grants be ploughed back to companies who have the necessary resoources for training purposes or given to FET colleges who do not?.

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    Hi Des,

    Maybe Dr. Nzimande should look at where the money goes he so desires to give to the FET’s as well. That in itself is a bottomless pit with very little to show for. A major problem in their thinking is that if you have a business, you must be filthy rich. Time to wake up and smell the roses, it is the government institutions that is so wasteful with the funds.

    Hannes Nel

    How about the Minister allows employers to spend money on the training that they need, specify a minimum amount to be spent on training annually and have them submit WSP/ATRs for training planned and executed? All right, this will never happen because the powers in being have other motives with the Skills Levies. Good governance will certain spoil their agenda. Hannes Nel


    There appears to be a great deal of commonality between the productive output of the SETAs and most of the delivery mechanisms of government departments, provinces and municipalities. When one reads the in the news as to who has ripped off the system this week, who has had the hand in the till, how many CEOs and others are on suspended time (on full pay, but no action), one has to conclude that the common factor is the quality, skill and morality of the people in the positions to run these operations. The police structures are the current testimony to this. Simply changing the procedural system eg directing the funds elsewhere such as to the FETs will achieve nothing. It takes good people to make the world work well, and we seem to keep choosing the wrong people. This has reached such astonomical, endemic levels that the big fear is how do we reverse this? How does one unscramble an egg?

    Siyabonga Dilimeni

    Hi Des

    I cannot comment for others SETA’s which I have not dealt with in the past BUT my experience has taught me very well that some SETA’s have been an absolute waste of money – the Construction SETA (CETA) in particular.

    I am sitting with at least 1 spreadsheet with hundreds and hundreds, (and) If I can add more spreadsheets I am sure it will be thousands of learners that are still waiting to receive certificates from the Construction SETA. With some programmes dating back to 2006. This is only from 1 accredited training provider, how many more could be sitting with the same problem?? All of this amount to increasing number of unemployment and contributes to reluctance of young people to get involved in training.

    Responding directly to your questions;

    1. Yes, the monies can be ploughed into apprenticeships, learnerships, artisan training or internships and those interventions be prioritised as vehicles to fight unemployment.

    BUT, for that to be successful;

    2. I think the CETA (and other SETA’s affected) again needs to consult with its stakeholders and the public at large, and not only focus on private sector entities but include NGO’s, Organised Labour Organisations, SMME’s, Public and Private Schools, Further Education and Training Colleges (Public & Private), Universities and other Member Organisations for the Built Environment Professionals (BEP’s).  

    3. I believe that best Value-for-Money is producing qualified people and evidence that these people have been integrated into workplaces or and are actively involved in the work of work, either employed or self-employed.

    That can only happen, through collaborative efforts of all stakeholders mentioned above BUT it will need the CETA (and SETA’s affected) to raise the flag!



    Siyabonga Dilimeni




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