URGENT ACTION REQUIRED by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology to Extend ALL SETA Legacy Qualifications and Skills Programmes

All SETA legacy qualifications and each unit standard-based skills programme currently held within most of the SETAs will expire end of June 2024 and are due to be replaced by the OQSF (Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework) format qualification, which is composed of theoretical, practical, and work experience modules.

New qualifications were meant to be re-scoped and mapped out across all the. The qualifications were then meant to be implemented and managed by the QCTO within the NQF (National Qualifications Framework).

However, in less than 10 weeks all SETAs most Historical Qualifications expire with no replacement qualifications developed to be implemented as the replacements. This is going to create a huge crisis in all sectors of South Africa where there will be no educational facility to train and develop new skills and qualified individuals.

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) est 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act Nr. 97 of 1998 is mandated to do the following:

  1. Oversee the design, implementation, assessment, and certification of occupational qualifications, including trades, on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).
  2. Offer guidance to skills development providers who must be accredited by the QCTO to offer occupational qualifications.

The QCTO has failed in its duty to fulfil its mandated obligations of overseeing the design, implementation, assessment, and certification of all tourism guiding qualifications and skills programmes. There has also been a failure in offering support and guidance to skill development providers and occupational training delivery partners. Many of the due to expire skills programmes have not been aligned to the OQSF by the QCTO.  Occupations Qualifications are still not developed, nor are any EISA Centers registered.

In Minister Dr. Blade Nzimande’s presentation the following points were brought forth on the 23th of April 2024 as targets for the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology:

  1. Infrastructure development for the provision of service delivery.
  2. Significant reduction in unemployment including amongst graduates.
  3. Sustainable entrepreneurship, SMMEs, and cooperatives which promotes self-employment.
  4. Holistic digitization and advancement of technological infrastructure and development to benefit the country.
  5. Effective and efficient shared services on information and communications technology.
  6. Fundamental rural development.

The status of the SETA legacy qualifications and skills programmes and their imminent expiry place all these targets at risk. With no alignment or replacement to the current skills programmes within the OQSF this will result in increased unemployment for graduates as there are fewer qualifications and career path options.

A lack of infrastructure development for the provision of service delivery especially to remote areas of the country.

Little to no growth within sustainable entrepreneurship, SMMEs and cooperatives that promote self-employment as the ability to do these relies on professional and high-standard training and educational development.

Published on SA Training Forum.