Statutory provisions to ensure certain categories of Employees receive adequate theoretical and practical training has existed since 1922. These statutory provisions are an important and integral part of South Africa’s overall objective to reduce poverty which will lead to increased employment and reducing crime and increase economic growth which will improve international competitiveness.
A strategy with numerous objectives was introduced to support productivity and competitiveness to improve prospects for employment.These objectives were broken down into 3 categories.
If the objectives are met, people who are vulnerable in the labour market will be able to enter and successfully remain in employment or self-employment due to the skills obtained.
To assist with skills development an Expanded Public Works Programme (hereafter referred to as “EPWP”) was implemented. The program provides assistance to unemployed and unskilled people aged 16 up to 35. The program either provides candidates with contractual work or temporary employment.
To achieve the development of skills in the workplace and to ensure the abovementioned objectives are and can be met, the Skills Development Act (hereafter referred to as the “SDA”) was passed as legislation. The SDA promotes a skills development strategy that is flexible, accessible, demand-led, decentralised and based on a partnership between the public and private sectors.
By allowing for an opportunity to develop skills, an Employer benefits from this in that his/her business grows and in turn the economy benefits from the growth.
Together with the SDA further legislation was passed namely the Skills Development Levies Act (hereafter referred to as “SDLA”). The SDLA ensured that the funding for education and training envisioned by the SDA is to be obtained from Government grants and levies payable by Employers. The SDLA makes provision for compulsory levy schemes to fund education and training. This is administered by the Director-General of Labour and the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service. However, there are Employers who are exempted from paying these levies.