Skills Development

As of mid-2014, there were as many as 829 800 unfilled positions for high-skilled workers, across a wide range of occupations in South Africa. The greatest skill shortages are, according to the findings of a survey then published by Adcorp,1 in senior management, professions, technical occupations and agriculture.

Actually, the skills shortage amongst technicians and artisans accounts for more than half the total figure – 432 100 of them. When this statistic is measured against the fact that there are nearly a million too many elementary workers, and 247 000 domestic workers too many, it shows just how much skills transfer is needed.

The Skills Development Act 19982 provides a framework for the implementation of strategies in the workplace, to develop and improve the skills of the South African workforce; and to provide for learnerships, financing of skills development, and to regulate employment services.

The Act falls under the authority of the Minister of Labour, but much is heard about SETA – the Sector Education and Training Authorities who are to implement administering of the Act, and its purposes and aims.

A. Registration of employment services

  1. Any person who wishes to provide employment services (for gain) must register with the Director General of Higher Education and Training. It is an offence to provide such services if you are not registered.3

  2. In fact, it is an offence to conduct the business of a private employment services agency (in other words, providing employment services for gain) in contravention of the Act, in general, and any requirements as prescribed by regulation.4

B. Wrongful conduct

  1. It is an offence to obstruct or attempt improperly to influence any person performing a function in terms of the Act.5

  2. It is, furthermore, a crime to obtain, or attempt to obtain any prescribed document by means of fraud, false pretences or by submitting a false or forged prescribed document.6

  3. It is also illegal knowingly to furnish false information in any document required under the Act.7

  1. The Adcorp Employment Index is actually a monthly survey. Adcorp is a leading human capital management group, and the data referred to above is taken from an article posted on s.v. ‘SA’s Economy Desperately Needs High-skilled workers’. 

  2. As amended; the latest amendments are effected by Act 4 of 2014. 

  3. Section 33(d) read with section 24(1). 

  4. Section 33(e). 

  5. Section 33(a). 

  6. Section 33(b). 

  7. Section 33(c).