The Skills Development Act (SDA)

The purpose of the SDA is to develop and improve the skills of people in the workplace through the introduction of learnerships and occupationally directed qualifications. The Act aims at developing a continuously developing and learning culture in all organisations.

The Skills Development Levy Act (SDLA), introduced a levy payment system by which employers fund skills development. Any employer with an annual payroll of R500 000 or more is obligated to pay 1% of the payroll as a Skills Development Levy. The levy is paid to SARS, who then distributes the payment to the National Skills Fund (NSF) who, in turn, pays the money to the various Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

Organisations who pay the skills levy may claim up to 20% of their levies back in mandatory grants if the SDF submits the WSP and ATR in accordance with the prescribed requirements.

An employer needs to do the following to qualify for this grant:

  • Appoint a registered Skills Development Facilitator (SDF)
  • Complete an Annual Training Report (ATR)
  • Complete a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)
  • Submit all documentation to their SETA by 30 June of each year

The ATR consists of a record of all the training completed during the period 1 April to 31 March of that year. The WSP documents a training plan for the new period 1 April to 31 March of that year. The employer may claim for in-house training as long as attendance registers are signed and kept as proof. The employer has to be able to provide copies of invoices, payments, certificates and, in some instances, attendance registers for any training attended by employees. (In order to benefit in terms of B-BBEE and training, the training has to be completed by designated employees and the training has to be provided by an accredited training provider).

Any employer who has more than 50 employees has to have a Skills Development Committee. The purpose of the committee is to provide input into the WSP and to endorse the ATR and WSP before it gets submitted to the SETA. The committee should also monitor the implementation of the WSP.

A qualified SDF can assist the employer with the development of a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and submit the WSP to the relevant SETA by the due date. The SDF can advise and support the employer and the employees on the implementation of the WSP. The SDF can also assist the employer to draft and submit an ATR to the relevant SETA and act as a contact person between the employer and the relevant SETA.

Skills Development Facilitators evaluate the learning culture of organisations and apply various methods to enhance the skills, knowledge and abilities of individual employees related to the organisational strategic objectives and plans. Proper development and succession plans for staff can on the long term increase the profitably of the company and provide a large pool of suitably qualified individuals to replace any vacancies within the business.