Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority
The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) was set up in 2000, two years after the Skills Development Act was promulgated by the South African Parliament. When the SETA landscape changes in South Africa, which it is set to do from 2011 for a period of at least four years, there will be minor changes to this SETA. Other SETAs will not be changed at all, while some will be completely restructured, and there will be new ones introduced.
What will change in terms of the LGSETA is that the water distribution sector they were responsible for from 2000, will now transfer to the Energy SETA. So this shift really is minor.
The national skills development strategy followed by the LGSETA
In their endeavour to ensure that they review information, sharing and learning in terms of the sectoral and policy objectives of the Government’s 2000-ongoing SETA plan, the LGSETA undertook (in 2000) to focus on these specific areas:
- financial viability,
- community-based participation and planning,
- leadership and management, and
- adult based education and training (ABET) which is undoubtedly the fundamental area of priority.
As the LGSETA has publicly stated, ABET is what defines employees’ abilities to access the range of opportunities that further education and training (FET) offer. ABET also enables adults to follow career paths at a later stage in life, using opportunities that were not open to them previously. For example, even though they are older, motivated adults might decide to do a short course to improve their knowledge, or if they want to move into a management position, they might opt for a management course. Some go for online courses and others decide to literally “go back to school” and register for a variety of college courses that will further their ability to get a good job with a decent income.
Plans for sector skills
All the SETAs within the framework are expected to define and implement their own specific plans to ensure that people already working, or wanting to work within the sector have opportunities and advantages. All the SETAs, including the LGSETA (which of course relates to all South Africa’s provinces) are expected to:
- initiate learnerships,
- approve workplace skills plans that potential employers produce,
- provide funds for employers, trainers and workers, and
- observe and scrutinize education and training in their particular sector.
The bottom line is that each SETA is responsible for the success or failure of education and training within that sector. They are not expected to provide the education or training, but they are expected to provide models, monitor and ensure that the models work.
Grants and bursaries
When it comes to funding, the various SETAs are expected to get their money from:
- skills development levies that employers are obliged to pay,
- the National Skills Fund,
- grants and donations,
- investments that the SETA has made, and
- any services that they, as a SETA, may perform and charge for.
The LGSETA has differentiated between municipalities and local governments, since there are huge disparities in terms of financial capacity. To this end, the LGSETA has stated publicly that it will use discretionary grants to support the smaller, less viable municipalities that are scattered throughout South Africa. In this way they hope to help them build their full capacity.
The LGSETA has stated on its website that an amount of R150-million will be spent within the strategic areas that have been adopted by them, as a SETA. It is not clear over what period of time this money will (or has been) spent.
Where to find the Local Government SETA
The Local Government SETA is based in Bedfordview in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
Telephone: (011) 456-8579/456-8562
Fax: (011) 450-4948