Mining and Minerals Sector Education and Training Authority
The Mining and Minerals Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA), commonly referred to as the MQA SETA is one of a handful of Sector Education and Training Authorities that will remain unchanged when the Government changes the existing SETA profile in March 2011.
The 23 existing SETAs were due to be recertified in March this year (2010), however it was felt that many of them were not performing and a complete restructure was necessary. The number of SETAs will be reduced to 21, including six totally “new” bodies, some restructured from existing SETA bodies.
Clearly the MQA was functioning as required because there has been no change announced for this SETA.
The Mining Qualifications Authority of South Africa
The Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) of South Africa was established by law in terms of the Mine, Health and Safety Act in 1996. It is now the registered SETA for the mining and minerals sector in terms of the Skills Development Act passed two years later, in 1998. It has been operating as a SETA since 2000.
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) requires the MQA to generate unit standards and qualifications for this sector. To this end SAQA has approved the MQA as an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body for the sector. This means that the MQA has a responsibility to support the objectives of the now well-established National Skills Development Strategy (the NSDS) which aims to improve skills in South Africa across all sectors, thus improving productivity and giving more people employment opportunities.
Mining is a critical industry within the South African economy and so the MQA is also required to support the objectives of the Mining Charter in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act which also became law in 1996.
Responsibilities of the MQA
The MQA is required to facilitate skills development in terms of the Skills Development Act and it is responsible for initiating and driving a transformation process within the mining and minerals sector of the economy.
In terms of the Mining Charter, it works towards redressing previous imbalances within society by human resource development. This includes encouraging women to participate in the sector, and empowering previously disadvantaged communities.
Other core functions of the MQA include:
- development and implementation of a Sector Skills Plan for mining and minerals
- development of unit standards and qualifications for the mining and minerals sector
- the establishment, registration, administration and promotion of learnerships, including the administration of apprenticeships
- maintenance of the quality of standards, as well as qualifications and the provision of learning
- disbursement of discretionary grants from money made available via the Skills Development Levy paid by employers within the sector.
MQA SETA committees
The MQA SETA has been structured to ensure that it is able to deliver on its mandate. To this end there are several standing committees, all of which will continue to serve the sector when the SETA landscape changes in 2011. These committees are:
- the audit committee
- the ETQA (Education and Training Qualifications Authority) committee
- the learnerships committee
- a standards generating body (SGB)
- the finance and skills development levy committee
- the sector skills planning committee
- the ABET ad-hoc committee
Between them they are able to tackle all the needs for this vital sector’s skills, education and training, making sure that accredited college courses are available and that learners have the opportunity of a practical workplace experience during the learning process.
Other functions range from ensuring that discretionary grants, bursaries and apprenticeships are available for those both entering the sector, or who want to improve themselves. It also includes obtaining levies from employees so that they can fulfil this function.
Where to find the MQA SETA
The MQA SETA is located in the heart of Johannesburg in Gauteng.
Telephone: (011) 630-3500
Fax: (011) 832-1027