To provide an institutional framework to devise and implement national, sector and work-place strategies to develop and improve the skills of the South African workforce;to integrate those strategies within the National Qualifications Framework contemplated in the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995;

to provide for learnerships that lead to recognised occupational qualifications;

to provide for the financing of skills development by means of a levy-financing scheme and a National Skills Fund;

to provide for and regulate employment services; and

to provide for matters connected therewith.



1. Definitions

2. Purposes of Act

3. Interpretation



4. Establishment of National Skills Authority

5. Functions of National Skills Authority

6. Composition of National Skills Authority and term and vacation of office

7. Constitution of National Skills Authority

8. Remuneration and administration of National Skills Authority



9. Establishment of SETA

9A. Amalgamation and Dissolution of SETAs

10. Functions of SETA

10A. SETAs to conclude service level agreements

11. Composition of SETA

12. Chambers of SETA

13. Constitution of SETA

14. Finances of SETA

14A. Minister may issue written instructions to SETAs

15. Taking over administration of SETA



16. Learnerships

17. Learnership agreements

18. Contract of employment with learner

19. Disputes about learnerships



20. Skills programmes

21. Disputes



22. Skills Development Planning Unit

23. Employment services

24. Registration of persons that provide employment services

25. Cancellation of registration of private employment services agency

26. Appeal against Director-General’s decision



27. National Skills Fund

28. Use of money in Fund

29. Control and administration of Fund

30. Budget for training by public service employers

30A. Budget for training by national and provincial public entities



31. Jurisdiction of Labour Court

32. Monitoring, enforcement and legal proceedings

33. Offences

34. Penalties

35. Delegation

36. Regulations

37. Repeal of laws and transitional provisions

38. Act binds State

39. Short title and commencement

Schedule 1 Repeal of laws

Schedule 2 Transitional provisions



1. Definitions.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates-

“Basic Conditions of Employment Act” means the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997);

“Department” means the Department of Labour;

designated groups” means black people, women and people with disabilities;

“Director-General” means the Director-General of Labour;

employee” means-

(a) any person, excluding an independent contractor, who works for another person or for the State and who receives, or is entitled to receive, any remuneration; or

(b) any other person who in any manner assists in carrying on or conducting the business of an employer, and “employed” and “employment” have corresponding meanings;

employment services” means the provision of the service of-

(a) advising or counselling of workers on career choices either by the provision of information or other approaches;

(b) assessment of work seekers for-

(i) entry or re-entry into the labour market; or

(ii) education and training;

(c) the reference of work seekers-

(i) to employers to apply for vacancies; or

(ii) to training providers for education and training;

(d) assistance of employers by-

(i) providing recruitment and placement services;

(ii) advising them on the availability of work seekers with skills that match their needs;

(iii) advising them on the retrenchment of employees and the development of social plans;

(dA) procuring for or providing to a client other persons to render services to or perform work for the client, irrespective of by whom those persons are remunerated; or

(e) any other prescribed employment service;

“government department” means any department or organisational component referred to in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation No. 103 of 1994);

“Labour Court” means the Labour Court established by section 151 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995);

“Minister” means the Minister of Labour;

“National Skills Authority” means the National Skills Authority established by section 4;

“national skills development policy” means the national skills development policy referred to in section 5 (1) (a) (i);

“national skills development strategy” means the national skills development strategy referred to in section 5 (1) (a) (ii);

“National Skills Fund” means the National Skills Fund established by section 27;

“NEDLAC” means the National Economic Development and Labour Council established by section 2 of the National Economic Development and Labour Council Act, 1994 (Act No. 35 of 1994);

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation;

private employment services agency” means any person that provides employment services for gain;

“Public Finance Management Act” means the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999);

“regulation” means a regulation made and in force in terms of this Act;

service level agreement” means a service level agreement concluded in terms of section 10A;

SETA” means a sector education and training authority established in terms of section 9 (1);

“Skills Development Levies Act” means the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999;

“skills development levies” means a levy as defined in section 1 of the Skills Development Levies Act;

South African Qualifications Authority” means the South African Qualification Authority established by section 3 of the South African Qualifications Authority Act;

“South African Qualifications Authority Act” means the South Africa Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (Act No. 58 of 1995);

“this Act” includes any regulations but does not include the footnotes; and

worker” includes an employee, an unemployed person and a work seeker.

2. Purposes of Act.

(1) The purposes of this Act are-

(a) to develop the skills of the South African workforce-

(i) to improve the quality of life of workers, their prospects of work and labour mobility;

(ii) to improve productivity in the work-place and the competitiveness of employers;

(iii) to promote self-employment; and

(iv) to improve the delivery of social services;

(b) to increase the levels of investment in education and training in the labour market and to improve the return on that investment;

(c) to encourage employers

(i) to use the work-place as an active learning environment;

(ii) to provide employees with the opportunities to acquire new skills;

(iii) to provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience; and

(iv) to employ persons who find it difficult to be employed;

(d) to encourage workers to participate in learnership and other training programmes;

(e) to improve the employment prospects of persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination and to redress those disadvantages through training and education;

(f) to ensure the quality of education and training in and for the work-place;

(g) to assist-

(i) work seekers to find work;

(ii) retrenched workers to re-enter the labour market;

(iii) employers to find qualified employees; and

(h) to provide and regulate employment services.

(2) Those purposes are to be achieved by

(a) establishing an institutional and financial framework comprising-

(i) the National Skills Authority;

(ii) the National Skills Fund;

(iii) a skills development levy-financing scheme as contemplated in the Skills Development Levies Act;

(iv) SETAs;

(v) labour centres; and

(vi) the Skills Development Planning Unit;

(b) encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors of the economy to provide education and training in and for the work-place; and

(c) co-operating with the South African Qualifications Authority.

3. Interpretation.

Any person applying this Act must interpret its provisions to give effect to-

(a) its purposes; and

(b) the objects of the South African Qualifications Authority Act.