What is a SETA?

SETA, is an acronym for Sector Education and Training Authority. The members of a SETA include employers, trade unions, government departments and bargaining councils where relevant, from each industrial sector.

The Skills Development Act (1998) provides a framework for the development of skills in the workplace. Amongst other things, the Act makes provision for skills development by means of a levy-grant scheme, and the establishment of 27 ( now only 23) sector-specific Sector Education and Training Authorities – or SETA’s – to administer the scheme's funds, and manage the skills development process.

Hence a SETA is an industry bodies convened in 2000 by the Minister of Labour with the mission to  develop and implement a sector specific skills plan, registering and promoting learnerships and applying to SAQA for accreditation as an Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) for qualifications in its sector.

Skills Development

Skills development has been identified as a key requirement for economic growth in South Africa, and for the economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged majority.

The SETA’s were established in March 2000 and are responsible for the disbursement of training levies payable by all employers in the country. SETA’s replace and extend the work of the old industry training boards and are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Each separate economic sector has one Seta. There are 23 SETA’s which cover all work sectors in South Africa. 

The SETA's must develop and implement a skills development plan, be responsible for quality control and pay out development grants. They are responsible for about R2.5-billion each year.

Part of the objective of the SETA’s is to ensure that the skills requirements of the various sectors are identified, and that the adequate and appropriate skills are readily available. They are required to ensure that training is of the appropriate quality, meets agreed standards as laid out by the national framework, and caters for the training needs of new entrants to the labour market as well as the currently employed work force.

The SETA’s are also responsible for a learnership programme and the implementation of strategic sector skills plans. They have discretionary funds, drawn from their levy income, that can be used for projects designed to assist in the achievement of sector priorities, including the design and implementation of learnerships.

The 23 SETA’s each renew an MoU with the Department of Labour on an annual basis.