Skills Development Act worthless
The skills of the SA workforce haven’t been effectively developed or improved since 2000. All we hear ad infinitum is incompetence, ineptitude or bungling in SAA, Prasa, SABC, Transnet, Denel and other government departments. So, where is value for our money in the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 (SDA)?
We are consumers of finished products largely from China. Productivity is a foreign language in our country because we are importers. Unemployment has reached unprecedented levels. Companies frequently plan to or make workers redundant. Retrenchments have become the buzz-word of the millennium.
To be uneconomical with the truth, the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) are a liability to our nation. They are better known as occupants of posh offices and well-remunerated CEOs and chairpersons. We’ve also heard of widespread corruption in them.
Learnerships have churned out a plethora of useless certificates. Those with multiple certificates are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs while the fortunate ones are packing shelves at retail outlets. So, what is the purpose of the SDA? Repeal it.
Keep the skills development levy and channel its fund to the conventional universities as well as Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVETs). Empower the research and development units of our universities. Phase out the useless L-levels but strengthen the N-levels of the TVETs.
Then grant our long-suffering students, especially the disadvantaged, an opportunity and peace of mind to study and acquire the requisite knowledge, skills and values to match the demands of the business world.
If it was so easy to disband the Scorpions, the SDA must suffer a similar fate.
Thami Zwane, Edenvale, Ekurhuleni