FET colleges receive skills fund boost

The billions of rand allocated to South Africa’s sector education and training authorities must be diverted from private training providers to further education and training colleges, says Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, writes Karl Gernetzky for Business Day.

Since 2000, sector education and training authorities (SETAs) have collected R37.5 billion (US$4.5 billion) from employers through the skills levy, to spend on training workers. SETAs and further education and training (FET) colleges have both been criticised by employers and the government for poor cost-effectiveness and low outcomes.

This money "could have changed the world" if it had been spent properly, Nzimande said last Wednesday at a briefing, where he announced that R2.5 billion from the National Skills Fund was to be invested in 50 public FET colleges.

Nzimande has been in conflict with the SETA system since he became minister. He has accused the management and boards of many SETAs of enriching themselves, and said the quality of skills training provided by some private service providers bordered on "criminality".
Full report on the Business Day site