Bursary applications now open

Bursary applications are now open

 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is an organisation that represents the metal and engineering industry. SEIFSA participates in the support for employer Associations and developed policies to improve the business environment in which its members operate. It also negotiates collective agreements covering wages and employment conditions with the trade unions. It represents employers on the boards of the Engineering Industries Pension Fund, the Metal Industries Provident Fund, the Metal and Engineering Industries Permanent Disability Scheme, the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council Sick Pay Fund, the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Seta (merSETA).

SEIFSA provides a complete range of products and services to Associations and their members which includes advice, assistance, consultancy (covering labour legislation, dispute resolution, employment conditions, health and safety, broad-based black economic empowerment, contract price adjustment, and skill development), publications, training courses, seminars, and conference.

SEIFSA Bursaries

The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) supports and promotes the development of skilled human capital relevant to the Steel and Engineering industry. SEIFSA grants bursaries every year to learners who are pursuing a career related to the Steel and Engineering sector. The financial assistance is awarded to qualified full-time students registered for approved undergraduate Engineering programmes at South African University or students studying towards a National Diploma in Engineering at the University of Technology (UoT).

The following prescribed fields of study are accepted to the SEIFSA bursary scheme:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering

The full bursary amount will be paid directly to the institution. Costs related to supplementary exams will NOT be paid for by SEIFSA.

Bursaries are renewable each academic year, based on SEIFSA’s decision which is according to fund availability and the recipient’s academic results. Bursary recipients are responsible for providing academic progress reports to SEIFSA and failure to do so may result in the termination of the bursary.

Contractual Commitments

  •  Upon successful completion of studies, bursary recipients will be expected to do vacation work in companies relevant to the steel and engineering sectors in South Africa for a timeframe equivalent to the awarded bursary duration. Confirmation about employment should be reported every year by the students to SEIFSA.
  • Failure to comply with the SEIFSA bursary terms and conditions, withdrawal from the course, misconduct in terms of institution rules, unsatisfactory academic performance, and not informing SEIFSA about other funding sources received will result in the termination of the bursary.
  • Should the student fail to meet the terms and conditions of the bursary and/or withdraw from the course of study and/or obtain financial assistance from somewhere else without advising SEIFSA, the bursary will be terminated.

General Conditions

  •  Bursaries are not awarded for correspondence courses.
  • Bursaries awarded must be taken up at the relevant institution calendar year otherwise they will be forfeited.
  • SEIFSA must be informed immediately of any change of address and/or contact details.
  • No change, of course, will be allowed without the prior written permission of SEIFSA.

Bursary Requirements and Eligibility

Bursaries will be made available to develop identified skills, with special emphasis on scarce and critical skills in the sector and transformation objectives. In order to be eligible for a bursary, applicants will have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen
  • 35 years old or younger
  • Good academic results for Mathematics and Science with a minimum of 75% average in Grade 12 / Matric
  • Studying or registered (accepted) to study at a recognized University or the University of Technology in South Africa
  • Passing a standard aptitude test or similar as required by the institution
  • A gross household income of more than R350 000.00, but less than R650 000.00 per annum.
  • The individual does not receive any other/further bursary for costs covered by the SEIFSA bursary;
  • Preference will be given to applications from the designated groups, as well as employees of SEIFSA member companies and dependents.
  • Relevance of the course to the Metals and Engineering industry and areas that fill the gaps in terms of scarce and critical skills


  • The SEIFSA bursary will only cover the cost of tuition fees
  • Students are liable for all other study costs (accommodation, meals, stationery, books, etc)

How to Apply and Application Details

  1. Download and complete the SEIFSA Bursary Application Form
  2. Attach copies of the following documents:
  • Passport size Photograph
  • Proof of registration from the institution
  • A certified copy of matric results
  • An updated certified transcript of your latest academic results from the institution
  • A certified copy of your Identity Document
  • Testimonial from your Employer/School or person of Authority
  • A motivational letter of not more than one page describing with emphasis the reason for choosing the career/field of study and the expected contribution to be made
  • For students entering the second/third/fourth year of study, a summary of previous year’s results must be submitted
  • Medical declaration by applicant if deemed necessary or is a requirement for the relevant field of study
  • Proof of parents income (pay slips)
  1. Submit complete applications to bursaryapplications@seifsa.co.za (insert the words “SEIFSA Bursary Application – Your full name in the email subject line)

Applicants will be notified of the results of their applications before the end of 28 February 2022.

The award letter will be given to the successful candidate for the confirmation of their acceptance of the award. The institution will be notified that the bursary has been awarded after confirmation of acceptance of the award.

Recipients must submit their student number and proof of registration to SEIFSA from the institution for the current academic year before the contract is forwarded to the student for signature.

Opening & Closing Date

9th of November 2022 to 30th December 2022

Query details

For any queries regarding this specific bursary program, contact SEIFSA


Zizile Lushaba

Bursary Project Administrator

Tel: 011 298 9443

Email: bursaryapplications@seifsa.co.za



Raiding the National Skills Fund is not the right solution to the student funding crisis, says SEIFSA

JOHANNESBURG, 18 MARCH 2021 – While the recent student protests over student debt are highly concerning, a solution to the problem does not lie in tapping into the National Skills Fund (NSF) to fund students through the National Student Finance Aid Scheme, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) said today.
SEIFSA Human Capital and Skills Development Executive Sumaya Hoosen said the mandate of the NSF, which was set up in 2001 to fund the skills development of workers and unemployed youth in accordance with the National Skills Development Strategy, is critical and should not be tampered with. She said –improving skills planning is critical, considering South Africa’s lack of appropriate skills which are critical for economic growth and social development.
“This includes the National Treasury Economic Policy, which states that South Africa’s current economic trajectory is unsustainable: economic growth has stagnated, unemployment is rising and inequality remains high. Therefore, it is imperative for the Government to ensure that skills supply responds to skills demand,” Ms Hoosen said.
She said by redirecting resources away from the fund, the Government will hamper efforts to address an already acute problem of skills shortage, particularly in artisan and technical fields. She said it would  also hamper efforts to create jobs since d learnerships and internships are among the best ways to absorb unemployed youth into the workplace, while also giving them the experience they need to start their careers.
“The National Critical Skills List released by the Department of Home Affairs already lays bare the fact that we have to import skills that should have been developed in the country. It is unfortunate that the Department of Higher Education and Training concedes that it will likely have to cut back on initiatives such as the development of much-needed artisans and technicians,” Ms Hoosen said.
She said in times of crisis such as these, when COVID-19 has destroyed so many livelihoods and lives, it is important that business, civil society and the Government work together to increase access to funding for education and training at all levels, including post-school training.
“While we understand the tertiary education funding challenge confronting the country, nevertheless we   urge the Government to find a solution that will not impact negatively on the development of critical skills. To the extent that business can come to the party in these tough times, we urge businesses to continue to make a difference by offering bursaries to students keen on studying – particularly those who form part of the missing middle,” Ms Hoosen said.

BBBEE Explained: Why compliance matters

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) is a legislative framework that has been put in place to ensure economic equality in South Africa. This legislation is specifically focused on empowering previously disadvantaged South Africans in the workplace, enhancing skills development and economic participation. BBBEE compliance has become a prerequisite for many tenders, grants, finance and corporate development initiatives. In this way, being BBBEE compliant gives a business competitive advantage. We take a deep dive into the ins and outs of BBBEE below.

What is BBBEE?

BBBEE is a piece of legislation that was drafted in 2003 to promote the constitutional right to equality and to increase broad-based and effective participation of previously disadvantaged people in the South African economy. The framework aims to promote more equitable income distribution, among other things.
In the context of the BBBEE Act of 2003, the term “black people” refers to Africans, Coloureds and Indians who are citizens of the Republic of South Africa by birth or descent or who became citizens of the Republic of South Africa by naturalisation before the 27th of April 1994, or on or after the 27th of April 1994 who would have been entitled to acquire citizenship by naturalisation prior to that date. 

Legislation that governs BBBEE

Transformation is governed by several pieces of legislation that include the Employment Equity Act of 1998, which stipulates that there is a requirements for affirmative action measures to ensure that qualified people from designated groups are represented in all occupational categories and business levels. This legislation is important for any business that employs 50 or more people or has an annual turnover of more than R2 million (depending on the industry in which it operates).
The Skills Development Act of 1998 and the Skills Development Levy Act of 1999 provide a framework for improving  skills and employment prospects for persons from designated groups, including people with disabilities. These Acts also make it compulsory for certain employers to contribute a percentage of their payroll, known as the Skills Development Levy, to a fund that can be used to train staff members. 

What is the purpose of BBBEE?

The combined transformation legislation aims to right the wrongs of the legacy of apartheid, which still affects many South Africans, and covers several different socio-economic strategies that are aimed at enhancing the economic participation of designated groups of people. The main objectives of these strategies are to: 

  • Encourage the participation of Black people and the majority of the economically active population to be able to manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets;
  • Facilitate ownership and management of enterprises and productive assets by communities, workers, co-operatives and other collective enterprises;
  • Grow human resource capacity and promote skills development, thus improving productivity and competitiveness;
  • Achieve equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce;
  • Ensure preferential procurement from enterprises that are owned or managed by black people; and
  • Promote investment in enterprises that are owned or managed by black people.

By leveraging the participation of a larger proportion of the South African economically active population, BBBEE promotes economic equality and promotes equal access to economic opportunities. 

The 5 BBBEE Pillars

BBBEE aims to accelerate change in key areas of business; these are often referred to as the BBBEE pillars. A business will score points against the pillars listed below, which are governed by the amended Codes of Good Practice. The points are scored against what is called a BBBEE scorecard. The scorecard acts as a measure of the level of transformation within the organisation. These pillars include: 

  • Ownership, which refers to the percentage of the business that is owned by black participants. The maximum points for this category is 25. The points are calculated based on elements related to the percentage of ownership, voting rights, the Net Value of shares, percentage of shareholding, etc. The sub-minimum requirement for ownership is 40% of the Net Value. 
  • Management control, which refers to the percentage of designated group persons in top, senior and junior level management positions. The scorecard emphasises the role of black women, which is referred to as the “Adjusted Recognition for Gender” (ARG). The total points available for this qualification criteria is 15. These points are calculated based on elements related to the percentage of voting rights, the percentage of executive members that are black, etc. 
  • Skills development, which refers to the percentage of contributions the business makes towards skills development of persons from designated groups, including persons with disabilities. The maximum number of points available for this pillar is 20. These points are based on criteria relating to the percentage of payroll spent on skills development for employees and unemployed people from designated groups. It is important to note that there is benefit for the value spent as well as the number of beneficiaries this is spent on. There is further allocation of 5 points if the programme results in the absorption of these beneficiaries into jobs within the organisation or industry. The sub-minimum requirement for skills development is 40% of the total weighting points for skills development.
  • Enterprise and supplier development, which refers to the percentage of goods and services procured from BBBEE certified and compliant suppliers, as an indication of the transformation within the value chain. The maximum number of points available for this pillar is 40. This also has an added benefit that will allow you to claim what you spend. This is dependent on the BBBEE rating that your supplier has. The sub-minimum requirement for Enterprise and Supplier Development is 40%. 

Socio-economic development, which refers to the percentage of contributions to employees, their families and the surrounding communities. The emphasis is on benefiting the communities and maximum participants from previously disadvantaged backgrounds or Black people. The maximum number of points available for this pillar is 5

BBBEE compliance for business

Following from the above, it is essential to note that different sectors have different scorecards related to the above-mentioned pillars. Businesses of different sizes will also have different scorecards and ratings. This allows a smaller business to compete with larger companies, which drives further competition and growth. 
Smaller businesses with a revenue of less than R10 million per annum are referred to as Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and do not need to complete a scorecard. They are automatically assigned as a Level 4 BBBEE contributor. If the EME is 100% black owned, it is automatically regarded as a Level 1 BBBEE contributor. If the EME is at least 51%, black owned, it qualifies as a Level 2 BBBEE contributor. An EME is allowed to apply to be measured in terms of the QSE scorecard to maximise its points and move to a higher BBBEE recognition level.
Businesses that have an annual revenue of less than R50 million but more than R10 million are called Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs). A QSE must comply with all of the elements of BBBEE for the purposes of measurement. A Qualifying Small Enterprise which is 100% Black owned qualifies for a Level 1 BBBEE recognition. A QSE that has at least 51% Black ownership qualifies for Level 2 BBBEE.
A Start-up Enterprise must be measured as an Exempted Micro-Enterprise under this statement for the first year following its formation or incorporation. This provision applies regardless of the expected total revenue of the Start-up Enterprise recognition level.

Advantages of BBBEE compliance for businesses in the Metals and Engineering Industry

Within the metal and engineering industry, a BBBEE compliance certificate has many benefits in terms of providing opportunities for growth and giving your business a competitive edge in the market.
Having a BBBEE certificate allows your business to conduct business with public entities. This will allow your company the opportunity to tender for big industrial projects. The higher the level of your BBBEE compliance, the increased chances you have of being awarded the job. 
Your BBBEE certification also showcases your commitment to solving issues related to skills development, unemployment and growing the economy through initiatives such as enterprise supplier development. 


The transformation laws form an important framework within the metals and engineering sector as they drive industry competitiveness and growth, promote job creation and skills development and encourage joint ventures between large enterprises and smaller companies. As highlighted in the State of the Metals and Engineering Sector Report, for economic transformation to be successful and sustainable, the transformation framework needs to be correctly implemented and sector-related codes need to be achieved. For more on BBBEE and how to implement the framework effectively, sign up to SEIFSA’s Human Capital and Skills Development (HC&SD) Resource Portal.

The Changing Nature of Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. Remote working is fast becoming the norm for many organisations as they seek to help curb the spread of the disease and keep their employees safe. However, remote working comes with its own challenges. Many employees may feel disconnected from their colleagues. They may be finding the solitude of working from home difficult to deal with. Anxiety and depression might be kicking in.  

It is safe to assume, then, that the pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of managing the personal well-being of employees. But to do that, Managers need to understand stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace in order to ensure their own wellbeing and support the mental health and personal wellbeing of their teams during this unprecedented time. 

The Strategies for Mental Health, Resilience, and Emotional Intelligence course will equip managers with this understanding. 

The course dates are as follows:

  1. November 2020
  2.  December 2020

Companies that have survived past the lockdown will agree that the two key business traits for their survival have been preparedness and resilience. However businesses that had models that were hard to digitise, highly people dependent, or heavily exposed to global supply chains were hit the hardest.  Within organisations people were forced into long periods of isolation, with serious concerns in terms of their Job Security and future survival. These were serious and justified concerns, as to whether they would be able to eventually return to their jobs. People who have been able to return to work are considered “lucky” as the unemployment statistics escalate. In returning to work the challenges for employees are still high, from the fear and anxiety about the risk of being exposed to the virus, to other personal challenges that could relate to finance, work-life balance with family responsibilities, to the increased workloads as colleagues are being retrenched. 

Whether it has already happened or is still to present in your organisation, it is important for HR Professionals to remain prepared, for staff to be overwhelmed with the global changes, and how these may have had or are still to be experienced in their lives. New research conducted by the ADP research institute, related to workplace resilience during COVID 19, found the only 19% of workers are highly resilient, with 81% being vulnerable.  These statistics were confirmed by the WHO report that indicated that bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear arising from measures to combat the pandemic are triggering new mental health issues and escalating existing ones.

For this reason, organisations will have to step up caring for employees in this regard. They will have to make available tools and resources to help their remaining employees cope better. 

What will be important is for leadership to be empathetic to what staff may be going through. Starting with those reporting to you, the actions of showing support will cascade down to lower and lateral, layers in your organisation.  This is a period where management will be expected to reassure staff of their importance within, the organisation.This also means, taking time to invest in your staff’s up-skilling when coming to developing resilience. 

For this reason SEIFSA has set up a number of support workshops that SIFSA members can access for their staff members on “Strategies for Mental Health, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence”. Should you require, this can also be provided, In-House or Web-based to your employees. 

Furthermore on the 18th of November, we will be hosting a Webinar aimed at HR Professional and Managers on “Mental Health Strategies for Managers.” Various speakers will share their insight on this topic.

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Don’t be the next Clicks

Diversity and inclusivity are strengths. An organisation that promotes diversity in its workplace gives itself the advantage of different perspectives, allowing it to make informed decisions in all its operations. Unfortunately, while many companies promote diversity and inclusivity, they go out of their way, consciously or unconsciously, to silence conversations about equality, diversity and inclusion.

As a result, organisations often neglect to address the narratives of mistrust found among diverse individuals within their businesses.

SEIFSA offers a Managing Diversity & Social Inclusion course to help businesses manage diversity within their companies. Topics covered in the course include:

  • Why managing diversity is important in the South African workplace;
  • How to promote a culture of equality between people of different races, classes, sexual preference and gender;
  • The key elements of equality and how it is dealt with in organisations; and
  • Solutions to organisational challenges related to discrimination.

For more information about this course, please click below

Read more


The question is often asked: “Why do we need assessors and moderators?”

This blog will shed some light on this subject as we explore eight (8) Common Questions people tend to ask. From the offset, we just need to emphasize that there is a very distinct difference between each of these roles.

The following questions will provide clarity on the subject and hopefully set the stage for a deeper exploration through training and hiring both Assessors and Moderators in South African businesses.

1. What is assessment?

Assessment is a process where the activities of an employee are observed and compared with a set of requirements to determine whether the employee can execute a task according to set requirements.

2. What is a registered assessor?

A registered assessor is someone who is trained specifically against a national unit standard, 115753, on the process and principles of assessment. A registered assessor meets the set criteria and requirements of the specific SETA which they intend to register with. To register as an assessor with a SETA, the assessor must provide evidence of his/her proficiency in the specific area in which s/he wants to register.

3. What does a registered assessor do?

A registered assessor has the primary responsibility of evaluating (assessing) an employee’s ability against a set criteria to confirm that the employee is competent and able to do the tasks allocated to her/him.

4. What benefit is there in having a registered assessor?

There are a number of reasons why companies should have registered assessors on their staff. All of the points below will be made possible for companies by having a registered assessor on their staff. It follows, then, that the criteria and guidelines for assessors are extremely strict, thus ensuring that the best possible assessors go through the course. These practitioners ensure that well-qualified and competent people in the workplace, along with the company’s training programme, should:

  • Create opportunities for employees to progress/advance through a company;
  • Be certified, recognised and accepted anywhere in the country;
  • Enable an employee to find alternative employment in the event of job loss;
  • Acknowledgement in B-BBEE verification; and

Employees could achieve nationally- (in some cases internationally) recognised workplace-based qualifications.

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5. Who should be registered assessors?

The following people are recommended to be trained as assessors:

  • Anyone who needs to become a registered assessor;
  • Line staff responsible for assessment in the workplace (such as supervisors and managers);
  • HR and HRD practitioners; and
  • Anyone who needs to achieve an NQF-registered ETDP or HR-related qualification, since this qualification requires competence in the generic unit standard Conduct Outcomes-Based Assessment.

6. What is moderation?

Moderation is a process of quality assurance where the activities of an assessor are quality assured to confirm that the assessor conducted the assessment in a fair manner and that the evidence for competence, required by the standard, is available and correct.

7. What is a registered moderator?

A registered moderator is someone who is trained specifically against a national unit standard, 115759, in the process of moderation. A registered moderator meets the set criteria and requirements of the specific SETA which s/he intends to register with. To register as a moderator with a SETA, the moderator must provide evidence of her/his proficiency in the specific area in which s/he wants to register and that they have also successfully completed the unit standard training for assessors, 115753.

8. Who should be registered moderators?

The following employees are recommended to be trained as moderators:

  1. Anyone who is a registered assessor; and
  2. Line staff members responsible for assessment in the workplace (such as supervisors and managers).

The fact is that if a company pays more than lip service to its training programme, it must make use of assessors and moderators. The company must ensure that its assessors and moderators are trained to the highest standards and that the people being trained in the company improve their skills and that the products being produced show a marked and quantifiable improvement. The company should also show an improvement in its reputation, as the quality of its people start being recognised as industry leaders being sought after by other companies in the industry.

Assessors and Moderators are the building blocks of any company’s skills base.


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Skills Development for the Metals and Engineering Industry - Frequently Asked Questions An HR Guide

  1. What is the purpose of the Skills Development Act?

The short supply of skilled staff is a serious obstacle to the competitiveness of industry in South Africa. The Skills Development Act of 1998 aims to:

  • Develop skills for the South African work force;
  • Increase investment in education and training and improve return on investments in those areas;
  • Encourage employers to promote skills development by using the workplaces an active learning environment;
  • Encourage workers to participate in learnership and other training programmes;
  • Improve employment prospects by redressing previous disadvantages through training and education; Ensure the quality of education and training in and for the workplace; and
  • Assist with the placement of first-time work-seekers.

The Skills Development Act aims to develop the skills of the South African workforce and to improve the quality of life of workers and their prospects of work. It also aims to improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers and to promote self-employment.

  1. What is the aim of the Skills Development Levy?

The levy grant scheme, legislated through the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999, serves to fund the skills development initiative in the country. The intention is to encourage a planned and structured approach to learning and to increase employment prospects for work seekers. Participating fully in the scheme will allow you benefit from incentives and to reap the benefits of a better skilled and more productive workforce.

  1. What is the purpose of a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)?

The Workplace Skills Plan serves to structure the type and amount of training for the year ahead, and is based on the skills needs of the organisation. A WSP should consider current and future needs, taking into account gaps identified through a skills audit, the performance management system, succession planning initiatives, and any new process or technology changes planned for the year.Management should discuss the company’s goals with employees who, in turn, should commit to the process of achieving these goals. In the process, Management gets the opportunity to discover talent as well as skills that they did know that they had.

  1. What is an Annual Training Report (ATR)?

This report consists of all attendance registers, proof of expenditure and the training provider used in this report so that the SETA can establish whether training was done or is in the process of being done.

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  1. Does one get a percentage of monies spent on training?

No. Mandatory grants are a refund against all monies contributed towards the Skills Development Levy and not on monies spent on training.

  1. What is a learnership?

A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to a nationally-recognised qualification. Thus, learners in learnership programmes have to attend classes at a college or training centre to complete classroom-based learning, and they also have to complete on-the-job training in a workplace. This means that unemployed people can only participate in a learnership programme if there is an employer that is willing to provide the required work experience. A learnership is aligned to the NQF and is usually between 12 and 18 months long in duration. Learners are paid a Stipend from the applicable SETA.


  1. Who must pay the levy?

The levy is calculated as 1% of your wage bill, payable monthly. All employers who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for PAYE and have an annual payroll in excess of R500 000 must register with SARS to pay for the Skills Development Levy.

  1. What are the requirements for claiming back Discretionary Grants?

Each funding window has a different set of rules, which will be communicated to companies. For further details, please contact the relevant SETA.

  1. How does an employer register for the levy?

Every employer who is liable to pay the levy must register with SARS by completing the registration form, Form SDL 101, which is available from all SARS offices. In order to register, the employer must:

  • Obtain a registration form (SDL 101) from any SARS office, if not received by mail;
  • Choose from a list of registered Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) as indicated in the SETA classification guide provided with the registration form, the one SETA most representative of your activities; and
  • Choose a standard industry code (SIC) from the SETA classification guide which most accurately describes the nature and scope of your business.
  1. To whom are levies payable?

Levies are payable to the South African Revenue Service, which acts as a collecting agency for the applicable SETA.

  1. By when is the levy payable?

The levy must be paid to SARS not later than SEVEN days after the end of the month in respect of which the levy is payable, under cover of a SDL 201 return form.

  1. Is there any interest and penalty incurred for late or non-payment?

SARS will impose both interest and penalties for late or non-payment of levies.

  1. How do I register as a Skills Development Facilitator?

You can use the online Skills Development Facilitator registration form via the relevant SETA’s website or contact your regional co-ordinator. Your registration will be acknowledged as soon as it is processed.

  1. What is PIVOTAL Grant

PIVOTAL is an acronym which means professional, vocational technical and academic learning programme that resulta in a qualification or part-qualification on the National Qualification Framework (NQF).

  1. What is SIPS?

SIPS is an acronym which means Strategic Infrastructure Projects.

  1. What is meant by OFO?

OFO is an acronym which means Organising Framework for Occupations.

  1. What is meant by NQF?

The NQF is organised as a series of levels of learning achievement, arranged in ascending order from one to ten. Each level on the NQF is described by a statement of learning achievement known as Level Descriptors (below).

There is one set of level descriptors for the NQF.

The NQF is a single integrated system which comprises of three co-ordinated qualifications Sub-Frameworks. These are:

  • General and Further Education and Training Sub-Framework (GFETQSF)
  • The Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF)
  • The Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF)

The Sub-Frameworks have qualifications registered at the following NQF levels:

  • GFETQSF  – levels 1 to 4;
  • HEQSF  – levels 5 to 10;
  • OQSF – levels 1 to 6.

For NQF levels 7 and 8, the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations can motivate for a qualification only in collaboration with a recognised professional body and the Council on Higher Education, in a process co-ordinated by SAQA.

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  1. What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines workplace and institutional learning in a national trade occupational qualification. An apprenticeship is based on an agreement between the individual who wants to learn the trade and the employer who needs a skilled worker in a specific trade. Apprentices are paid wages for the duration of the apprenticeship, which is usually between three and four years. Wages are updated and published annually in the SEIFSA Main Agreement Handbook.

  1. What is a Stipend?

Employers must calculate their learners’ pay according to the number of hours worked. The Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships applies to-

    • the employment of a learner –
      • who has concluded a learnership agreement; and
      • who was not employed by the employer party to the learnership agreement when the agreement was concluded; and
    • every employer who employs a learner.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies in respect of any matter not covered by the sectoral determination.

Sectoral Determination 5 : Learnerships

  1. What is a TVET?

TVET stands for “technical and vocational education and training”. It is an educational term that is applied to certain post-school educational institutes,

  1. What is a skills programme?

A Skills Programme is a learning programme which is occupationally based and for which a learner may obtain a certain number of credits towards a registered qualification aligned to the NQF. It includes practical (work-place) experience and addresses the identified needs of a specific industry.

  1. What is provider accreditation?
23.  What is the QCTO? QCTO stands for Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. The QCTO is one of the three Quality Councils, each responsible for a qualifications sub-framework on the National Qualifications Framework. The Council for Higher Education (CHE) and Umalusi are the other two. The sub-framework that the QCTO is responsible for is the Trades and Occupations sub-framework.
24 What is the QCTO’s responsibility? The QCTO is responsible for standards setting and quality assurance of occupational qualifications on the Trades and Occupations sub-framework. The QCTO recommends to SAQA qualifications for registration on the NQF.
25 What is an occupational qualification? An occupational qualification is defined in the law as a qualification associated with a trade, occupation or profession resulting from work-based learning and consisting of three components, one for knowledge, one for practical skills and one for work experience. All occupational qualifications require a final test or what is called “an external, summative assessment” which, when successfully passed, signals to the world that the person is able to fully perform the work of the occupation.
26.  What process do I follow to initiate a process of developing an occupational qualification? The process of occupational qualification development begins when a person or an organisation (the applicant) submits a request to the QCTO for an Occupational Qualification to be developed. This can be in a letter, an e-mail or even a phone call. All are welcome to submit a request. The QCTO may be contacted at info@qcto.org.za The QCTO will advise and guide the applicant on the process to be followed.

submit a request. The QCTO may be contacted at info@qcto.org.za The QCTO will advise and guide the applicant on the process to be followed.

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27. What is a Development Quality Partner (DQP)? A DQP is an entity appointed by the QCTO and delegated to manage, on behalf of the QCTO, the process of developing an Occupational Qualification. The QCTO has developed processes that will ensure as far as possible that its Quality Partners have the capacity to perform their assigned tasks to the highest quality standards, which include integrity, transparency and fitness for purpose.
28 What is an Assessment Quality Partner (AQP)? An AQP is an entity appointed by the QCTO and delegated to manage, on behalf of the QCTO, the assessment process. An AQP is responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing external assessments. An AQP coordinates and manages external assessment processes. An AQP develops and maintains a national databank of instruments used in the external assessment. An AQP maintains a register of assessors and moderators from which assessors and moderators for the external summative assessment are selected. An AQP recommends to the QCTO the accreditation of skills development providers for the knowledge and or practical skills components. An AQP recommends to the QCTO the certification of learners.
29. What are the rules of combination for occupational qualifications? A minimum of 20% credits are required for each of the three components (Knowledge, practical skills, and work experience). This means that the remainder of 40% of the credits can be added to any component to support the purpose of the qualification.
30. What are the types of occupational qualifications that can be developed? The QCTO has two types of occupational qualifications, namely:National Occupational Qualifications : 120+ Credits National Occupational Awards: 25-119 Credits
31.  How do I get more information on the QCTO (e.g. policies, and other important information) QCTO information may be accessed from www.qcto.org.za. You will be able to access information on the QCTO e.g. policies, occupational qualifications in development, other important information.


  1. What is an Internship?

An internship is an opportunity for people with a degree or diploma to gain practical experience in a possible place of employment or in their field of study.

merSETA is rolling out the rest of the NSDMS from 1st July 2019

Since 1 February 2018, the National Skills Development Management System (NSDMS) has been assisting merSETA to become more efficient and effective in supporting you, merSETA stakeholders, to implement and facilitate access to skills development opportunities in merSETA sectors. merSETA would like to thank you for all the support and feedback so far. Without you, merSETA would not have met its milestones.

Here are some outstanding statistics since merSETA introduced the NSDMS:

More than 3 850 active users and nearly 5 700 active employers/organisations

Nearly 9000 Grant applications have been initiated (1 954 991 WSP and ATR entries)

Nearly 1 600 MOAs in the region of R850 million were generated electronically in 2018

Nearly 80 000 tasks have been completed with over 500 000 emails sent

merSETA has not stopped working on further development. Today, merSETA is thrilled to announce that has officially launched the rest of the NSDMS on 1st July 2019. You are now able to:

Apply/register as a Skills Development Provider

Apply/register as an Assessor/Moderator

Manage and process learner related activities including registration, transfers, trade test, verifications and certification etc

Apply for workplace approval, courseware, skills programmes or skills sets

Apply for recognition of prior learning

Manage MOAs

Access reports

The wait is now over and merSETA is really excited that has launched the other NSDMS modules, but merSETA know that with any new system, it will take time to get used to it. Do not despair! merSETA is committed to walk with you on this journey and through its various training & development initiatives, merSETA will be here to support you every step of the way! merSETA has rolled out its stakeholder capacity building interventions in its regions. So, look out for capacity-building dates to prepare yourself to utilise the NSDMS and its features to the max.


Business Improvement Workshop

This facilitated “Action Learning” workshop uses highly-innovative business initiatives in conjunction with powerful improvement material. Its goal is to illustrate the importance of improvement measures and clear strategies for implementing continuous improvement and breakthrough financial priorities.

The process draws from a wealth of material related to all styles of leadership / management styles. The power of the process however is in its practical nature and there is direct focus on “making more money” in all businesses with specific application to the Manufacturing Sector.

The workshop will cover

  • Business orientation
  • Supply chain profitability optimization (practical)
  • Voice of the customer, process and supplier
  • The 6 strategic business questions to optimise profitability
  • Productivity measurements and benchmarks
  • Quality cost focus
  • Customised training
  • “Employee ownership” (The 40% productivity gap in SA)
  • Business dashboards and management control tools
  • The “Super 7” concept of business management
  • Problem solving
  • Fast tracking improvement

Who should attend?

  • Executives
  • Senior Managers
  • Managing Directors
  • Managers and those directly involved with cost reduction and “making more money”

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Unpacking changes in the amended Codes of Good Practice

  • Overview of the changes
  • Impact analysis on your current BBBEE status
  • Update on the latest developments within the industry

The presenter

The workshop will be led by SEIFSA’s Human Capital and Skills Development experts, who are acknowledged industry experts in all facets of Human Capital and Skills Development.

Who should attend?

  • All MDs
  • CEOs
  • HR Personnel
  • Transformation Managers
  • BEE Champions
  • Financial Manager
  • Skills Development Managers
  • any other person appointed with BEE duties
The workshop will cover
  • Theory, targets & formulas

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