Debate by Hon Ishmael Malale, MP (ANC) in the National Assembly on the tabling of the Skills Develoment Amentment Bill

24 November 2011

Honourable Members,

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training has processed a Bill referred to the Parliament by the Department of Higher Education and Training, with the approval of Cabinet.

This bill will empower the Minister to, after consultation with the NSA (National Skills Fund), incorporate a sub-sector from one SETA to another.

The bill provides for the composition of, eligibility to and vacation of a SETA Board, herein referred as Accounting Authority. It stipulates that the minister may appoint not more than six persons from Labour, Employers, two from Government Departments, Professional bodies, Bargaining Council, Community Organisations.

Board members ought to be Citizens or permanent residents of the Republic of South Africa, not convicts of theft, corruption, fraud, forgery, perjury and related crimes, not insane persons.

The Bill Prohibits members to inter into commercial or financial transaction with the SETA and nullifies any proceedings in which conflict of interest is founded. Enjoins Boards and employees to disclose any previous and current conflict of interest.

It bill empowers the Minister to Provide Standard constitution of the entire SETA landscape from which SETA may deviate with the strict permission of the Minister, thus allow for flexibility within uniformity in our quest for a seamless, coherent and stable SETA system.

The Bill provides that the Board must recommend three possible competent appointees, for the position of CEO, to the Minster for appointment within six months of the existence of the board and enjoins the minister to formulate regulations for dealing with appointment criteria Conditions of Service of these appointees.

The Bill repeals about seven sections of the Skills Development Act of 97 of 1998, as amended. These repealed sections deal with registration and/or cancellation of employment services agencies; operations of labour centres and so on. These matters have been assigned, by the President in terms of constitutional presidential prerogative, to the Minister of Labour, thus do not have any bearing to the DHET. The repeal will only come into effect upon issuance of a notice in the gazette by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister of Labour to allow smooth transition.

The Bill was approved by Both the ANC and DA deployees to the Committee after deliberation characterised by a profound sense of collegiality. All seven present members of the Portfolio Committee voted in favour of the Bill.

Thank you