NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LABOUR COUNCIL
REPORT OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LABOUR COUNCIL (NEDLAC) ON THE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL, 2003
This report deals with consideration of the Amendments to the Skills Development Act, 1999.
2. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL, 2003
2.1.1 The objectives of the Bill are to amend the Skills Development Act, 1999 to:
2.2 Process In Nedlac
2.2.1 Government tabled the Skills Development Amendment Bill, 2003 at the Labour Market Chamber meeting on 19 June 2003.
2.2.2 The chamber agreed that a task team should be formed and that engagement should commence as soon as possible.
2.2.3 The task team met on 04 July 2003.
2.2.4 The task team comprised of the following:
(i) Business: J. Lopes and B. Angus
(ii) Community: K. Mbongo and M. Mahlobogoane
(iii) Labour: K. Moleme; S. Gangca and W. van Heerden
(iv) Government: A. Bird and B. Maja
2.2.5 At the meeting of the task team held on 04 July 2003, Government took the constituencies through the proposed amendments and clarified certain aspects thereof.
Constituencies agreed on the following areas:
[( )= deletion and = insertion]
2.3.5 Amendment to section 9 of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.6 Amendment to section 9A of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.7 Amendment to section 10 of Act 97 of 1998, however clause (k) to be amended to read "promote the national standard to achieve (promote) good practice."
2.3.8 The insertion of section 10A in Act 97 of 1998 , the task team also agreed on Business's view that clause (4) of (10A) should read; " The Minister must after consulting the National Skills Authority make regulations concerning...."
2.3.9 The amendment to section 13 of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.10 Amendment to section 14, subsection (3) of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.11 Insertion of section 14A in Act 97 of 1998
2.3.12 Amendments to section 15 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.13 Amendments to section 17 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.14 Amendment to section 19 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.15 Amendment to section 20 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.16 Amendment to title of Chapter 6.
2.3.17 Amendment to section 24 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.18 Amendment to section 25 of Act 97 of 1998
2.3.20 Amendment to section 30A of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.21 Insertion of section 30B in Act 97 of 1998 and the heading should read :
(i) National Standard to promote good practice in Skills Development
(ii) 30B (2) should read "The Minister may take such steps as are necessary to promote the national standard to achieve (promote) good practice in skills development including, but not limited to establishing an agency or contracting with an existing agency to promote the national standards. (To promote good practice in skills development.)
2.3.22 Amendment to section 32 of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.23 Amendment to section 33 of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.24 Amendment to section 36 of Act 97 of 1998.
2.3.25 Amendment to item 4 of Schedule 2 to Act 97 of 1998. Constituencies further agreed that the National Skills Authority should conduct an investigation on the matter to advise the Minister on the date to be set as a matter of urgency to settle uncertainty on the future of the apprenticeship system.
2.3.26 Amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001. These are deleted as they are covered in the amendments to that Act.
2.4 Areas of Disagreement
Business believes that the social partners are all in agreement that Skills Development is vital to the future of the country. Business has a strong interest in ensuring the success of the skills development legislation since its own survival and competitiveness, in great measure, is dependent on the skills possessed by its employees. Business however believes that a collaborative approach by all the parties themselves will offer a far better chance of achieving the legislation's objective than a heavy-handed method that prefers prescription and over-regulation to consultation and co-operation. Business requested that Ministerial authority over the SETAS cannot be increased to such an extent that it undermines the powers of the SETA Council or Boards and renders the latter powerless to make operational decisions. Business believes that this will serve only to retard skills development in the country.
2.4.3 Business further expressed its reservation about Amendment 4A in Schedule 2 of Act 97 of 1998. They stated that:
(iii) Section 4A(e) stipulates that the MQA must establish chambers. Business feels that this regulation should not be mandatory to the Mining Industry alone. The establishment of chambers must only be considered by the board after a serious consideration of the need to establish such chambers.
(v) The Minister needs to guard against bodies that may abuse their power and not participate legitimately in the SETA structures. The SETA Act already provides for appropriate mechanisms in which professional bodies can participate.
3. DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED DURING THE NEDLAC PROCESS OF ENGAGEMENT ON THE DRAFT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL
Government submitted the Skills Development Amendment Bill, 2003.
This report, therefore, completes consideration of the Skills Development Amendment Bill, 2003, in Nedlac and the report is hereby submitted to the Minister of Labour in terms of section 8 of the Nedlac Act, No. 35 of 1994.