Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the Skills Levy

According to information supplied by authorities in the Westrn Cape, the Skills Development approach aims to improve workers’ skills by requiring employers to pay to SARS for skills development of their employees. 80% of the money from this fund is distributed to the different Sector Training and Education Authorities (SETAs) and the other 20% is paid into the National Skills Fund. The SETAs pay grants to employers who appoint a Skills Development Facilitator for employee training. The National Skills Fund finances skills-development projects that don’t fall under the SETAs. An employer can get back 50% or more of the levies they paid to SARS from the SETA or the National Skills Fund to use on training and developing their own employees’ skills.

Employees need to register with SARS and pay the levy each month. SARS will supply the correct forms (SDL 201 return form) to fill in. Levies need to be paid to SARS no later than seven days after the end of every month.

Employees can get money back from the SETA or the National Skills Fund to use on training and developing employee skills if they qualify for a Skills Development Grant. In order to qualify, employees need to :

  • have paid Skills Development Levies.
  • have a skills development facilitator.
  • follow all the rules and regulations in the Act.

Baseline Study of the Activities of the SETAs in the Western Cape Province : This report, issued by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (Western Cape Government) has two broad objectives. The first is linked to distributing and sharing information amongst a broad range of stakeholders about the activities of the Sector Education & Training Authorities (SETAs) in the province. The second is to avail this information so that it might translate into practical ways of planning, connecting and working together to achieve the skills development goals of the Skills Development and Levies Acts (1998 & 1999 respectively).

The Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 was amended by the Skills Development Levies Act 9 of 1999 and Skills Development Amendment Act, No 31 of 2003

Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act No. 4 of 2002 (please consult www.labour.gov.za for amendments since 2002).

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The South African Department of Labour : publishes legislation that regulates labour practices and activities in South Africa. A number of services are available online :

  • UIF online declarations (Ufiling)
  • Compensation Claim Status
  • Employment Services for South Africa (ESSA)
  • Compensation Return of Earnings
  • Employment Equity Online Reporting
  • Umehluko ICM Online Claim Submissions
  • LOGS – Letter Of Good Standing

You can use their search facilities to find the information you require that they have made available on their website. There are dozens of guides covering a multitude of subjects. For example, when you search for information on minimum wages and minimum wage increases, type in “minimum wages” in the search field.