Mrs J C Moloi-Moropa (ANC) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:
I have been in discussion with the Minister of Higher Education and Training about the conflict in the roles of PSETA and PALAMA, including the funding and reporting arrangements affecting these two institutions. The establishment of the School of Government will lead to a total reform of the public administration and service training environment in Government, including a restructuring of the institutional arrangements of training and development.
As background, I should mention that the PSETA was established in terms of Section 2 of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act 97 of 1998 "to ensure the quality of learning in and for the workplace" and "to encourage workers to participate in learning programmes".
Section 10 of the Skills Development Act further assigns the following responsibilities to PSETA:-
On the other hand, the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) was established in terms of the Public Service Act (Act 30 of 2007) as a training institution and listed as a national department. Its core responsibility is to provide training to public service employees, including training that is prescribed by the MPSA as a qualification.
PALAMA is a training provider whose main mandate is to ensure the necessary provision of high-quality practical leadership, management and administrative training for the public service. In order for PALAMA to receive recognition as an accredited training provider, it is subject to standards and accreditation received from PSETA. In the process of carrying out training in line with qualifications approved in the national qualifications framework, PALAMA needs to make use of qualified trainers, assessors and moderators whose training and accreditation is also the function of the PSETA.
PSETA's function is to facilitate requirements for skills development and training in the public service in line with the national qualifications framework. It is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and its activities are monitored by this Body to determine and demonstrate compliance with SAQA requirements. As different from interacting directly with learners as a training facilitator and provider, PSETA is responsible for the accreditation of sector education and training providers such as PALAMA and similar provincial public service training academies.
The Skills Development Levies Act of 2008, as amended, exempts government departments and state entities funded by the state from paying skills development levies to the SETAs. PSETA currently gets funded through the National Treasury Grant via the DPSA. Departments retain their 1% provision commensurate to the requirements of the Skills Development Levies Act for training based on the Workplace Skills Plans submitted to and approved by PSETA. PALAMA is partly used for provision of training required in these Workplace Skills Plans.
I will be approaching Cabinet with a proposal for a new funding model that will increase the budget of the PSETA to effectively fulfil its role like any other SETA.