Posted on: May 19, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

The Cape Chamber of Commerce is considering implications of major changes to three laws governing labour matters and skills development, for employers.

Proposed amendments to Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (Seta) and training frameworks were published on April 15, with a call for comment within 21 calendar days, but Cape Chamber of Commerce president Michael Bagraim said there were only 11 working days in that period due to public holidays.

“In these circumstances it is difficult to get the right people together to assess implications of legal changes on business and training programmes,” report Cape Business Times and Sharenet.

Employers said that SA Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Dr Blade Nzimande, “could not have chosen a worse time for a consultation process… It is certainly not in the interest of good and effective consultation, and leaves us with the feeling that Dr Nzimande does not want our views.”

The legislation would have several impacts on Setas, training programmes, and commitments that commerce and industry have already made. Setas are run on enforced skills training levies.

Bagraim also commented; “We need time to look at implications and perhaps unintended consequences. Setas took years to establish and now we have this sudden rush to change the ground rules. What is going on?”

Employers called for a few months to study the proposed legislation, consult experts and prepare a response to the DHET.

DHET acting director general Gwebs Qonde commented on the employers’ gripe that “government business could not stop because of holidays.”

Nzimande’s proposed amendments to the Skills Development Act include prohibition of members of the Services Seta from conducting business with the Seta.

PHOTO; A Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) would be established under SA Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, in terms of 2011 amendments to the training framework and roles of Setas.

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