The Sector Education and Training Authority, SETA, is a South African institution in charge of developing skills development and training within a specific industry sector. This institution is a program of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS), and various SETAs were put in place for several industry sectors according to the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998. 

The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) was established in the year 2000 and is currently one of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). It was set up as a sequel to the Skills Development Act’s announcement by the Parliament of South Africa. In 2011, some changes were made regarding many of the SETAs, and LGSETA was one of them. While other SETAs were restructured, the only modification made to the LGSETA was transferring the water distribution sector to the Energy SETA.

The LGSETA is focused on adult-based education and training (ABET) and community-based participation and management. These areas are fundamental in facilitating training and skills development for the youth. Adult-based education enables employees in different sectors to access the life-changing opportunities that further training can give them. It also allows people to access some career paths to follow these paths later in their lives.

The LGSETA provides a platform that enables the labor force to improve their skills and receive more education. Many of the people concerned work for local government systems, and some are unemployed South Africans. By organizing and implementing various skills training initiatives like Sector Skills Plan (SSP), the objectives of the LGSETA are achieved. This SETA also provides learning programs for local government employees like councilors and traditional leaders. 

The South African labor sector needs efficient and well-trained workers who can play service delivery roles to advance economic development and growth. The LGSETA provides this and also benefits the citizens by improving their standard of living. It also enables local government institutions to perform their constitutional duties.

As a body focusing on the local government sector, LGSETA organizes and executes different innovative skills development initiatives for local government employees and unemployed citizens. LGSETA ensures that the learners are trained and educated according to the needs of the local government sector.

As one of 21 such SETA’s in the country, LGSETA is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). This department’s main goal is to expand the post-school system in South Africa by making it fully inclusive. A post-school system that is properly structured and gives necessary training and education for graduates will develop the economy of South Africa and facilitate overall development.

The LGSETA works closely with key stakeholders in the sector to improve training and education. These stakeholders include the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA); the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU); the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU). The LGSETA’s accounting authority, also known as the board, is responsible for providing leadership for LGSETA. The board relays with these stakeholders to inform and ensure them that the LGSETA performs its duties according to the stipulations of the LGSETA constitution and the Skills Development Act. The board also reports to the executive authority of the SETAs, which is the Minister of Higher Education and Training.

What is the function of the LGSETA?

As a scheduled public entity established according to the Skills Development Act, the LGSETA is responsible for facilitating skills development in the local government sector. To ensure that this goal is achieved, the Minister of Higher Education and Training set up an accounting authority for the LGSETA in March 2020. 

The importance of the LGSETA cannot be overstated because this body is contributing immensely to economic development and a great future for South Africa. According to the Department of Higher Education and Training’s specified objectives, the body performs its duties and executes its responsibilities accordingly. 

The LGSETA is committed to delivering training programs that solve the skill gap problems in the sector and provide the skill base that empowers and equips the South African workforce. Education, training, and skill development will provide the necessary relevant services needed in the sector. The body also works hand-in-hand with experts who have the experience and technical skills to increase the level of trust in the programs and services it offers as the local government SETA.

LGSETA also plays a major role in eliminating internal and external barriers that impede organizations’ effectiveness and providing properly researched information that will enhance the provision of skills and training to enrich the local government sector. Another objective of the LGSETA is to propagate and implement skills development programs and training initiatives in the economic sectors. The body also conducted planning and research in the sectors and organized learning programs of high standards. The LGSETA also implements the necessary professional qualifications set by the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and supervises implemented training programs’ performance. These roles performed by the LGSETA enable the development and progress of the local government sector.

The mission of the LGSETA is to ensure that the local government sector meets the economic needs of the region by utilizing innovative training methods and effective strategic building standards and for performing roles as a relevant SETA by providing skills development opportunities for the workforce. The LGSETA is highly beneficial for the learners as the training it provides enables learners to get gainfully employed and are motivated to keep working for the sector. The LGSETA develops qualifications for the training and education programs to maintain high standards and sector skill plan to uphold these standards.

As one of the 21 SETAs, the LGSETA generally functions as other sectors do. One of the most important functions of the SETAs is to evaluate the workforce’s education and training needs in the sector and provide skill development to enable efficiency in the workplace. These strategies are aimed at improving the standards of the training learners receive. The SETAs also evaluate the specific skills training providers offer to balance what is in demand and what is being offered. There may be a skills gap if there is no balance between the demand and the supply, where the SETAs come into play. The SETAs identify these gaps and work to close them up through skills development training and education, provider by accredited skills development providers.

LGSETA Accreditation

Providers of the relevant training and education must apply for accreditation with an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The training providers of education and training that provide full qualifications must register with the Department of Education. Education and training providers can only be accredited if they offer training programs based on the standards according to the primary focus of the LGSETA.

To be accredited, the training provider must offer full qualifications or part qualifications that fall under the scope of the ETQA body of the particular SETA. There are many accreditation requirements: The training provider’s programs must be according to unit standards and qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). And learners must have access to standard learning support services. There must be adequately qualified training facilitators and assessors in the training centers. The curriculum must be designed to meet the high standards and qualifications in content and learning materials. Also, the methods of assessment must be accurate and reliable.

The LGSETA is formally accredited as an ETQA by SAQA according to the terms of the SAQA Act. The main objective of accreditation is to ensure that training systems and education programs maintain high standards and provide learners with relevant skills. The ETQA ensures consistent revising and improvement of training programs and education, and this is done through accreditation. Beyond accreditation of the SETAs, the ETQA also supervises, audits, and the skills development providers. The ETQA also registers moderators and assessors that facilitate assessing the students. They organize capacity-building initiatives for the providers to provide formal training according to the aims and objectives of the LGSETA, NQF, and the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).

This accreditation certifies the training providers as being qualified to fulfill certain functions according to the quality assurance system set up by SAQA in 1995. SAQA accredits ETQAs, and these ETQAs accredit the qualified training providers. By so doing, this system ensures the overall quality of training programs and education that are provided for post-school learners. This system also instills confidence in the trainees’ minds because accredited providers have complied with the relevant bodies’ requirements in the accreditation process. Learners can rest assured that they would be properly trained and earn the much-needed skills and training recognized in the country and the world. Furthermore, only accredited training providers can provide education and training that guarantees nationally registered qualifications. Therefore, this system equips training providers with an important tool that can be used to market high standard services, which are consistently in demand by those working in the local government sector and those who are unemployed.


LGSETA Funding

Certain regulations govern the distribution of the SETA levy income obtained from employers’ tax in different sectors in the form of mandatory and discretionary grants. These regulations also stipulate the ways by which grants are to be allocated. The LGSETA was established according to the Skills Development Act, and under this, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) oversees this funding process.

The LGSETA has developed a policy that spells out how the body disburses grants to support the execution of the Sector Skills Plan (SSP), Annual Performance Plan (APP), and the objectives’ implementation to the NSDS. The SSP was designed based on extensive research and interactions with stakeholders and, therefore, aims to expand employment opportunities for those working in the local government sector. The plan is also aimed at ensuring the local government sector’s development to enable it to meet the country’s demands and adapt to the changing economy.

The grant policy will guarantee that the skills levy is targeted to meet the skills demanded by employers and employees’ training needs. This policy also informs the board’s stakeholders and members how grants can be accessed to enable wide participation by interested candidates. The LGSETA is responsible for monitoring the use of funds and assessing the extent to which the grant policy’s objectives are achieved. The body will also use certain standards to measure grants’ impact on learners, employers, business enterprises, and the local government sector.

Eighty percent of the skills development levy in the local government sector is allocated to LGSETA, while 20 percent is set aside for the National Skills Fund (NSF). 69.5 of the levy allocated to the LGSETA is used for grant funding, and 10.5 percent caters to the administrative needs of the LGSETA. Grant funding could either be discretionary or mandatory, and they are allocated 49.5 percent and 20 percent of the 69.5 percent, respectively. Discretionary grants could be used for either Professional, Vocational, Technical, and Academic Learning (PIVOTAL) programs the culminate in qualifications on the NQF or non-PIVOTAL programs like learnerships. According to the set regulations, the LGSETA must transfer unclaimed mandatory grants and earned interests to be used for discretionary funds at a particular time. 

Mandatory grants encourage levy-paying employers to organize training for their employees and create opportunities for the workforce and unemployed people to learn and receive work experience. It is 20 percent of the employer’s skill development levy and will only be paid out if the employer meets the criteria for payment of mandatory grants. The mandatory grant is also important because it provides the LGSETA with the relevant data from employers that informs the body about demanded skills, which is useful in developing the Sector Skills Plan. The employers reflect these demands in the Annual Training Report and Workplace Skills Plan. On the other hand, the discretionary grants address and cater to the local government sector’s skill needs, according to the Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Sector Skills Plan (SSP). Discretionary grants are used for professional, vocational, technical, and academic training and are used for learnerships, apprenticeships, and internships.

How do you get a SETA Learnership?

A learnership, one of SETA’s opportunities, is an orderly learning process for acquiring academic knowledge and practical skills in the work-place. These well-organized learning processes are time-based and not outcome-based and acknowledges the need for formal learning. The time frame of learnerships varies, but the average lasts for 18 months. To get an artisan equivalent qualification, the trainee needs to finish at least four different learnerships. This suggests that the first four qualifications of the NQF levels must be completed.

Learners should meet certain criteria before starting a SETA learnership, and these include:

  • Learners could be new entrants or current employees. 
  • Learners must satisfy the entry criteria for the specific learnership they want to enroll in.
  • Learners must meet the selection requirements structured by the organization taking on the learner.

There are also particular processes requiring other learners, employers, and training providers, to follow, and these include:

  1. Employers are endorsed in their work-place and are expected to satisfy the pre-registration requirements.
  2. Training providers are accredited to provide particular learnership by the ETQA.
  3. Qualified assessors are available. They may be contracted, assessors, or in-house assessors.
  4. Companies advertise learnership opportunities through the media.
  5. Learners apply and are picked by the company’s recruitment process.
  6. A three-party learnership agreement is signed among the learner, employer, and provider.
  7. A short-term employment contract is entered into and signed between the learner and the employer, where the learner is unemployed.
  8. The learning program and process is reviewed and consented to with the training provider.
  9. Employers sponsor the learnership by grants obtained from SETA.
  10. Employers and training providers deliver the required learning and experience, working closely together to accomplish the training process.
  11. Learners are rendered support via mentoring and feedback.
  12. Learners are assessed via formative and summative assessments by qualified assessors. 
  13. The LGSETA quality assuror is invited to head the assessment. The provider must undertake internal supervision.
  14. A national qualification is awarded to the learner following the successful conclusion of the learnership.
  15. Learners receive a statement of their results for unit standards completed if learnership is not concluded.

As soon as the learnership process is completed, the employer can either sign the learner for a new learnership, engage the learner or let go of the learner for future hiring by another organization if he/she was unemployed.

In compliance with the Skills Development Act, a learnership should include the following components:

  • An organized learning component.
  • A practical work experience.
  • It must be occupation-related.
  • After finishing successfully, it must lead to a qualification.

LGSETA Qualifications

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is responsible for the registration and publication of high standard national qualifications. The comprehensive system was established to ensure quality and professional qualifications that are nationally and internationally recognized. SAQA is responsible for managing the NQF, and each SAQA unit standard has a corresponding NQF credit and level.

NQF LevelQualification
1General Education and Training Certificate: Environmental Practice
2National Certificate: Environmental Practice   National Certificate: Ward Committee Governance
3National Certificate: Local Government Support Services   National Certificate: Environmental Practice   National Certificate: Local Government Councillor Practices
4Further Education and Training Certificate: Disaster Risk Management             Further Education and Training Certificate: Leadership Development   National Certificate: Local Economic Development         Further Education and Training Certificate: Environmental Noise Practice   Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Development   Further Education and Training Certificate: Environmental Practice   Further Education and Training Certificate: Finance, Municipal & Administration 
5National Diploma: Public Finance Management and Administration   National Certificate: Local Economic Development   National Certificate: Emergency Services Supervision   National Certificate: Municipal Integrated Development Planning   National Certificate: Environmental Noise Control   Certificate: Local Government   National Certificate: Environmental Management   Higher Certificate: Local Government   National Certificate: Generic Management   National Certificate: Municipal Governance     National Certificate: Community Development 
6Certificate: Municipal Financial Management    Diploma: Local Government   National Certificate: Local Economic Development

The NQF guides the standards by which learner achievement is registered and recorded to nationally recognize acquired skills and knowledge, thereby ensuring an integrated that encourages constant learning and skill acquisition. Also, the LGSETA is an ETQA body accredited by SAQA and must therefore ensure high quality and standards by supervising training providers and ensuring they perform their duties accordingly based on the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS)

LGSETA Bursary

Sequel to the #FeesMustFall campaign in 2015 in South African tertiary institutions, the LGSETA bursary was established. All students who wish to join the local government sector are eligible to apply for this bursary, and it is awarded and renewed yearly. These students must be registered with South African public universities, universities of technology, and TVET Colleges. The bursary caters for registration, accommodation, tuition, and books.

The LGSETA focuses primarily on leadership development, environmental practice, local economic development, road traffic law enforcement, public finance management, administration, and ward committee governance. This bursary facilitates the objectives of the LGSETA by giving learners opportunities to excel in these areas of focus. 

To be eligible for the LGSETA bursary, one must be a full-time student in a South African tertiary institution and attend a public institution. The candidate must be 18-35 years of age. People living with disabilities and other disadvantaged persons are prioritized over others. To apply, an eligible candidate must continue the application process online at http://lgseta.co.za/specialProjects/bursary/. Certain documents must be submitted, and these include; a certified copy of grade 12 results or academic results; proof of registration; a certified copy of identification card; document showing highest grade and qualification achieved with results; proof of income for those who are employed or affidavit for those who are unemployed; fee structure from the institution and certified copies of parent or guardians Identification card. 

Applications with missing documents will not be accepted, and application forms must be filled. The LGSETA as a body will not be responsible for any cases of missing or undelivered forms. The body may also withdraw funding from students who have received a bursary from another organization, even after awarding the students. Students who fall into such groups are required to inform the LGSETA. There is a limited number of available bursaries every year, and the opportunity closes in March every year. After four weeks from the closing date, candidates who are not contacted should consider the possibility that their application was unsuccessful.

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