Challenges facing Skills Development in South Africa

Challenges facing skills development in South Africa is a real crisis.  Research done by the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch shows that Skills development facilitators (SDFs) aren’t the only reason for the challenges facing skills development in South Africa.

The challenges to skills development in municipalities fall under the following:

 The Knowledge of ethical values

From the responses received from respondent groups, in general, do not acknowledge ethical values that support skills development as a key element of Human Resources Development policies and strategies. There are values put in place but are not adhered to by staff and HR department.

Lack of awareness and policy of Human Resources

Employees lack awareness of the Human Resources policies at municipalities – even though the environment of these policies is strong.  The Human Resources Department was shown to have a strong knowledge of the Integrated Development Plan but the staff showed no awareness.  There is a lack of employment equity and performance management.  Within municipalities, there is lack of addressing the assessment process of learners – whether it be formal or informal skills development options.

Lack of Skills Development by Municipalities

Skills development is poorly practiced within municipality environment.  Skills audits and analysis are poorly conducted.  When skills audits are done, skills development interventions aren’t matched with these audits.  Formal and informal approaches to skills development are not applied, with a general lack of opportunities employees once skills development is implemented.

Lack of departmental skills plans

Skills development planning and implementation includes a consensus that clearly states skills development is a shared responsibility between HRD, line managers and staff.  There is a concern about the lack of departmental skills plans and the supervision by managers.

Lack of stakeholder support

Senior managers and local trade unions were considered but not implemented.  Responses were negative as there was lack of support from senior management in skills development programmes. It was noted that there is a lack of skills development support by trade unions – the LGSETA and SALGA.