As an employer, if you submit a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and an Annual Training Report (ATR) then 20% of the levies that you’ve paid will be paid as a mandatory grant towards your company.

A Skills Development Levy (SDL) is a levy imposed to encourage learning and development in South Africa and is determined by an employer’s salary bill. The funds are paid to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and are to be used to develop and improve skills of employees.

As an employer, you’re required to pay the skills development levy every month if:

  • you’ve registered your employees with SARS for tax purposes (Pay As You Earn (PAYE)), and
  • if you pay over R500 000 a year in salaries and wages to your employees (even if they’re not registered for PAYE with SARS).

You’ll need to pay 1% of the total amount paid in salaries to employees, including the following:

  • overtime payments
  • leave pay
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • lump sum payments

The levies paid to SARS are put in a special fund and are divided in:

  • 80% is distributed to the different Sector Education and Training Authority (SETAs).
  • 20% is paid into the National Skills Fund. SETAs pay grants to employers in terms of the SETA Grant Regulations. Some of the conditions include:
  • an employer employing 50 or more employees must apply for a WSP and an ATR, and
  • that they must apply for a mandatory grant within 6 months of registration.

These grants are called mandatory grants that employers get after structuring their Work Skills Plan (WSP). After getting this grant, employers use it to train their employees. This gets paid to the employers in cash which gets transferred to their accounts and it depends on the amount that they’ve contributed as a skills levy.

The National Skills Fund supports skills development projects that don’t fall under the SETAs. The primary focus of the business is determined by analysing what approximately 60% of your employees do.

The fund enables the state to:

  • drive key skills strategies,
  • meet the training needs of the unemployed, non-levy paying cooperatives, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community structures and vulnerable groups,
  • promote strategic partnerships and innovation in project delivery,
  • drive change towards partnership-based programmes, and
  • contribute significantly to raising the low base of education and training in our country, guided by our government policies of redress, and promoting equity.

Before you can pay the skills development levy (SDL), you’ll need to register with SARS and you’ll also need to indicate which SETA you belong to when you register with SARS.

Employers who fall under more than one SETA must consider the following when deciding which one is best for their workplace based on the following:

  • composition of the workforce,
  • pay of the different workers, and
  • training needs of the different workers.

Levies are payable to SARS, which acts as a collecting agency for the applicable SETA.

It must be paid within 7 days after the end of the month during which the amount was deducted. If the last day for payment falls on a public holiday or weekend, the payment must be made on the business day before the public holiday or weekend.

The following payment methods are available:

  • eFiling
  • Electronic payments through the internet (EFT)
  • At a branch of one of the relevant approved banking institutions. Cheque payments may not exceed R50 000. This limit applies irrespective of the number of tax periods being paid or should multiple cheque payments be made.
  • At a specific SARS branch, cheque payments may not exceed R50 000. This limit applies irrespective of the number of tax periods being paid or should multiple cheque payments be made.
[Ref: https://www.nationalskillsauthority.org.za/roles-and-functions/overview/]

SETAs focus on providing skills development and training to people employed or seeking employment in their sectors. They are tasked with developing skills development plans in response to the skills needs in their sectors. 

*(which is informed by research of the sector to establish what skills are required)

Learnerships and Skills Development

Learnership is a vocational education and training programme. It combines theory and practice, culminating in a qualification that is registered with SAQA. A person who successfully completes a learnership will have a qualification that signifies occupational competence and is recognised throughout the country.

• The learnership will be for a duration of eight months,

• For unemployed learnerships it comes with a stipend of R1203 per learner per month, I have already indicated the type of entities that are eligible

• For employed learners AgriSETA pays the training grant of R19 292,00 per learner

• The certificate obtained will be anything between NQF level 1 to 4, with a minimum of 120 credits.

An apprenticeship comprises the integration of workplace and institutional learning and culminates in a national qualification.

Employers enter into a Learnership Agreement with learners and training providers. In most cases an employer will provide the practical part of the learnership, and the training and education provider will offer the theoretical part of the total programme. Some employers may be able to offer both elements of the learnership.

A Learnership agreement involves:

  • a learner,
  • an employer or a group of employers and
  • an accredited training provider.

Yes, universities and colleges can and may be involved in learnerships. AgriSETA has formed many partnerships with universities and colleges to help us implement learnerships.

The minimum duration of a Learnership is 30 weeks to a maximum of one year.

If the Learnership is successfully completed the learner will obtain a qualification that is recognised throughout the country and a certificate as proof of competence.

Will the learner be offered a job after completing the Learnership?

The employer who offers the learner workplace training does not have an obligation to offer employment. It is however proper and fitting that the responsible provider ensures and makes arrangements that unemployed learners who have been declared competent find placements:

• At the workplace or practice or with any other employer

• At their own farms (LRAD beneficiaries) or

• At their own respective areas of land

 Connect ME which links those who have newly acquired qualifications and skills in the sector with employers. You can obtain the details on our website www.agriseta.co.za

  • Unemployed people should register with the Department of Labour as a work seeker by completing the required registration form indicating their interests. The forms are available at the Labour Centres.
  • The Labour Centres will contact these people if they meet the minimum criteria for the Learnerships with a specific employer
  • Employers will be responsible for the final selection of the learner

 Employed people can contact their employers through their Human Resources Department.

• They can also speak to their Supervisors responsible for their appraisal process in the company/organisation.

• They can contact their trade union official (if available) for more information.

If the Learnership is successfully completed the learner will obtain a qualification that is recognised throughout the country and a certificate as proof of competence.

  • Learners will receive quality and relevant education and training.
  • Learners acquire competence required in the workplace.
  • Learnerships improve access to opportunities for employment.
  • Learners will have access to further learning opportunities.
  • Learners will receive a certificate of service confirming their working experience.
  • Learnerships offer an opportunity to affordable education, training, and development.

Training Provider information

The Quality Assurance department was established through the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Act (58 of 1995). The scope and functions of the Quality Assurance (QA) unit has changed with the introduction of the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO).

  • Accreditation of training providers against legacy qualifications.
  • Approval of legacy learning programmes.
  • Registration of Education, Training Development (ETD), constituent assessors and moderators.
  • Quality Assurance of learner achievements.
  • Monitoring the provision of AgriSETA constituent providers.

To date, AgriSETA has developed 15 occupational qualifications. The number will continuously increase, in line with scarce and critical skills needed within the sector.



AgriSETA will accredit constituent skills development providers on the following conditions – the must:

  • have applied for the accreditation, following the formal process, which is indicated on our website.
  • share a primary focus with AgriSETA in terms of the specific NQF registered unit standards and qualifications and.
  • have not been accredited by any other Quality Assurance body.

Application process for accreditation

The prospective Provider must provide the following supporting documents:

  • Registration of the company as a legal entity
  • Application for Accreditation
  • Submission of Quality Management System (QMS)
  • Assessor and Moderator must be registered with AgriSETA
  • For full qualifications please get letter of intent from the SETA
  • Sample of Learning Material (preferably on a CD / USB)


 The minimum is R3 339,00 per learner per month

The Discretionary Grants applications is posted on AgriSETA website and social media platforms, with all the guidelines and information, including the opening and closing date.

No, applications are sent on behalf of learners by employers in the agricultural sector. Employers include levy and non-levy payers operating in an agribusiness.

All agricultural qualifications, from SAQA recognised and higher learning institutions.


All agricultural qualifications, from SAQA recognised and higher learning institutions.

The Discretionary Grants applications is posted on AgriSETA website and social media platforms, with guidelines and all information, including the opening and closing date.

  • No, employers can apply on behalf of employees, and Institutions of higher learning and other employers in agriculture can apply on behalf of students.
  • Students must have been accepted from an institutions of higher learning before they can apply for funding.

Support to rural structures

It is a non-credit bearing mentor linked programme, aimed at supporting farmers with business management skills (all critical business functions); Governance (compliance to legislation matters) and enterprise development (various stages of enterprise/product development with particular focus on value chain analysis up to the marketing phase)

The Discretionary Grants applications is posted on AgriSETA website and social media platforms.

Note: The training must be linked to a beneficiary organisation as per list provided at the time of Discretionary Grants applications


Applications are done through UMALUSI or Western Cape Department of Education for further enquiry stakeholders can be referred to AgriSETA AET officer.

Important Note:

AgriSETA only funds skills development (Training) to increase farming knowledge. AgriSETA is one of the twenty-one “Sector Education Training Authorities” established to deliver on the mandate of skills development (Act No. 97 of 1998). Therefore, we do not provide business start-up grants. We only fund agricultural businesses in operation. Over and above our service is a value add to close skills that are lacking to improve business.

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