Most companies fail to meet training levy deadline
By Reneé Grawitzky and Linda Ensor, in Business Day
8 March 2000
THOUSANDS of employers who are required to pay a training levy of 0,5%
of their payrolls have failed to meet the deadline to register for the
payments with the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
The SARS said yesterday there had been a poor response to the
220000 application forms distributed to employers who were supposed to
have registered this week. They are required to register in terms of
the Skills Development Act.
At the same time it has emerged that employers may reap the
benefits and receive their grants back from sector education and
training authorities only six months after the establishment of these
Industry sources said employers should be made aware of the
possible delay and the reasons for this as the successful
implementation of the act depended largely on efficient disbursement
of grants during the first year.
These bodies are supposed to be up and running by next month
when the training levies come into effect. However, some employers and
unionists are concerned that the time frames laid down by the law are
Labour department chief director Adrienne Bird said during a
briefing to the parliamentary portfolio committee on labour yesterday
that everything was in place for the implementation of the act and 25
authorities covering each sector of the economy would be established
Trainers said it had been acknowledged that it might take time
for the bodies to carry out their main functions. Financial systems
had to be in place to disburse monies back to employers. The
authorities also had to be able to receive, evaluate and approve
workplace skills plans before allocating grants, they said.
Employers will be required to pay an initial 0,5% of their
total payroll for skills training from April 1 and 1% from the
beginning of next year. The first levies should be paid to the SARS by
May 7. Labour director-general Rams Ramashia said yesterday that his
department would concentrate its efforts on policy implementation and
improved service delivery this year.
Of the department's R748,3m budget for 2000/01 - a 5,2%
increase over this year's expenditure - 20,7% would be spent on
administration, 4,9% on health and safety, 2,9% on social insurance,
36,7% on employment and skills development services, 28,5% on labour
relations, 4,5% on labour market policy and 2% on auxiliary items.
Ramashia noted that R285,6m of the department's budget would
go to statutory bodies.