Note: Skills Development Levies: Contestation and Court Challenges

Author Dawn Norton

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: Director of Employment Law at Mkhabela Huntley Attorneys; BA (Hons), LLB, LLM (Witwatersrand)
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 43 Issue 1, 2022, p. 63 – 73


The Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 aims to develop labour force skills through a skills levy on employers. Under the Department of Labour, employers received a proportion of the levy as a mandatory training grant. This proportion decreased substantially in 2009 when the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) took charge of skills development. It leveraged the funds for projects primarily in the post schooling/tertiary sector, negatively affecting labour force skills development. The DHET ignored a Labour Appeal Court decision in 2019 declaring the relevant regulations invalid and irrational. This note argues that the skills development levy has been impermissibly appropriated by the DHET for a purpose outside the parameters originally established by the legislature.