n Journal of Public Administration - Improving the fit : making the Skills Development Levies Act work better in South African national government departments

Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article presents a case study of how the Skills Development Levies Act (SDLA) of 1999 (RSA, 1999) was implemented to drive skills development and training in both public and the private sectors. The authors argue that the skills development levy policy did not afford an optimal fit with the public sector organisational environment. Unintentional consequences of this policy have hampered generation of data, restricted planning, monitoring and evaluation activities, as well as impeded effective government-wide coordination of training. This contributes to financial, information and administrative gaps in skills planning. The literature observes how implementation failure can result when actions such as: mobilisation of the necessary resources, enhancing the legitimacy of the policy and emphasising monitoring of progress are not followed. We observe how government elected not to amend or replace the policy, opting rather to intervene by: implementing a standardised national human resources data system, linking human resources data to financial data for analysing costs and benefits of training, making more financial resources available to the Public Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) and emphasising monitoring and evaluation in government formations. These changes have potential to improve the policy fit and support better skills planning within the framework of the SDLA.

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