Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) visits the KwaZulu Natal Provincial HRDC


Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) visits the KwaZulu Natal Provincial HRDC

Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) visits the KwaZulu Natal Provincial HRDC

11 April 2022

On 11 April 2022, the HRDC visited the Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial HRDC. This was the fourth visit of this nature where Council seeks to understand the functioning of Provincial councils. The other three provinces which were visited are the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Limpopo. In KZN, the HRDC was represented by Mr Sanele Mlotshwa, the chairperson of the South African College Principals Organisation, from Majuba TVET College and Dr Janine Hicks, a lecturer at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Both Mr Mlotshwa and Dr Hicks are members of the HRDC EXCO. The KZN Council was represented by EXCO members, the Head of the Provincial HRDC Secretariat, Champions of the 5 programmes of the HRD Strategy and other key social partners.

The HRDC Secretariat was led by the Head of Secretariat Mr Maliviwe Lumka. The consultation was chaired by the KZN EXCO member, Mr Xolani Dubazane.

Mr Mlotshwa presented the purpose of the visit and explained why the Council had an interest in the work of provincial Councils. He explained that it was only with alignment that the work and impact of Council would make sense and gain recognition. Dr Hicks went on to explain what the current priorities of the HRDC for the next 5 years to 2024 are and reiterated the importance of the HRDC understanding the work of provincial Councils and their challenges.

The issue of stakeholder representation in the HRDC was discussed at length in relation to the current makeup of Council. 

The provincial coordinating forum is where the HRDC checks provincial collaboration, projects, reporting and functioning. It is clear that different provinces have different structural arrangements but what is critical is that all provinces must implement the HRD Strategy programmes. All provincial programmes link to the 5 programmes; Programme 1: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Languages and Life Orientation, Programme 2: TVET and the rest of college system, Programme 3: Higher Education and Training, Research and Innovation, Programme 4: Skills for the transformed society and economy and Programme 5: Developmental/Capable state of the HRD Strategy and the approved priorities for the current term of Council which ends in 2024.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been one of the critical focus areas of the KZN province. The province was commended on their recent ECD Indaba, which they hosted to bring together all key role players in the province to understand where the blockages were and come up with solutions on how they should be addressed. ECD is part of programme one of the HRD Strategy which addresses issues related to foundation education and training. 

KZN Presentation

The KZN Provincial HRDC structure consists of the Plenary, EXCO (includes champions of the priorities of Council), Standing Committees and Ad hoc committees. It operates from the office of the Premier. Like the national structures, it is chaired by the Premier. The Director-General of the province is the Head of Secretariat.

The current KZN HRD priorities are:

• Early Childhood Development
• Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics
• Worker Education
• Capacity of the State

Additionally: Establishment of a dedicated team to develop a programme to build a ‘Model citizen‘. The programme is called the KZN Civil Education Community Mobilasation. Its purpose is to build a Model Citizen through education and mobilization of KZN citizens thus enabling them to engage effectively, heal the wounds of the past and take responsible actions towards their own development while thriving for equal and harmonious coexistence and it was established by the provincial Council as a response to the mass unrest that took place in June 2020.

The key strength of the provincial council was the strong working relationship with national secretariat which meant that when support was required it was always available. This also meant that when the province formed its structures, it was able to closely align with the national Council which made reporting and implementation of key initiatives much more effective.

Some of the highlighted weaknesses of the provincial structures were in reporting, specifically obtaining data from the various implementers, and under-reporting on key projects. This was the case with almost all the provinces visited.

Achievements of the KZN Provincial Council

• Fees must fall campaign – The province had successfully implemented interventions that curbed the violent and potentially deadly protests on university campuses;
• Lobby big business to support skills development programmes for example, Artisan Development Programmes and Work Integrated Learning;
• Formal partnerships agreements entered into between provincial government and institutions of higher learning which focused on:
Lobbying for the design of responsive curricular and skills programmes to support skills demand and entrepreneurship;
Conducting labour market research;
Convening dialogue and stakeholder engagements on human resource development-related issues;

• Mass skills development targeting unemployed youth (E.G artisan development programmes)

The province hastened to remind delegates that the strength of any Council depended on the type of support provided by its Secretariat and the KZN Council was at a disadvantage with only two staff members making up the secretariat. In all other aspects the provincial imperatives were closely aligned with those of the national Council. What became evident after four provincial visits, was that there is value in provinces working closely together and that there were pockets of excellence that needed to be rolled out to achieve successful implementation of the HRD Strategy at the provincial levels.

The next province to be visited is the Free State on 5 May 2022.

For copies of the KZN Presentation please contact Ms Makkie Nthite at Ndinaye House 012 943 3182. All other related enquiries can be directed to Sydney Mhlongo at 012 943 3186

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