The Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDC) is a national, multi-stakeholder advisory body chaired by the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa. It is managed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training. The HRDC was established in March 2010 to facilitate conditions that promote the optimal participation of all stakeholders in the planning, stewardship, monitoring and evaluation of HRD activities in the country. Membership is based on a five-year term and is constituted by a number of Government Ministers, senior business leaders, representatives from organised labour and academia as well as civil society who serve on the HRD Council. One of the Council’s key responsibilities is to build the human resource development base required to ensure a prosperous and inclusive South African society and economy, focusing on the development of strategy. Council creates a platform where social partners can engage to find ways to address bottlenecks in the development of human resources and skills in South Africa. In essence, it must ensure that all relevant policies, programmes, projects, interventions and strategies are streamlined and optimised to support overall government objectives rather than merely sectoral imperatives.
Structure of the HRDC
Plenary is chaired by the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, with two deputy chairpersons. The first deputy chairperson is appointed by the Deputy President at the inaugural meeting of the Plenary of Council. He/She automatically will also chair the Executive Committee (EXCO). The second deputy chairperson is selected through a process whereby Council members submit names to the Secretariat for consideration by the Deputy President within 30 days of the inaugural meeting of the Plenary of Council. The Deputy President announces the appointment of the second deputy chair at the plenary meeting of the Council following its inaugural meeting. Government, civil society sectors, organised business, professional bodies, higher education institutions, research communities, co-opted members and organised labour are represented in the HRDC.
Champions are respected people from any constituency of HRD Council who have influence, with social standing and have the ability to create buy in for the work of HRD Council. The Champions can also be members of HRD Council. Champions are nominated by HRD Council in line with their field of expertise to become champions of individual strategic objectives of the HRD Strategy.
The Champion should understand the work area and be able to explain the challenges and how they will be addressed. The Champion are a link between HRD Council, Standing Committees and external stakeholders relevant to their work area and represent the interest of their specific priority area in Council
The Champions sit in all meetings of Council and EXCO
The EXCO: The EXCO includes the chairperson (who is the first deputy chairperson of the Council) and 11 other members nominated by the Council. The primary function of EXCO is to oversee and monitor the execution of Council decisions. The EXCO reports to and is directly accountable to the Plenary. The EXCO includes Champions, who are members of Council and will act as a link between Council, Standing Committees and external stakeholders relevant to their work area. The EXCO could also include champions who are respected people from any constituency of Council who have influence, with social standing and have the ability to create buy in to the work of Council. The EXCO also includes a full-time coordinator and scribe from the Secretariat.
Standing Committees (SCs): SCs are committees established by Council based on current priorities as set out in the strategy or when identified blockages emerge then the Council will establish a SC. The SCs are accountable to the EXCO and therefore, the members are recommended to Council by the EXCO. Their composition depends on the nature and scope of the work that the EXCO and/or the Secretariat task them to undertake.
The SCs include at least a chairperson (who may not be a member of Council); a champion who is nominated by Council and is a Council member, a coordinator who may or may not be a member of Council but must be employed by the government department/entity that is most relevant to the work of the SC and members who are senior representatives from the various constituencies and have the right skills. The EXCO ratifies the work of the SCs before being tabled at Council for endorsement. The timeframes for implementation of the SCs work are defined and determined by Council.
The SCs can assist and support the Secretariat in research, communications and monitoring and evaluation role. The SCs provide expert advice and carry out the decisions of Council on education, training and skills development; research, monitoring and surveillance of job/labour market trends; communications; and any other area as directed by the EXCO through the Secretariat or vice versa. In terms of its role, the SCs, among other things, provide advice and strategic support to the EXCO and develop work-plans for implementation of their briefs which specify short and medium term outputs. To do this, they conduct necessary research and investigations relating to the priority area of Council and make recommendations to the EXCO regarding the implementation of human resource development on key issues identified by members of the SC and/or as directed by the EXCO. SCs require the buy-in and commitment from relevant stakeholders and alignment with relevant lead departmental plans and should focus on addressing any delays which cannot be resolved by the lead department on its own.
Established In July 2011, the Provincial Coordinating Forum aims to ensure the coordination, alignment and integration of the human resource development principles with the Provincial Growth and Development Plans (PGDP). The main area of focus is on human resource and skills development and Local Economic Development Plans. This forum has encouraged provinces to form their own HRD Provincial Councils in the Premiers offices to tackle their unique challenges. Stipulations of the Human Resource Development Strategy ensure quarterly progress reports of urgent provincial HRD goals. These reports serve as valuable information for gaining broader insight and understanding into human resource and skills development across South Africa.
PHRDCs: The HRDC’s formal relationships with provincial Human Resource Development Councils shall be decided by the Plenary in consultation with these Councils.
Carries out its strategic, technical, administrative and logistical functions as directed by the Plenary. It provides strategic, technical, administrative and logistic support to the Council and its structures. It assumes responsibility for, among other aspects, management of the multi-sectoral response to human resource development matters and of the allocated funds to fulfil HRDC’s functions in terms of the multi-sectoral HRD implementation plan.