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B-BBEE Empowerment Services
Skills Development

Skills Development in South Africa

In terms of the B-BBEE Codes and Scorecard, Skills Development is identified as a “priority element” and 40% of the targets set out in the Skills Development Element must be achieved to score points. If the measured entity fails to comply, it will be discounted one level from the level achieved across all five elements.

The Skills Development Scorecard allocates points for:

  • Skills Development spend on learning programmes for black people in general and black employees with disabilities;
  • bursaries for black students at Higher Education institutions.
  • learnerships, internships, and apprenticeships for black people;
  • the absorption of black people into the workforce of the measured company or into the industry at the end of the learnership, internship, and apprenticeship programmes.

The Skills Development Scorecard constitutes 25 points towards the BEE Scorecard. Generic companies (companies with an annual turnover of more than R50 million) need to spend 6% of their payroll (leviable amount) on BEE Skills Development.


There are other advantages to Skills Development besides B-BBEE points:

Mandatory and Discretionary Grants
All employers who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for PAYE and have an annual payroll in excess of R500 000 must pay 1% of their payroll as a Skills Development Levy and register with a relevant SETA.

SETA submissions will open on an annual basis, and employers will be required to report their Workplace Skills Plan ((WSP) – scheduled training for the year) and their Annual Training Report ((ATR) – training that has already happened in the previous year).

If an employer’s application is approved, the relevant SETA will reimburse up to 20% of the expenditure in the form of a Mandatory Grant. Mandatory Grants are paid out quarterly, and any Mandatory Grants that are not claimed are transferred to the SETA’s Discretionary Fund.

Employers can claim back between 40% and 60% of their training costs through Discretionary Grants, which are paid out at the discretion of SETA management for Skills Development projects related to scarce and essential skills. Before any training or other activity related to the Skills Development project can begin, applications for Discretionary Grants must be submitted and approved.


S12H Deductions: Tax Benefits Related to Learnerships
This deduction is provided to the employer based on the learner’s NQF level and whether or not they are disabled. This deduction is made up of an Annual Allowance and a Completion Allowance for learnerships that began after September 30, 2016, but before April 1, 2022.NQF Level 1 to 6

  • The Annual Allowance is R40 000 for the entire 12 months, but it is divided by the number of months the learnership was in effect during the assessment year.
  • Upon successful completion, the Completion Allowance, in addition to the Annual Allowance, is R40 000 multiplied by the 12-month periods the learnership lasted. There is no apportionment of these 12-month periods.
  • For disabled learners, the Annual allowance is R60 000, the Completion allowance is R60 000 and calculated in the same way as above.
NQF Level 7 to 10
  • The Annual Allowance is R20 000 and the Completion allowance is R20 000.
  • The Annual Allowance for disabled learners is R50 000, and the completion fee is also R50 000.
If the SETA has not yet submitted an IT180, the tax authority may request proof of completion from the relevant SETA or the training provider in addition to the IT180. The training provider may be expected to submit SETA accreditation, learnership registration with the SETA, and a declaration of performance or similar documents in order to assert these allowances.


Contact us on 016 004 0141 or admin@beeempowermentservices.co.za
for assistance and guidance on Learnerships and Skills Development.