WSLM hosts a two-day Provincial Skills Development Forum event

Story: Katleho Sesoane | Photo: Samkelo Fetile

The Island Spa Conference Centre, located in Walter Sisulu Local Municipality (WSLM), recently hosted a significant two-day Provincial Skills Development Forum event. Ntombekhaya Mazaleni, the Skills Development Facilitator within WSLM, expressed gratitude for the municipality's opportunity to host such an esteemed event, stating, "It is an honor and privilege for the municipality to host such a prestigious event. I hope that the resolutions taken during the forum will be implemented to ensure better cohesion between municipalities and TVET colleges in our province."

The forum opened with remarks from Her Excellency, Mayor Cllr. Vania Davids of WSLM, emphasizing the need for improved collaboration and cooperation among governmental sectors to address the skills-related challenges faced by South African municipalities. Mayor Davids encouraged guests from various parts of the province, stating, "I welcome all our guests to Walter Sisulu Local Municipality. You are among friends, and we hope you feel at home during the two-day forum."

Synopsis of the two-day forum

The first day focused on reflecting on the previous Development Forum and planning for the year ahead. Representatives from Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) highlighted its primary interest in assisting municipalities in building competent institutions and a vibrant workforce equipped with necessary skills to enhance competency and productivity in the workplace. Various challenges, particularly concerning funding, were cited by stakeholders present at the forum. Efforts were made to explore ways to engage stakeholders in partnerships with the municipality to ensure consistent funding for students undergoing in-service training within municipalities.

The second day commenced with lighter discussions after addressing critical issues on the first day. However, stakeholders continued to engage in fruitful deliberations. Representatives from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), entrusted with oversight functions in local government by the constitution, shared information about various programs applied for from LGSETA. SALGA also circulated learner agreement forms to several municipalities for fully funded programs. This initiative is expected to significantly assist municipalities in bolstering their human resources by integrating a new cohort of interns funded by LGSETA programs into their workforce.

The forum concluded on a positive note, with the majority of stakeholders expressing satisfaction with the progressive and fruitful engagements. The next forum is scheduled to take place on 23 and 24 May 2024, continuing the collaborative efforts aimed at addressing skills development challenges in South African municipalities.