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Q.4. OTHER PROGRAMMES
• Channelling information from National Government to lo-
cal service providers : This is to improve awareness among service
providers and businesses of the full range of service provided by the
• Supporting and leveraging private-sector-support delivery:
Public programmes need to recognise that private service providers
are playing a major role in providing business-development services
and should look at supporting and leverage this rather than replacing
• Building public private partnerships: Public-private partner-
ships can play a key role in addressing some of the gaps in pri-
vate business-development service provision and at the same time can
avoid the traditional failings associated with public-service delivery.
Within this context, the third paper developed concrete proposals for how
the PGWC can support small-enterprise development in the Western Cape.
Six core programmes were identiﬁed. The details of these are provided in
the third paper. These programmes focus on three aspects: 1) education,
which is seen as the key long-term policy lever to raise overall rates of en-
trepreneurial activity, 2) information, which is seen as vital in ensuring that
people know whether they should and if so how they can start a business
and 3) support provided by private-sector service providers.
The six programmes identiﬁed are:
• Education for entrepreneurship – increasing the supply of entrepreneurs.
• Information for small businesses – information on starting and run-
ning small businesses.
• Information for small businesses – network of information access points
for small businesses.
• Business-development service provision – developing industry and
area-based networks of business-development services.
• Industry-based small-business support – industry-based programmes
to support small businesses.
APPENDIX Q. SMMES
• Financial support – ﬁnancial support for small businesses.
Report Prepared by:
A fundamental premise of the HSRC’s work is that at this stage of its
economic development the Western Cape (like South Africa) requires an
approach to human-resource development (HRD) that is multi-faceted and
applicable across the full hierarchy of skill levels.
Because of the huge
scope of the HRD sector and the ﬁnancial constraints that inevitably exist,
by agreement with the Department of Economic Development, the HSRC
focused on three topics:
• public schooling;
• intermediate skills; and
• higher education in a regional innovation system
APPENDIX R. HRD CHALLENGES
Public schooling as the underpinning infras-
tructure for skills
Relative to national trends the public-schooling system in the Western Cape
is performing well. The total number of students has grown over the past
decade; there is virtually universal access to schooling for children between
the ages of seven and 14, in various surveys the Western Cape scores well
above the national average in terms of numeracy, literacy and life skills,
and in recent years the Province has achieved the highest pass rate in the
grade 12 examination.
This apparently favourable performance is however deceptive. Firstly,
South Africa has one of the lowest levels of skills development for a country
of its income per head and, concomitantly, one of the poorest performing
education and training sectors (these statements are stronger than those
made in the HSRC report).
Secondly, there are critical disparities in performance across the popu-
lation, with the key determinants being race and poverty (which are them-
selves correlated). Thus, for instance, black African children tend to start
attending school later than their coloured and white counterparts. They are
more likely to fail or repeat grades and also to remain in primary school long
past the age when their counterparts move on to secondary school. Simi-
larly, even in those national surveys where the Province comes out well, the
marks in the schools in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas reveal
a desperate situation. In the same vein, black Africans tend to remain in
secondary school long past the age when coloured and white students have
left, though there is a very high drop-out rate among coloured students.
Third, a distinctive feature of secondary schooling in the Province is
a sizeable drop in student enrolment after grade 10. Only some 50% of
pupils who enrol in Grade 1 reach Grade 12, and the trend over time may
In response to these problems, the HSRC see the principal challenges
facing the Province’s public schools, which are in eﬀect the bedrock of the
public-education system, as comprising the urgent need to improve the com-
pletion and retention rates among particular groups, along with enhancing
the general level of education, notably in mathematics and languages, of
the workforce as a whole.
R.2. PROMOTING INTERMEDIATE SKILLING
Promoting intermediate skilling
The HSRC place special emphasis on the role of jobs that demand “in-
termediate skills” to modernise and deracialise the labour market. These
skills require post-GET (general education and training) certiﬁcates but
fall short of tertiary-level qualiﬁcations. They see the supply of such skills
as coming from well-educated school leavers, including those with Grade
12, and from an upgrading of the existing workforce.
The public FET sector in the Western Cape comprises six new multi-
site colleges formed out of the recent rationalisation of the sector nationally.
As with public schooling, the Province performs well in national terms –
there is a steady growth in student numbers, through-put and pass rates
are the highest nationally. In addition, it is in sound ﬁnancial shape, has a
diverse range of successful partnerships, and there is a small but growing
portfolio of learnerships.
At the same time major challenges remain here as well. These include
the very low participation of black Africans (only 27% of students are from
this group, compared with a national average of 73%) and a recent drop
in the participation of coloureds. Females, while still making up a higher
proportion than in the country as a whole, account for only 40% of the
student body, and the numbers have recently dropped. There are signiﬁcant
diﬀerences in the demographic make-up among the six institutions, as well
as in various performance measures. And while an encouraging start has
been made, the 1 800 learnerships reported in early 2004 would seem to fall
far short of the Province’s contribution to the national target of 80 000 set
Technikons have also played a key role in the provision of intermediate
skills at the post-school, pre-degree level. Their main target group is school
leavers with a grade 12 certiﬁcate but not an exemption.
With the move from advanced colleges of technology to technikons and
now to universities of technology, there has nationally been an upward aca-
demic drift in the courses oﬀered by these institutions. This drift has not
as yet been as marked in the Western Cape as might have been expected
and the two Technikons, recently merged to form the new Cape Peninsula
University of Technology, remain an important player at the top end of
the intermediate skills range (the so-called “national diploma”). However,
the likelihood is that the merged institution will follow the national trend,
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