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Unisa's Dr Maria Marinkie Madiope appointed as Chairperson: Services SETA

The Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Naledi Pandor appointed Dr Maria Marinkie Madiope as the Chairperson of Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SERVICES SETA) Accounting Authority with effect from 1 April 2018 to 21 March 2020.

Dr Madiope has served as the Director for Teaching and Learning at the University of South Africa (Unisa) College of Education since 2015 and is also the Chairperson of the Unisa Women’s Forum. Under her leadership as director, Dr Madiope transformed and led a team of 45 education consultants with a very high level of integrity. She played a role in driving the College towards a transformative curriculum where several curriculum transformation documents were drafted through her leadership, e.g. blended learning guidelines, active learning guidelines, etc. Dr Madiope also managed one of the African Languages projects where approximately 16 modules were translated into African languages to serve across the Colleges. 

In October 2017 Dr Madiope received an invitation to participate in the meeting of experts for the drafting of the African Union’s (AU) Project: The Africa Virtual and E-University aims to address the AU Agenda 2063 needs for acceleration of development of human capital, science, technology and innovation through increasing access to tertiary education in Africa.

Her appointment came as the country mourns the passing of Ms Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela- Mandela, one of the struggle icons who advocated not only the liberation struggle, but also the rights of women in the country.

The Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Services SETA) was established in terms of the Skills Development Act of 1998 and is responsible for the disbursement of the training levies payable by all employers. The levies are collected by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) via the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and are to be disbursed through a management system motivated by skills requirement assessment and monitoring.

The Services SETA ensures that the skill requirements of the services sector are identified and that adequate and appropriate skills are readily available. Services SETA contributes to the improvement of sector skills through achieving favourable balance between demand and supply, and ensures that education and training is:

  • Provided subject to validation and quality assurance;
  • Meets agreed standards within a national framework;
  • Ensures that new entrants to the labour market are adequately trained, and;
  • Acknowledges and enhances the skills of the current work force.

“The University of South Africa would like to congratulate Dr Madiope on her new appointment and we trust in her ability to take the country forward with regards to skills development and training,” said Prof Mandla Makhanya, Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

What will your duties as Chairperson of the SERVICES SETA entail?

I will serve as the chairperson of the Accounting Authority of the Services Seta. As Chairperson, the buck stops with me in so far as enduring that Accounting Authority governs and manages the SEVICES SETA in accordance with the PFMA all other  applicable legislation. I have to see to it that the Accounting Authority, achieves the goals, objectives and targets in accordance with the National Skills Development.  I also have to ensure that the Accounting Authority provides effective leadership and to ensure that the SERVICES SETA implements the goals of the NSDS and the Performance Agreement with the Minister. As Chairperson, I also have to ensure that the Accounting Authority provides a strategic direction for the SETA and liaises with all the relevant stakeholders, Furthermore I have to see to it that the Accounting Authority ensures that the SERVICES SETA complies with the relevant statutory requirements and the requirements of the constitution; manage institutional risk and monitor the performance of the SERVICES SETA;

Last but not least, I have to ensure that members of the Accounting Authority and the members of the committees established by it, comply with the Code of Conduct set out by the Minister of Higher Education.

What are your plans for the SERVICES SETA? How do you see yourself adding value in this sector?

I have many plans that I would first have to share with the members of the Accounting Authority. My plans are underpinned by renewal and reinvention of the mandate, deliverables, targets, goals and objectives. There may be a need to review the strategic plan and align it more closely with the transformation agenda of government in order to broaden access for work opportunities and skills development and skills enhancement within the Services industry in our country. Coupled with this, there is an urgent need to fast track entrepreneurship within the services industry to broaden access to historically disadvantaged communities into the formal sector of our economy. This includes able bodies, persons with disabilities, youth, woman and the like.

I believe I have lots to offer drawing from my experience in strategic management, skills development and training background, curriculum design and development background, woman and transformation strategist; operational management, ICT training and development; programme design and evaluation and so forth.

Any other thoughts you would like to convey Unisans about this new opportunity?

There is no doubt that my appointment as Chairperson speaks volumes on behalf of all Unisans. That Unisa has in its midst strong, energetic woman that are capable of leading and managing organisations thereby promoting skills development within our country and beyond its borders. At this stage, I would also like to convey my sincere thanks to all Unisan’s for having groomed me, skilled me and providing me with a multitude of opportunities so that I can seamlessly and confidently  enter any workspace and give off my best

Thank you Unisan’s. I will make you proud