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International Leadership Development Programme

The objective of the International Leadership Development Programme is to increase the talent pipeline of highly promotable, historically disadvantaged leaders within the Wholesale and Retail Sector who have been earmarked for senior or executive positions in their companies. The ILDP exposes delegates to best practice in wholesale and retail locally and internationally. Delegates also have the opportunity to interact with global thought leaders.

348 senior executives have benefitted from the Programme since its inception in 2009 and are making remarkable strides in advancing the Wholesale and Retail Sector.

Since 2009, the ILDP has been instrumental in the promotion of over 150 delegates with several being allocated additional responsibilities in their portfolios. Delegates have been promoted to positions of directors, general managers, executives, managing directors, chief financial officers, and have been appointed to the Executive Committees of retail companies. Some of the delegates have pursued entrepreneurial opportunities starting their own businesses which are contributing to the growth of the country.

The W&RSETA has selected 58 delegates for the 2019 ILDP who have been registered with Regenesys Business School for the year-long programme at a cost of R 23 million. The 2019 Programme will include a study tour to the United States of America, Russia, India, China and Ghana for the international immersions.

Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP)

The inaugural Wholesale and Retail SETA Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) was launched in 2012 as a response to the skills gaps within the current middle management complement within the Sector and create a pool of skilled middle managers. The Programme equips delegates with prerequisite skills to become effective managers. RMDP graduates have the opportunity to further their learning with a career path into the ILDP.

The Retail MDP also seeks to create an avenue for retail management development for prospective retail managers. The Sector Skills Plan has identified retail management development as a key requirement which is attributed to the relatively low skills requirement to enter the Sector as many retail managers are developed within the business.

Since its inception, 1738 delegates have successfully completed the Programme. The W&RSETA has registered 400 delegates for the 2018/19 RMDP which will be implemented at a budget of R 18 million. The Programme will be delivered in partnership with Henley Business School Africa.

Rural and Cooperative Development Registered Co-operatives Project

The W&RSETA has allocated R3.7 million to capacitate 20 co-operatives nationally at both rural and urban areas to receive training on skills programmes that they have identified to address skills gaps within their co-operatives. Over 220 members from 20 co-operatives will be trained on credit bearing skills. The project commenced in March 2019 and will be completed in March 2020.

Rural Learnerships and Green Skills Project

The Rural Areas Learnership projects contribute towards addressing the high rate of unemployment among the youth in the rural communities of South Africa. The purpose of the project is to equip the youth with entrepreneurial skills in small business management in the retail environment in order to implement their skills in various businesses and ultimately to establish formalised businesses.

In the 2019/20 financial year, 261 learners completed learnerships from the W&RSETA’s Rural Learnerships and Green Skills for Jobs project in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform. The project was implemented in Limpopo

Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) / Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs)

The W&RSETA has allocated R1 million to assist 100 members from 100 NGOs/NPOs, to help enable these organisations to acquire skills in foundational and occupational management, as well as in planning within a work environment in order to improve their operations and contribute to the personal development of the employees. These skills will be delivered through wholesale and retail accredited unit standards.

Mhinga Village Project III

In support of the agenda on rural development, the W&RSETA implemented the Mhinga III project to benefit young people of the rural village of Ka-Mhinga in Malamulele, Limpopo, with a budget of R6,3 million.

124 young people from Ka-Mhinga and surrounding villages have completed the National: Certificate in Wholesale and Retail Operations – Supervision NQF Level 4 qualification. The training was facilitated by Retail Related and the learners were placed at various stores within The Foschini Group around Malamulele, Polokwane, Tzaneen and Giyani areas.


In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call at the 2018 Job Summit for employers to provide one million internship opportunities, the W&RSETA has allocated R 12 million to contribution to this initiative. The SETA committed to fund internship programmes up to 18 months for 250 TVET college students in the 2018/19 financial year. The interns will be placed within the Wholesale and Retail Sector to acquire practical skills that will prepare them for the workplace. The programme commenced in December 2018 and 155 students have been placed within wholesale and retail companies.

Accreditation of W&RSETA Rural Training Providers

One of the challenges in the provision of training is the high cost of conducting training in the rural areas. The W&RSETA seeks to respond to this challenge by capacitating training providers based in rural communities to provide training within their areas. In the 2019/20 Financial Year the SETA will train four training providers in the Northern Cape will be assisted to obtain accreditation with the W&RSETA. Subsequently the W&RSETA will facilitate their registration with the DHET as private providers.


The SETA is cognisant of the varying skills development needs of the Provinces and implements projects that address the specific needs. The Grant Regulations regarding monies received by a SETA and other related matters make provision for SETAs to allocate funding through Discretionary Grants towards Professional, Vocational, Technical and Academic Learning (PIVOTAL) programmes.

The W&RSETA has allocated R839m to benefit 31300 employed and unemployed learners through learnerships, skills programmes, RPL, artisan learnerships and Adult Education and Training.

SME Discretionary Grant

The purpose of the SME Discretionary Grant is to provide funding for small and medium levy-paying companies to benefit from skills development intervention and to increase the pool of participating SMEs in the W&RSETA programmes.

The W&RSETA will provide up to R18000 to 3500 levy paying small companies for training through SME Discretionary Grant

The Retail Chair

The W&RSETA established the first Wholesale and Retail Leadership Chair at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in 2012. The objective of the Retail Leadership Chair is to contribute towards research and the development of W&R qualifications from NQF 5 -10 through collaboration between the Sector, labour and institutions of higher learning. The collaboration between the key role players will ensure a pool with suitably qualified and experienced entrants for the Sector and that the skills levels of the current workforce are improved. The Chair of Retail also provides support to the post-graduate students.

Durban University of Technology (DUT) has been appointed as the second Retail Chair for two years at a budget of R8 million.

Post Graduate Research Bursaries

Subsequent to the establishment of the W&RSETA Retail Chair and the allocation of bursaries to Masters and Doctoral students, the demand for bursaries for these high level programmes has increased dramatically. This has resulted in the W&RSETA allocating funds to assist employees from wholesale and retail companies to pursue post graduate studies in research.

The programme provides financial assistance to qualifying individuals to further their studies in Masters or Doctoral degree qualification. The beneficiaries are recruited from wholesale and retail companies that will in turn be required to allow their workplaces to be subject for research by the beneficiaries. Since inception, 46 MBA and 16 PHD bursaries were awarded. During the year under review, the SETA allocated R 6,9 million to fund 25 employed students to pursue their MBA/Master’s/Doctoral qualifications. The funding will be provided to the students over a two-year period up to March 2020.

Bursary Scheme

To address the skills shortages identified in the Sector Skills Plan, the W&RSETA established a Bursary Scheme in 2011. The Scheme is aimed at providing financial assistance to needy students to study wholesale and retail qualifications. The bursary scheme is open to learners who want to study any of the retail related qualifications at a recognised university, universities of technology and TVET College in South Africa.

The Bursary Scheme assists the Sector by providing a pool of potential employees with scarce and critical skills, thus narrowing the gap between supply and demand. It further promotes and positions wholesale and retail as a career of choice.

Since 2011, R415 million in bursaries have been allocated to over 12 000 students at universities and TVET colleges, the number include bursaries funded through Discretionary and PIVOTAL grants.

2742 new students have been funded during the 2018/19 financial year. 599 students have completed their studies which include students who have been funded for the duration of their qualifications. The W&RSETA is currently funding 5221 continuing students accumulative from the year 2015/16.

Graduate Placement and Internship project

The W&RSETA is cognisant of the plight of unemployed graduates which is largely attributed to the skills mismatch of the graduates and the needs of industry. To this end, the W&RSETA has garnered the support of the Wholesale and Retail Sector to implement graduate placement and internship programmes to ensure that students obtain the necessary work experience to prepare them for the world of work.

During the 2018/19 financial year a budget of R 212 m has been allocated to benefit about 5000 HET and TVET graduates who will be placement in wholesale and retail companies through the Graduate Placement and Internship project.

Capacitation of TVET College Lecturers

The W&RSETA implements the TVET Lecturer Capacitation programme to improve the knowledge of lecturers on the retail subjects that are offered TVET Colleges. The objective of the project is to capacitate TVET lecturers on the developed retail subject’s curriculum, guidelines, integrated assessment and tools. As part of the project, lecturers are placed within wholesale and retail companies to obtain practical experience of the subjects that they deliver.

A budget of R3.4 m budget has been allocated for the 2019/20 financial year to capacitate over 30 TVET lecturers on National Certificate Vocational (NCV) at Level 3 and 4.

Development of W&R Qualifications

One of the W&RSETA’s main functions is to ensure the development of relevant and current qualifications that meet the needs of the Wholesale and Retail Sector and are aligned to the requirements of the QCTO. The W&RSETA has established the Qualification Management Body (QMB) which comprises companies, representatives from organised labour, private training providers as well as TVET colleges and universities to facilitate the qualifications development for the Sector.

In 2018/19, the W&RSETA developed two additional occupational qualifications; informal Small Business Manager and Sales Representative. Another focus will be on the update of the OFO Codes and tasks to include green skills. The SETA will also ensure proper communication of the W&RSETA’s occupational qualifications, green skills and the Retail Manager qualification pilot implementation.

The W&RSETA has developed 13 occupational qualifications in line with QCTO requirements.

W&RSETA Research Agenda

The W&RSETA Research agenda seeks to conduct research on various outlined topics critical to update the SSP, provide in-depth information on the Sector for strategic purposes and inform the W&RSETA Strategy and Annual Performance Plans. The main problem is the limited labour market research and trend analysis to inform the Sector growth and development.

The W&RSETA research agenda will provide an opportunity to improve the labour market data that is used in the development of the Sector skills plan, development of Sector specific skills interventions that are responsive to sector demands and contribute to the professionalisation of the sector.

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