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Learning Programmes - Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)

What is ABET?

ABET stands for Adult Basic Education and Training. Before the transformation in adult education which began in the early nineties, education for adults had little application to their lives and their work. By combining adult basic education with training there was a
commitment to making both education and training more meaningful and appropriate for adults. Today ABET offers a route to a general education that is aimed at making significant improvements for adults both in the community and in the workplace.
A National Adult Basic Education Conference in 1993 established the following minimum requirements for ABET:

  • ABET is the education phase in the provision of life-long learning.
  • ABET should be aimed at adults who have had little or no formal education.
  • The exit point of ABET in terms of certification should be the equivalent to the exit point from compulsory school education.
  • ABET should contain core skills, knowledge and values
  • Like formal education, ABET should have levels of learning.


The South African constitution considers ABET a human right.

It states:
Everyone has the right to a basic education, including Adult Basic education. Which, through reasonable measures, must be made progressively available and accessible to everyone.

In February 2000, a National Skills Development Strategy was set up by government legislation. This strategy aims not only to redress inequalities in skills provision, but also to improve productivity and the competitiveness of our industry, business, commerce and services through increased skills training. An important component of this is the provision of ABET. Human resource managers should accept the challenge set down by the Skills Development Strategy and draw from existing high quality programmes to implement ABET in workplaces throughout the country.

Therefore the ABET programme was initiated for the stakeholders within the Safety and Security SETA in line with the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).
Following requests from stakeholders to increase the number of learners interested in joining the ABET programme, SASSETA Management would like to invite all its stakeholders for funding opportunity which is being offered to companies registered with the Safety and Security SETA.


Why the ABET Programme?

Many adults in our sectors lack basic education. This includes adults who pass through the school system and often lack fundamental knowledge. The lack of fundamental skills such as reading and numeracy is an effective barrier to access services and training opportunities.

The concept of ABET in the SETA goes further than mere literacy training. It develops core knowledge, skill, experience and abilities that should be assessed as learning outcomes. ABET makes is possible for people to communicate, read and perform basic functions of life. It reduces the level of dependency in adults.

Although ABET learning areas/subjects are varied, this initiative will target employees who will benefit from attending courses in Literacy/Language (Mother Tongue and Second language) and Numeracy/Mathematics. These learning areas are important for
further training and development (technical or otherwise) of employees. However, where learners are assessed as competent in Language and Mathematics they could attend additional ABET courses in other learning areas in order to gain credits towards a full ABET qualification.

Steps to be followed (learner):

  • Inform your training manager/training committee
  • The Training Manager/Training committee will inform the SETA of number of learners interested in the programme
  • The Training Manager/Committee will forwards an application for discretionary grants to the Safety and Security SETA.
  • The training Manager/HR will appoint a provider from the list of SASSETA preferred providers.
  • Contracts will be signed before commencement of training
  • The Training provider will assess the learner for placement on a suitable level and training will then take place.

List of SASSETA Preferred Service Providers

  • UNISA ABET Institute
  • Gqama Development Enterprises
  • Sizafunda Development & Training
  • The Numeracy Academy
  • Nomasojabula Training Centre
  • Project Literacy
    • Kitso Training & Development Services
    • Operation Upgrade Workplace Unit ABET
    • African Learning & Development Services
    • Ekurhuleni East College
    • Arch-Prince Educational Services
    • The National Adult Basic Education Support
    • Triple E Training Holdings
    • The Training Professionals
    • Corporate College International
    • Media Works

Which companies qualify for discretionary grants

  • The company will be an active participant of the SASSETA i.e, up to date with its skills development levy payments, submission of workplace skills plans, annual training reports and implementation reports.
  • The SASSETA reserves the right to allocate grants proportionately to ensure a fair distribution of grants
  • Companies cannot claim grants retrospectively for ABET programmes already completed or in progress. The grant is only for additional ABET programmes that must commence during the course of this financial year 2005/06.

Companies interested in utilizing this opportunity by offering ABET Programmes to their employees can contact Anna Setsetse at SASSETA on Tel: 011 347 0200

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