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W&RSETA Wholesale and Retail SETA

The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) was established as a legal entity on 20 March 2000 in terms of the Skills Development Act, No. 97 of 1998. This public entity aims to provide for the skills development needs of the Wholesale and Retail (W&R) sector through the implementation of learnerships, disbursement of grants and monitoring of education and training.

The W&RSETA aims to increase the level of investment in education and training in the sector and to improve the return on that investment. It seeks to contribute to the socio-economic development and growth of the country by enabling education and training of the highest quality in the W&R sector, to the benefit of employers, employees and learners respectively.

Until 2009, the W&RSETA, along with all other Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) in South Africa, was mandated through the Department of Labour. During 2009 governance of the SETAs was transferred to the Department of Education.

Due to the reprioritisation of human resource development for South Africa, and the establishment of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the tenure of the SETAs was extended for a period of one year until 31 March 2011. On 11 November 2010 the Minister of Higher Education and Training announced the relicensing of the W&RSETA and 20 other SETAs with effect from 1 April 2011.

Sector Profile
W&R in South Africa is regarded as a growth sector of the economy and a major employer. Statistically, it is a sector which is more volatile with respect to cyclical changes and global economic conditions than many other sectors. It is the fourth largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a contribution of around 13.3% and employs around 19% of the total active workforce of the country.

Recent trends indicate that employment within the Wholesale and Retail Sector, as a percentage of the total workforce, has been decreasing - from a high of 27% in 2001 to 22% in 2010.

The highest densities of enterprises are found in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Collectively, these provinces make up 70% of the workforce of the sector. About 86% of the sector is made up of small enterprises, 9.5% medium and 4.5% large enterprises.

South Africa has moved increasingly towards mall-based retailing. The amount of retail space in malls has grown faster than the number of retail stores to a point that malls can no longer guarantee that they will attract the major anchor tenants.

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