The South African National Qualifications Framework is a comprehensive
system which makes provision for the classification, registration, publication and
articulation of quality-assured national qualifications. The purpose is to ensure an
integrated national framework of learning achievements through the registration of
qualifications and part qualifications by the South African Qualifications Authority.
Furthermore, the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act 97 of 1998) makes provision for
the development of skills programmes which are occupationally based and creditbearing.
Many higher education institutions have opted to offer these educational
opportunities to learners who would not have access or time to participate in formal
qualifications programmes. These short learning programmes (SLPs) are usually
created in response to a needs analysis and have a specific focus, such as leadership
development or financial management.
The intent of the article is to contribute towards the current discussion whether
SLPs are a viable and efficient mechanism to ensure capacity building within the
South African public sector, with specific reference to local government