The Human Resource Development Council

The Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDC) is a multi-tired and multi stakeholder advisory body under the leadership and stewardship of the Deputy President of South Africa. It is managed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. Membership is based on five-year tenure and consists of representatives from a number of Government Ministries, organised labour and organised business leadership, as well as academia and civil society.

The ROLE of the HRDC and its structure of delivery includes the following:

  • Advise government on the need for and implementation of human resource development policies and strategies;
  • Identifying skills blockages and recommending appropriate solutions to unblock such blockages;
  • Commissioning research in the field of human resource development;
  • Encouraging organised business, civil society, government and organised labour to invest in education and training, and to take responsibility for human resource development issues within their areas of competency;
  • Promoting knowledge management and benchmarking at enterprise and national levels with a view to improving the effectiveness of human resource development;
  • Overseeing continual monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of the Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA); and
  • Leading an effective programme of advocacy and communication to build support and gain buy-in for the Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA) objectives and to ensure effective feedback from and consultation with stakeholders

The HRD Council has agreed on a particular approach which focuses on a number of limited priority areas within the human resource development value chain. This approach identifies and unblocks obstacles towards the development of adequate human resources and develops appropriate strategies to address them. It is practical and problem-solving in nature. It entails identifying and quantifying skills needs, identifying the constraints on skills development and the relevant project owners and role-players. The approach involves securing project owner’s buy-in and support.

The institutional arrangements for driving this work include Council or Plenary which identifies the focal areas, the Executive Committee (EXCO) which plans and organises the work, and establishes Standing Committees to conduct research and provide evidence based recommendations to Council.

There are also provincial HRD Councils and a coordinating Forum of all the provinces, which provide progress reports against provincial implementation of identified priority areas. The Secretariat is responsible for supporting all these structures.


Partnering to innovatively develop SA’s human potential


  • Advise the government on the HRD Strategy and its priorities
  • Identify blockages, provide solution to unblock them and monitor implementation thereof
  • Coordinate the efforts of government departments and social partners in the implementation of the HRD Strategy
  • Monitor and report on the implementation of the HRD Strategy
  • Evaluate the impact of the HRD Strategy against agreed indicators


The HRDC aims to develop institutional synergies for an integrated Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa which will stimulate a culture of training and lifelong learning at individual, organisational and national levels to transform our country into a knowledge economy.

HRD Strategy goals

There are five strategic goals that the HRD Council has adopted to be achieved by 2030:

  • Strengthen basic education and foundation programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM), Languages and Life Skills
  • Expanded access to quality post-schooling education and training
  • Improved research and technological innovation outcome
  • Production of appropriately skilled people for the economy
  • A developmental/capable state with effective and efficient planning and implementation capabilities

The HRDC has the following five programmes for achievement of its strategic goals;

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Languages and Life skills
  • TVET and the rest of the college system
  • Higher Education and training, Research and innovation
  • Skills for the transformed society and the economy
  • Developmental /Capable state

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