Fri, May 27, 2022

A Keep Climbing reader sent 4 questions about stipends. Many learners write in complaining about non payment or the amount.

1. What do you need to study to get a stipend?

That’s a killer question requiring quite a few details:

Apprenticeships and Learnerships

These are occupational training programmes that combine work and learning.


  • Although the DHET (Department of Higher Education) is trying to make apprenticeships appealing – they are struggling to do so. This doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities – it means they suck at making the public aware of accessible apprenticeship programmes.
  • This could be good for you and your peers as it means their are opportunities available – you just have to dig around to find them.
  • Read about how to find learnerships and apprenticeships on Keep Climbing as we try to make it easier for stars such as yourself.

Learnerships (What do you do on a Learnerhsip?)

  • Learnerships are pretty trendy because they’re AWESOME…they cover pretty much every industry. You learn and earn, meaning while you’re being trained on a recognised industry qualification, you need to work. That’s the trade-off.
  • A company gains BEE points and tax rebates  for hosting you for the duration of the learnership. Although many companies can apply for funding to pay for the training, most companies pay and then go through a process of claims.
  • The company may or may not employ you when your learnership ends and they are not required to pay you a stipend that is the equivalent of a salary as you are there to learn and gain experience.
  • If they don’t employ you, the certificate you receive will increase your job opportunities. Check out: Do Learnerships and Apprenticeships result in jobs?
  • Employers pay you the stipend directly although some employers claim they are awaiting SETA funds for you – it’s illegal and they should be reported to the SETA and DHET immediately followed with a complaint at the CCMA.
People often write in complaining about how much their stipend is, here’s my hell-no-let-it-go response:
  1. What did they offer at the interview? Did you sign the contract? Then you accepted. Adult up.
  2. No contract? Leave and find something else.
  3. Ok, number 1 is too harsh, you didn’t work out your budget and now you really can’t survive but want to stay. Meet with the HR manager and explain that you messed up. Take along proof of expenses and ask for ADVICE. They will likely say they need time to consider but will try to help you. You however must own your mistake and offer to do whatever it takes. Remember you’ll be walking away with a qualification – how would you have paid for that if it wasn’t for the employer? If you only work Monday – Friday, get a weekend job and be a winner not a whiner.
  4. Did they lie or not do as promised? Report them to the SETA and take the employer to the CCMA. But CCMA employees are often uninformed on how to deal with your issues unless you show them your EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT first, then your learnership contract. Very specifically in that order! 

Always have someone with experience check contracts before you sign.

You want to know How Much?

See the Department of Labour’s industry benchmarks for stipends. There are minimum standards but  a company can pay you as much as they like.

It’s not a good idea to hop from one learnership to the next for a better stipend. You could find yourself barred from the system, however if a situation is bad, it is your right ti leave.

Employers have started to make illegal claims. No employer may ask you to repay money related to the learnership even if you leave or do something they don’t like. If ever an employer threatens to legally force you to pay – understand you could counter sue them for much more than what they want to sue you.

For more info on Rules for Resigning and Registering for Learnerships

2. How long do you need to study before you can get a stipend?

They are issued in the same way as wages (weekly, monthly etc.)
They may not be withheld without prior consultation and you agreeing to the delay.

3. How to apply for one once you’re able to?

Stipends are automatic on learnerships and apprenticeships and valid from when you begin.

4. So all in all what are the criteria points?

You automatically qualify for a stipend on a registered learnership and apprenticeship.

You need to be South African and of an employable age.

Any other questions? 🙂


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Luthando Oct 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

I just want to know steepened of leadership of water & sanitation level three. per student

    SNAKHOKONKE Aug 15, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Hi, i have just complete my N6 for Business Management am doing in service training, im starting on 12 MARCH 2018 bt i didnt get stipend money, please help me im suffered bt i dont hv money for transport.

Nonsikelelo Jul 1, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Your comment goes here. Do I get stipend for educare with 15 months of practical? still continuing to 18 months. thanks

    Leonie Hall Jul 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Nonsikelelo!
    It depends on your contract. You can mail me on leonieprojectnomad (at) gmail (dot) com

Maditaba Mokoteli Jul 26, 2018 at 11:47 am

Hi I have just completed my N6 educare and I am going to start to do my practical on Monday so I just want to know how much must I except to get as stipend and who will be responsible of paying me seta or school?

isaac hlakudi Aug 11, 2018 at 8:28 am

I have N6(electrical), I’m struggling to get work experience or internship.
wherever I go they tell me to acquire practicals before i can be recognized… please help, any assistance with regard to abovementioned will be highly appreciated. Thank you

SNAKHOKONKE Aug 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Hi, i have just complete my N6 for Business Management am doing in service training, im starting on 12 MARCH 2018 bt i didnt get stipend money, please help me im suffered bt i dont hv money for transport.

Nobuntu Aug 21, 2018 at 8:03 am

Just Completed My Management Assistant N6 and in Work Place Started on February still m struggling to find Stipend, I need Help

Lulu Aug 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm

Hi..i hope this find you well….i have completed my N6 for Public Management ,i have started on February but even now am struggling to get a stipend……PLEASE HELP

Charmaine Sep 5, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Hi I completed my N6 in Human Resource Management on July 2018 on the 06 August 2018 I found the placement but they don’t have a stipend and since they don’t have the stipend they Signed me a contract of 6 months and told me they will extend it once I found the stipend if not they will end my contract after 6 months. please help me with the stipend in order to finish my 18 months in service training. Thank You!

Pheko Mpho Clementinah Sep 20, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Hi I completed my N6 in Human Resource Management in June 2017.on the 06 January 2018 I found a placement but don’t have a stipend. they refused to place me without a stipend and i have to do experiential training for 18 months to graduate for my Diploma.since i don’t have a stipend i am struggling to get a job.few department are willing to take me in but the problem is the stipend. they say i must get it first. please assist me with the stipend in order to start my 18 months in service training. Thank You!

Dudu Nov 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

The contract we signed with SSETA say that we would get a stipend every month since 2day we have not received any stipend it’s getting difficulty now to go to school

lehlohonolo Apr 2, 2019 at 8:21 am

Hi my name is Lehlohonolo I did Management Assistance I started doing my internship on January 2019 but I am still struggling to find a SETA and I am not getting any stipend so can I please get help from GSC.

Sfundo Apr 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Hi. i finished my N6 in Human Resource in June 2017…just started to do my inservice training but there is no stipend please help me with one because cant carry on struggliung like this!

Thembelihle Nkomo Apr 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Hai my Name is Lihle I’ve started my in-service training but we don’t get Stipend please help me I’m struggling I really need help. Thanks

Makoane Refiloe May 16, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Hi, my name is Refiloe. I’m doing my inservice training in Management assistant also struggling to get SETA and stipend please help.

Themba Jun 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

I have completed my N6 in financial management and iam struggling to get a stipend though I have got an experiential training for 18 months to graduate for my diploma so please help me

regards: Themba Mabuza

Nomzamo Thulare Jul 15, 2019 at 10:24 am

My name is Nomzamo Ayanda Thulare, I started doing my in-service training at Government Complex, department of public works from the April 2019 till this day, I am not getting any stipend. I am really struggling with a transport fare. please help me

    Sikulule Sontsele Mar 6, 2020 at 10:19 am

    I am doing inserve at Mbizana municipality and I do not get the stipend. May you please assist me maybe with Seta stipend please help me.

Zintle Jul 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Hy I’m zintle I’m doing my inservice training in office administration but there is no stipend .

Rangolo vhugala Jul 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Hello am currently doing my inservice training at Tshilidzini hospital since March 2019 but there is no stipend nor transport allowance.. Please help

Glenda Mar 18, 2020 at 10:40 am

hy am Glenda am doing my in service training at Thulamela Local municipality.
I am not getting any stipend.
am really struggling with a transport fare please help

Monicca Aug 18, 2020 at 11:29 am

i have completed my N6 in HRM am doing experiential training but i am struggling to get a stipend please help

regards: monicca

Nokuthula Thusi Feb 17, 2021 at 12:58 pm

My name is Nokuthula Thusi i’m doing my in-service training for HR but i’m not getting any stipend, how can I apply for stipend from SETA. Please help.

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