The skills development levy was introduced a few years ago by the government in order to raise funds to train and skill workers. Generally speaking, if your total annual salary bill for the company exceeds R250'000 then you need to register for SDL and pay the levy each month.
First you need to register with SARS. When doing so you will need to select a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) which best describes or suites your business. For example are you in financial services, plastic manufacturing or IT. You will then be allocated to this SETA and will be able to use their services.
You will need to pay an amount equivalent to 1% of your total salary bill each month. You cannot deduct this from your staff's pay. The payment is made on the same form (EMP201) that you pay your PAYE and UIF to SARS each month.
Once you are up and running it is a good idea to contact your particular SETA or view their website. Here you will find information on how to get some of your levy back in the form of rebates or grants, provided that you set up an education and training program for your staff. Some SETAs even offer free courses or at least provide relevant and topical courses for their members (your staff). A well trained and educated staff is certainly a beneficial asset for your company.