To transform education in this country, South African teachers need to be appropriately equipped to meet the evolving challenges and needs of the country. The national policy framework for teacher education and development is an attempt to address the need for suitably qualified teachers in South Africa. Its aim is to improve the quality of education by focusing on the professional development of teachers. This article attempts to address the following research problem: Does continuing professional development for teachers (CPDT), as stipulated by the national policy framework, have the potential to contribute to the development of teachers as proposed by social learning systems? The answer to this question has the potential to inform and influence the policy and its implementation. The answer also describes how conceptual frameworks for learning in Wenger’s social learning systems conflict with effective professional development (PD) programmes and CPDT.