Business owners unhappy with poor training

2011-03-15 00:00

ABOUT 50 small and aspiring business owners on the South Coast have expressed their dissatisfaction with Umshini Wenfundo Joint Venture, which they claim has not lived up to its promise as a business training operation.

Local emerging businesspeople claim that they underwent a poorly co-ordinated training series with Umshini Wenfundo at the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) in Port Shepstone last year.

Three people who received training told The Witness that the organisation had received a tender from the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) to train small and emerging businesses for six months.

The conditions of the training included the issuing of certificates on completion, a graduation ceremony, handover of professionally developed business plans to all the trainees and the granting of R3 000 bonuses to trainees towards starting their businesses.

One of the complainants, who asked to remain nameless, said she still wants to get what she had been promised.

“None of the promised things have happened. We underwent training and the professional trainer was involved in a car accident,” she said. “He left us and another one came to train us, but again he also left us.”

It is alleged that an intern from Seda trained the group until they had finished their six-month course.

The complainants said that one of the Umshini Wenfundo directors, Peter Swart, recovered from an illness and took over from the intern.

He introduced another company to the trainees, Takane RPL, and gave them an assignment to distribute CDs to market the company to black people.

He allegedly offered a reward of a R3 000 bonus to all who distributed five CDs.

“He also made us sign certain documents and we later discovered that they meant we were directors when we were issued with share certificates saying each person owns five shares in the company,” said one complainant.

“We distributed the CDs, but to date we have not received our R3 000.”

The complainants added that in December 2010 they received SMSes from one of the company’s directors, Khangisa Mngoma, promising that they would get their R3 000 on December 15, but again it did not happen.

A recent message read: “Hi HWSETA will only make last payment after remedial has been done and declaration has been signed by you.”

When approached for comment, Swart said that the issue is “their problem” if they are dissatisfied with the training and other matters.

“That is their problem; they should not make their problems my own,” he said before hanging up.

“I am not going to entertain you,” he said before hanging up when called again.

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