‘Conference’ likely to be a scam — NPC

2013-06-19 00:00

UNSUSPECTING members of the public could be falling prey to an alleged scam carried out by the Public Sector Business Network, according to the National Planning Commission (NPC).

The NPC warned yesterday that it had received numerous complaints from people who claim that the commission had not honoured its “obligation” to facilitate a National Development Plan leadership conference in Durban. The “conference” was advertised for June 13 and 14.

The commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to advise government on issues impacting on long-term development of citizens in areas of education, employment, health, infrastructure and others. It comprises 26 members, with Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel as chairperson and ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy.

It is currently involved in advising government on the implementation framework of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Spokesperson Dumisa Jele said they were shocked to receive several complaints from members of the public who signed up to attend a “National Development Plan leadership conference” in Durban.

In a statement yesterday, Jele said it was brought to their attention that the conference never materialised, and that the organisers had disappeared.

“We would like to place on record that the NPC had nothing to do with the conference, and has no association with the Public Sector Business Network or any of its agents or proxies,” he said.

He later told The Witness that they had not been keeping records or contact numbers of the complainants, but advised all those affected to seek legal recourse.

He said some people had phoned them wanting to know when their course material would be delivered.

“We have also noted that these people would advertise these workshops, in some instances using a photograph depicting some government figures without our knowledge. For the record, the NDP is a public document and anyone who wished to host a conference to discuss it does not need the permission of the NPC.

“However, the use of the name of the commission and photographs of its members without permission amounts to fraud. It is through such fraudulent behaviour that organisers of the conference attracted delegates to the scam conference,” said Jele.

He said on the dates in question the commission had no engagements in Durban.

An Internet search for the network bore no fruit as their website had no contact numbers.

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