Disabled students left high and dry

2011-12-08 00:00

A CANCELLED training and skills development contract has resulted in 150 disabled students in KwaZulu-Natal not receiving their qualifications this year.

Training company Imbumba was appointed by the Wholesale and Retail Skills Development Economic Growth (W&R Seta) to carry out the New Venture Creation (NVC) programme from September 2010 to September 2011.

The company claimed it completed 80% of the training after being paid R4,5 million, and the contract was cancelled.

This emerged in reply to a parliamentary question raised by the Democratic Alliance after it was alerted to the problem by pupils in Pietermaritzburg.

W&R Seta CEO Joel Dikgole said they are appointing a new service provider to resume training by February 2012.

“The Seta has recently completed an internal audit process and has cancelled the contract with Imbumba due to non-compliance with the contract on the delivery and management of the programme.

“We have met the pupils and assured them, as our first priority, that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that this matter is resolved speedily and that they can resume the training and complete their programmes,” said Dikgole.

The NVC programme, which is carried out in 10 centres in the province, is a 24-month training and business mentorship process.

It involves students receiving monthly stipends of R1 500 as part of the discretionary grants funding project.

Imbumba owner Vuyisile Skosana laid the blame on W&R Seta and claimed that it failed to make payments on time.

“W&R Seta has only paid 40% of the programme, but we have delivered 80% and [we] do not understand why the CEO is expecting 100% delivery.

“We have documentation and proof to this effect.

“We will go to all institutions for assistance, even the office of the president, for a hearing as we should be paid according to the project milestones we have completed thus far.”

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