Nyda stipend stops

2015-06-24 06:00
LEARNERS with the owner of the Sophia Driving school, Sophia Mphuti, and Lebogang Olyn, the provincial manager of the National Development Agency (Nyda). From the left are, front: Noline Engelbrecht, Mphuthi, Olyn and Celestie Mackay; middle: Katlego

LEARNERS with the owner of the Sophia Driving school, Sophia Mphuti, and Lebogang Olyn, the provincial manager of the National Development Agency (Nyda). From the left are, front: Noline Engelbrecht, Mphuthi, Olyn and Celestie Mackay; middle: Katlego

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LESSONS on the National Youth Development Agency (Nyda) Professional Driver’s Licence Learnership have been suspended due to the non-payment of stipends.

Concerns have since been raised by the students who went on the learnership.

The programme was launched in May in an effort to reduce unemployment among the youth. An article about this was published in the Express Northern Cape of 13 May.

So far, the learners have not received a single cent of their stipend, which is reported to have been R1 500.

The programme, run in collaboration with the Transport Training Education Authority (Teta) through a Limpopo-based service provider called Gels Training Legacy and the local-based Sophia Excellence Driving Academy, was put on halt due to non-payment by Teta.

The training process of the learners reportedly started before the contract had been finalised between Teta and the service providers, which raised hopes that the students would get paid on time.

Although the CEO of the company, Koena Mehale, does not see this as a crisis, the students, who are mostly from poor backgrounds, are concerned that they fell behind on their lessons after having been told to stay home for two weeks. This period was later extended.

Mehale admits that there was a delay in payments on the side of Teta and that the payments are in process.

He further explains that, in an effort to reduce the pressures that travelling costs put on the students, he took the time to travel to Kimberley to explain the situation to them, and ask them to stay home.

“Not even the service providers were paid. By suspending the classes, we were preventing the students from going into debt, as some of them do not have the money to travel,” says Mehale.

Mehale clarifies that classes will resume as soon as the stipends are made available.

Regarding the progress in training by the driving school, Mehale reveales that the training period will not be affected. This is due to the fact that the driving school has already covered a lot of work, and that the students also show a lot of progress.

He further promises to make a follow-up on the progress made on the payment in the upcoming scheduled meeting with Teta at head office on Wednesday (24/06).

“I will also make an effort in trying to convince Teta to speed up the payment process if possible.”

He clarifies that they are the service providers and mentors, while the Sophia Driving school only offers the practical training in the programme

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