‘Cogta wasted money’

2018-10-29 15:00
So far government departments and state entites have incurred R72.6bn in accumulated irregular expenditure, the DA says.

So far government departments and state entites have incurred R72.6bn in accumulated irregular expenditure, the DA says.

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Two blind interns shortlisted for a KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) internship programme never received any work experience or training.

This is despite the department spending close to R150 000 buying braille printers for the interns and also paying them stipends amounting to R32 000 even though they never reported for duty. This is because the department realised after hiring the two that the office space was not suitable for them.

According to the department’s 2017/18 annual report, two braille printers, costing R68 000 each, were bought but never used.

Director of legal services in the department Heinz Kuhn told a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the department had realised after hiring the two that the office space was not suitable.

Kuhn said he had been asked for a legal opinion on the matter, and recommended that the interns not report for duty in a office not suitable for them.

Head of department Thando Tubane said the matter was under investigation.

“We should have known that we had hired blind interns. I do not shy away from taking responsibility,” he said.

KZN Society for the Blind financial manager Bheki Jele lambasted the department for its failure.

“It is a waste of money to pay someone who does not do any job a salary or a stipend. That is a total misuse of public funds and whoever is responsible for that must be held liable,” he said.

“Other than that, each and every government department’s premises is supposed to be accessible to everyone. It is sad that these two interns did not acquire the experience which they needed.

“If we knew who those interns are, we would have encouraged them to take the department to court.”


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cogta

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