Depts ‘never paid us’

2015-12-11 10:00

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Pietermaritzburg - Umgungundlovu FET students who were placed in different provincial government departments to do their in-service training have cried foul after they were never paid for the work they did.

In order for FET students to graduate, they need to undergo 18 months of in-service training.

A student who did her in-service training at the Department of Social Development and asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said: “We were given contracts in which we were told we would get a stipend of R1 500 per month but that never happened.”

The students remained hopeful that they would eventually receive the money.

“We started our training in December 2013 and it ended in May this year. During that whole period none of the 11 students were paid. I would sometimes not go to work because I couldn’t afford money for transport,” said the student source.

She said she had to rely on her mother to help with costs involved in a medical procedure she had to undergo, and that with Christmas approaching she would have liked to have helped her family with some of the costs of the festive season.

Some students were back-paid, some were told that the money had bounced back from their bank accounts, and some were told that they were in the second group of students who were going be paid.

“We were told to fix the problems with our bank accounts, which we did but no money was sent to us. Since May this year we have been told the same thing over and over again, that we will get what is owed to us as soon as the contract with the Seta has been finalised,” said the source.

The general manager of the Provincial Public Service Academy, Fazal Safla, said: “There are many projects being implemented by various agencies and institutions where students are placed for in-service training for which they are paid and in some instances are not paid as they volunteer. In this case we do have a project where students were back-paid based on funds made available by the Seta, but not all of it. Outstanding payments will be made once the extension of the contract with the Seta is finalised; and all quality assurance and reporting requirements have been met.”

Safla added that no students will be affected by this. “This is one project. It does not affect other projects of this nature as different agencies and institutions implement them,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  students

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