Wants clarity on learners left in limbo after Ceta placed under administration |
Call made for an urgent meeting with Minister of Education Blade Nzimande
MASTER BUILDERS South Africa (MBSA) has called for an urgent meeting with Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande to provide clarity on the thousands of learners who are in training programmes supported by the Construction Education and Training Authority (Ceta), which has been placed under administration.
The Ceta was placed under administration by the Minister on January 29 to facilitate an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and maladministration, leaving thousands of learners in the dark about their fate.
MBSA president John Matthews said in a statement yesterday that
MBSA was aware of the ongoing challenges at the Ceta, which were causing significant delays in payments of training grants, bursaries and stipends to employers and learners.
“We have thousands of learners placed with building contractors on learnerships, apprenticeships and candidacy programmes and the immediate concern is to ensure that the placing of the Ceta under administration does not result in unintended consequences for these programmes and for skills development in the construction sector,” he said.
At just less than 10 percent of the total labour force, the construction industry remains one of the largest employers in the country. However, the lack of qualified and experienced workers has been cited as one of the biggest threats facing the industry.
Matthews said to improve the delivery of skills programmes in the country, Minister Nzimande made an undertaking to implement a contract management system to keep track of the flow of funds so that financial management becomes more transparent within the department. He also indicated that there would be consequences for individuals who fail to comply.
“As an industry body, maintaining a steady supply of the required building skills for the country is at the core of what we do for our members, and we remain committed to working with the minister to ensure that the Ceta is more effective and delivers the skills needs of the industry.
“We also support any action aimed at entrenching good corporate governance and better performance, but we are concerned that this development may jeopardise current skills programmes and those that are planned for the near future,” said Matthews.
MBSA is a federation of registered employer associations representing contractors and employers in the construction industry and is regulated in terms of Section 107 of the Labour Relations.
The Federation’s nine Master Builders Associations and three affiliate associations represent more than 3 500 contractors and employers in the industry.
In February 2008 the Labour Department recommended a proposal, contained in a report to the National Skills Authority, that the Ceta be placed under administration to resolve the myriad problems that have plagued the organisation.
MBSA PRESIDENT John Matthews said in a statement yesterday that MBSA was aware of the ongoing challenges at the Ceta, which were causing significant delays in payments of training grants, bursaries and stipends to employers and learners. |