Wants clar­ity on learn­ers left in limbo af­ter Ceta placed un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion |

Call made for an ur­gent meet­ing with Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Blade Nz­i­mande

Pretoria News - - BR - SIZWE DLAMINI sizwe.dlamini@inl.co.za

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.

SIM­PHIWE MBOKAZI African News Agency (ANA)

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. |

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