The National Skills Fund, a schedule 3A public entity, which is ‘governed’ by, amongst others, the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998), as amended, the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999), as amended, has a clear mission, that of “providing funding for national skills development towards a capable workforce for an inclusive growth path“.
If money is drawn from this public entity, with intention to develop skills towards a capable workforce for an all-inclusive growth plan, and as result certain role players get activated and ‘contracted’ to fulfill such an intention, then full account-based outcome is expected. If such outcome does not see the light of the day, yet money has left the ‘public purse’, then those pieces of legislation mentioned above must come to play.
As a union of mission against unemployment and poverty in South Africa, UCUSA, the Unemployed Citizens Union of South Africa, we are concerned with the gross negligence by Port Elizabeth College management, who were charged with the task of training a number of ‘much-needing’ learners in terms of skills identified as national priorities according to the National Skills Development Strategy.
This, obviously, presented itself as a lifetime opportunity to many of beneficiaries of such programs, but no, doors of an abundance of opportunities were shut on their face by Port Elizabeth College Management. Their certificates of achievement are being withheld for not only two months, six months, 12 months, but for longer than 3, 4, 5 years now. The question is, why? Is it because they do not have children, relatives, sisters or brothers who depend on these programs for their self and professional development? If that is not the reason, they why, I ask again?
If you were to hear hurting stories of missing out on opportunities, by victims of PE College management, you would feel that indeed, the spirit of Ubuntu has long left our space. We live in a society where “if I’m good, then everybody is”, “if my child eats well, then all children are well”, “if I have a job, then the world is a beautiful place to live in”. Another question is, must we keep quiet, fold our arms and pretend everything is alright?
The answer is, NOT UCUSA! We see this as a barrier to employment and we rebuke, with strongest terms, any action that stands in the way of self and professional development of our members. As a result, we are busy engaging Port Elizabeth College management regarding this issue. We demand answers on behalf of our members. When we are not satisfied with that, action will follow! This is our new struggle, our new revolution, that of robustly addressing the issue of unemployment and poverty in South Africa.
Click here for report on our initial effort to meet the College management.
For more information contact UCUSA support office at firstname.lastname@example.org