Some KZN teaching staff not paid for December
Durban – Established to ensure continued learning and teaching under optimal conditions, as well as the maintenance of school infrastructure and premises, the Basic Education Employment Initiative saw over 300 000 candidates hired by the Department of Basic Education (DoE) across the country.
The candidates began working in December last year, but according to reports from the DA, they are yet to be paid. This is despite reports that funds of up to R 5 billion would be made available for the programme.
DA KZN spokesperson on education Imran Keeka said, through communication with KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, they had learned that the National Treasury had not yet allocated funds for the programme.
Furthermore, it was not revealed when those who were employed under the programme would receive payment.
Keeka said that they had warned against implementing the programme in December because of poor timing.
“At the time that the staff were employed in December last year, the DA warned MEC Mshengu against the initiative. Our first concern was the timing, with staff set to be employed as the holidays approached.
’’Then there was the fact that temporary workers were not being vetted, including the process where the sexual offenders’ registry is checked.”
“The DA has long advocated for tighter controls in this area – a plea which the Department of Education (DoE) leadership is yet to take seriously. Our final concern was that the posts might create undue expectations in the long term.”
“While the DA supports any initiative aimed at providing employment, the fact is that temporary posts also do not lift people out of poverty, unless the jobs last for at least two years. These education posts meant only for a few months neither benefit those employed nor the DoE in the long term.”
Siphosethu Ngcobo, MP IFP secretary-general and spokesperson on basic and higher education, condemned the department and said that the issue would be discussed.
“It is reckless for the department to make promises that it can’t keep. People are now left in limbo. Nobody can live without being paid for the work that they do.
’’They had expected to be paid because they are doing critical work, and we need answers from the portfolio committee. The IFP will follow up on this issue with the portfolio committee when it convenes next week.”
KZN Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said that the matter should be resolved soon.
“We have captured into the system the payment processes for both December and January. We are at the point of verification, very soon they will be paid.”