The Democratic Alliance (DA) party is agitating for an explanation for the R14 million SETAs (Sector Education and Training Authorities) spent on “lavish international trips” in 2015 and 2016.
DA’s agitation follows the revelation that 13 SETAs spent millions to fund lavish international trips for their senior executives and board members.
From our gatherings, the revelation was made by a series of replies to DA parliamentary questions.
It was revealed that the worst offender of the irregular expenditure is the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA). TETA, as uncovered, spent R4.6 million during the period.
Its CEO alone lavished R1.2 million on 8 international trips to places like Brazil, UK, US and Netherlands.
After TETA is the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (merSETA). The department spent R1.6 million as the CEO embarked on 11 international trips in 2015/2016.
Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) comes third, R1.45 million was spent.
DA said it submitted a complaint to the Public Protector after allegations of extensive corruption amongst senior executives at the MQA emerged earlier this month.
The party said it will now submit further parliamentary questions that will enable it to ascertain how 13 of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) spent R14 million of public money on lavish international trips in 2015 and 2016.
“The DA will now submit additional parliamentary questions requesting the full internal reports on these trips to learn if there is any demonstrable benefit to the performance of the SETAs as a result of the international travel.
“The fact of the matter is that every possible cent should be poured into skills training, not on international travel for high-earning executives and board members.
“It is unacceptable that the executives of these SETAs, who can afford to pay for their travels out of their own pockets, spend such outrages amounts of public money, especially considering the high rates of underperformance amongst SETAs,” DA stated.
Thereafter, the opposition party indicated that only two of the four performance targets across SETAs were achieved. This is according to the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Annual Report for 2015/16.
“Only 40% of national artisan learners were either employed or self-employed after training and the latest available 2014 post-school education and training sector statistics showed that a mere 30.5% of those registered for internships, had been certificated.
“For too long the lost generation of born frees have been the victims of decades of government greed and corruption,” DA lamented.
With that, the party promised that will find out if the expensive trips have any tangible benefit to South Africans struggling to improve their skills and opportunity for employment.