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Screening|System|transport|Maintenance|Services|Infrastructure
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DA calls for swift action by DBE as some KZN EEI’s remain unpaid

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DA calls for swift action by DBE as some KZN EEI’s remain unpaid

2nd December 2021

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been approached by several temporarily employed staff working on a contract basis through the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Employment Initiative (EEI’s) who claim that they have not yet been paid.

EEI’s are young people employed through the programme for a five-month period and who have been brought in to assist with teaching and learning programmes within schools. Their valuable roles also include helping with infrastructure maintenance, offering psychosocial and counselling support and working as sports and enrichment assistants.

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Previously, schools were given funds directly to pay EEI’s, a situation that raised concerns around the possibility of massive corruption. At the time, there were reports of non-payment, claims that EEI’s were only being paid half the amount due to them and other irregularities such as nepotism and even so-called ghost staff.

This year, the provincial DoE took a decision to ensure that the screening process was more rigid. This included making sure that all 64 000 EEI’s in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) would be added to governments PERSAL system, the system used to pay all government employed staff, in order to mitigate against issues experienced in the past.

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Despite this assurance, the DA has now established that some EEI’s have not been paid.

According to a department official, the reason for this is that the verification process regarding eligibility criteria and the capturing process onto PERSAL is incomplete.  It is currently expected that all EEI’s will now be paid by 22 December at the latest while others, once checked and added to the PERSAL, will be paid sooner.

The DA recognises that the DoE has learnt from its past mistakes. We also acknowledge that the steps taken this year should improve both the services rendered by these staff and that corrupt practices will be mitigated against.

However, if you are a young person who gets up and goes to work every day, then it is only right that you be paid at the end of the month.  For this not to happen is both financially and emotionally devastating.

To make matters worse, many EEI’s were not working before, meaning that they would have had to borrow money for transport to and from schools, as well as for other basic essentials. Those that have not been paid now face a situation where they cannot repay these loans or request further loans.

The DA has now highlighted this matter with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, which has undertaken to ensure that the process of EEI payments is smooth and on time going forward. We remain committed to monitoring this and to maintaining rigid oversight of this programme.

 

Issued by DA KZN Spokesperson on Education Dr Imran Keeka

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