TZANEEN: GTM leaves learnership students without payment

Students undergoing a learnership at Dinaledi Management Services in partnership with Greater Tzaneen Municipality and LG SETA, say they haven’t received their stipends for over four months. Photo: Bertus de Bruyn.

Frustrated and infuriated students undergoing learnership training at Dinaledi Management Services(DMS), camped outside the municipal offices last week Friday, demanding answers as to why they haven’t been paid their monthly stipends for four months.

The students, contracted with the municipality in partnership with Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LG SETA), under a water and waste water process control learnership, say they haven’t been paid their dues for a period of four months and this is affecting their studies and livelihoods.

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“As we speak, two of our colleagues from Ga-Mokgwathi village have had to drop out of the learnership programme, because they were kicked out of their temporary accommodation which they had organised for the duration of the course,” Margaret Nyambi remarked.

“We do not have money for transport, our parents have stopped believing us and suspect we are cheating them of their social grant money when we ask for transport monies,” Comfort Mahlaola added.

GTM Spokesperson Neville Ndlala was reached for comment and said that according to him, the issue has been resolved. LG SETA Provincial Manager Margaret Marakalala was contacted and reiterated Ndlala’s view, saying that according to her knowledge, the issue of payments was resolved.

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It was Isaac Kekana of Dinaledi Management Service, who confirmed that the money to pay the students has been received and that they are waiting for it to clear, which should happen within 48 hours.

“We received funds to make a payment backdated for two months, we are expecting payment for the remaining period which will be paid very soon.”

More than 48 hours later, we received a call from students who say no payment has been made and that they were told to wait another week.

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Seabela Maila

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