Home News College principal says the allegations are false

College principal says the allegations are false

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“There was no irregular payment made to any official.”

PROBE: The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, has been requested to investigate the alleged misappropriation of funds donated by Anglo American Sishen Kumba Iron Ore for a professional cookery programme at the Northern Cape Rural TVET College based at the Kathu campus.

THE PRINCIPAL of the Northern Cape Rural TVET College (NCRTVET), Percy Sago, has claimed that the allegations made regarding irregular payments from the professional cookery project at the Kathu campus are “derogatory and aimed to tarnish the image of management and the institution”.

He stated that the allegations were without any substance.

“The same allegations were made by the previous council to the Department of Higher Education and Training, an investigation was conducted and nothing came out of it. A new council has been appointed by the minister and still they continue with unfounded allegations,” said Sago.

He stated that no order or decision was made by the department for the repayment of any funds.

“There was no irregular payment made to any official.”

Sago insisted that “no payments whatsoever” were made to the principal, campus manager or senior managers of the programme.

“Our role was purely to oversee and monitor and ensure that all logistical and other training needs were addressed. The programme officially commenced in October 2018 and is expected to run up until October 2019.”

Sago indicated that the total budget awarded for the professional cookery programme amounted to R695 566.92.

“As part of the programme a direct donation of a 4×4 double cab bakkie was made to the NCRTVET College to assist with all logistical demands as well as the procurement of various culinary equipment by Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore to address the practical needs in the programme. Procurement for refurbishments and additional upgrades were done directly by Kumba Iron Ore/Anglo American. No funds were made available for the construction of a professional cookery classroom.”

He said the project was a one-year learnership that offered accredited training for 30 students.

“We experienced some drop outs, where there are currently 25 students attending classes. Students were recruited within a 50 kilometre radius of Kathu.”

Sago added that the budget included a R1 000 monthly stipend for the students, practical fees, learning material and facilitation fees.

“The budget includes NCRTVET project management fees, salaries for four staff members including a chef/facilitator, a driver, a general assistant and a cleaner.

“The salaries of the four employees and the stipends of students are paid through an official payroll and all other expenditure is processed through supply chain management processes. All transactions were properly authorised by the principal.”

Sago stated that the college’s special projects unit in Upington conducted monthly site visits to monitor and assess the project.

He said all expenditure incurred on the project was done according to policies and procedures.

“Proper support is available for all transactions processed.”

He indicated that a final analysis of the benefits and profits due to the college could only be determined towards the end of the programme, around September this year.

“We are further awaiting for the 2019 budget from the mine to be approved. The benefits generated through the project so far are the benefits for learners, facilitation fees, learning material, project management fees and the payment of salaries for the newly-appointed staff.”

Sago said a proper assessment and moderation of all trainees would be conducted on their portfolios of evidence.

“Currently the programme has achieved the halfway mark.”

He stated that both the NCRTVET and Kumba Iron Ore were closely monitoring the project.

“This programme has made a big impact on these youth beneficiaries to develop themselves and address unemployment. We are also looking forward to expanding the project and to look at other plausible learning interventions to be funded by the mining giant over the next three years.”