Striking students vow to return after payment

STUDENTS at an Ezibeleni project for skills development, who went on strike two weeks ago as they were not paid their stipends, said they were ready to return to class as soon as the remaining students who have not been paid, received their money.
The Rep reported (“Protest at pay delay”, September 9) that the beneficiaries of the Services Seta-funded project had gone on strike as they were allegedly not paid the R2500 stipulated in the advert for the internship. The students are doing bricklaying, plumbing and plastering studies.
Police were present when The Rep arrived at the school two weeks ago. Police indicated that the management of the implementing company, Nsingweni Consulting Pty Ltd, had requested that the reporter leave the St Vincent Palotti Hall where the project is taking place.
When approached, a woman who was identified only as Mankosi, the project manager, refused to comment, saying the matter was internal.
She said only the public relations officer could speak to The Rep but refused to give contact details.
Mankosi was this week identified as Nomusa Nkosi, following the release of a letter informing students of the temporary closure of the school. The letter was signed on September 2, the day of the strike. Nkosi is one of the signatories, together with senior facilitator for bricklaying N Ngcobo and Ezibeleni centre manager BT Mngomezulu – all for Nsingweni.
“This letter serves to inform you that the centre will temporarily be closed as of the 2nd of September 2 2016 until further notice. There will be no training until the student learner stipend for July has been paid to the students.learners. Thereafter, students learners will receive SMS notifications advising them on the date to resume.”
This week, student representative council president Bayanda Damane said only some students had been paid.

“As soon as the last group of students has been paid we will go back to classes.”

He said the students were also promised Seta would come to address them, but that had not yet happened.
No responses to e-mailed questions were received from Nkosi and Seta marketing and communications manager Brenda Mpitsang.

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