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Minister suspends MAPPP SETA

Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana yesterday, Tuesday, 9 October 2007, announced that he has suspended the board and constitution of the Media, Advertising, Print, Packaging and Publishing SETA (MAPPP SETA) and has appointed an administrator to take over the functions of the training authority. This action comes after more than a year of claims and counter claims of maladministration and corruption.
The MAPPP SETA was established in terms of the Skills Development Act to promote training and development within its economic sector.

However, the ‘creative' side of the SETA did not function well with the more traditional print and packaging arm. Arrangements inherited from the Industry Training Board that predated the SETA were the subject of dispute between stakeholders.

When former civil servant Melanie Bernard-Fryer was appointed as CEO, she promised to deal with the allegations. However, after speaking out against alleged corruption in the organization, she was the subject of death threats. Private security officers had to be employed to protect her and other senior staff. After returning from a period of sick leave, Bernard-Fryer was dismissed by the board of the SETA.

Minister has now acted


Bombarded with calls to deal with the situation, Mdladlana has now acted. In terms of a notice in the Government Gazette (No 30368) the Director General of the Labour Department has suspended the board and the operation of the constitution of the MAPPP SETA. He has appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers as administrators of the SETA for a period of six months. It will take over all operations of the SETA, including acting as accounting officer.

The administrator has been tasked with formulating governance procedures for the SETA, determining conditions of employment of senior staff and managing SETA funds. They have also been tasked with consulting widely with stakeholders on the establishment of a new constitution for the SETA.

The administrator will have to submit monthly reports to the Department of Labour on progress made at the SETA.

Bernard-Fryer described herself as very emotional on hearing news that the board and constitution of the SETA was suspended and an administrator appointed.

“I thank the Lord for his grace which allowed me and my family to get through this 10 months,” Bernard-Fryer told the Skills Portal (www.skillsportal.co.za) in an interview straight after the announcement.

Actions vindicated


Bernard-Fryer considers the minister's decision to be a vindication of the action she took to expose what she believed was corruption in the SETA.

“For me and my family we have been through hell and want to thank all those who supported me".

The experience has taken its toll on Bernard-Fryer, whose health has worsened and is now without an income. “I was unlawfully dismissed without a hearing because I called for a full forensic audit from January 2001,” she says.

“I am thankful for the learners who will now be able to continue with their studies. I know of a number of service providers who went out of business because they were not paid by the MAPPP SETA,” she adds.

“Sorry tale”


“This has been a sorry tale for those who want to see a general increase in the level of skills in the workplace,” says Alan Hammond, editor of online publication The Skills Portal (www.skillsportal.co.za). “Rather than focusing on training, and developing employees with in the sector, most of the time of the SETA has been taken up with dealing with the claims and counter claims that have been thrown around”.

“The Skills Development Act empowers the employees and employers in each sector to be responsible for their own training and development. It has obviously become clear to the minister that the stakeholders in this sector are not capable of doing this so the power has been taken away from them,” concludes Hammond.
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Comment
Brian
Where is the money?-
Many training providers have been complaining that they haven't received payments that were due to them from the Mappp Seta. Hopefully the administrator will be able to find where the money is.
Posted on 10 Oct 2007 10:24
Oskido
What a pity-
As a beneficiary of the MAPPP SETA programme and now a professional within then advertising field i think its a pity that such great initiatives by government are ridiculed by certain greedy individuals. Individuals which are guilty of maladministration and corruption should be brougth to book and face the consequences.
Posted on 10 Oct 2007 14:02
Oskido
What a pity-
As a beneficiary of the MAPPP SETA programme and now a professional within then advertising field i think its a pity that such great initiatives by government are ridiculed by certain greedy individuals. Individuals which are guilty of maladministration and corruption should be brought to book and face the consequences.
Posted on 10 Oct 2007 14:02
Disgruntled
Thank you-
I was a part of a MAPPP SETA programme recently and was promised a busary at one the leading Universities in the the particular field of study if I had acheived top results. I don't want to mention any names as I know it will come back to haunt me. The crux of the matter is that i never got that bursary. The big question was always what had happened to the money that had supposedly been allocated for my bursary. I finally found out when one of the 'suits' in the company i worked for was busted for corruption and fraud earlier this year. he is apparently paying the money back but my career has been ruined because of it neverthless. It felt as though i was being used because of the colour of my skin to improve that company's image.(doing good for the previously disadvantaged etc etc.) This whole MAPPP SETA thing was an absolute farse, an opportunity for the fat cats to get richer.
Posted on 10 Oct 2007 21:09
Alan Hammond
Great pity that money corrupts-
It is a great pity that there seem to be too many people who can't control themselves when large amounts of money are involved. I suppose it is a normal human reaction to be greedy but most of us control ourselves. With a number of Setas there have been individuals who have 'put their hand in the cookie jar' and taken money that was intended for developing people. It is also a great pity that so many people are scared to speak out about the Setas. There is a general fear of reprisal from people who speak out.
Posted on 11 Oct 2007 10:06
lungelo
What's up Africans-
This is very discouraging. What choices do we have now? PLEASE LET ME KNOW. talungz@yahoo.com
Posted on 16 Oct 2007 07:49

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