The Gauteng Education Department is allegedly facing an “uphill battle” with payment distributions to some appointed youth brigades under the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative. This is according to some general assistants who allegedly never received their stipends for the past two months approaching the third one from the month of March 2021.

Sabelo Ntuli, one of the General assistant employed under the youth brigade said, “We have not been paid for close to three months now and when we asked the principal yena he pointsat the department while the department points at the school.”“We are left stranded and desperate.”

The project had about 10 000 youth members in the province appointed as brigades and dispatched to different schools to assist the department in enforcing Covid-19 protocols and regulations. However, since the start of the project things have allegedly not been smooth sailing with regards to payments. In the past months, the Education Department pleaded for patience when it revealed that it had failed to make payments to some of its contractors due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA), which is a branch of the province’s Education Department responsible for promoting skills development, has now conceded that the payment system in place was not designed to deal with a high number of appointees. “The reason why the initial payment decision was taken to utilise the SAP/BAS payment system was that it is a one-step process.”

“The disadvantage is, however, that payments do not take place automatically but a list of the employees to be paid must be processed monthly.” According to the GCRA, a decision had been taken that Persil, the personnel and salaries management system used by national and provincial government in South Africa, would be utilised for payment of stipends of applicants who were appointed from last month.

“The information from the previous system could not automatically migrate to Persil. “Each case needed to be verified and additional information captured.” The GCRA also stated that the initial disadvantage of the system was that every case would need to go through a two-step process, which would require the first appointment to be done on the system. This would then enable them to implement payments after the appointee reflected on the system. “The advantages, however, outweigh the disadvantages, as once the appointment is on Persil and the first payment has taken place, the stipend would automatically be paid to the bank account monthly until the end of the contract or termination.”The GCRA added that a special task team was currently attending to the migration which would also result in a change of payment dates. #ladi_jaja?

By: Mpho Khena.

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