News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday August 23rd 2019

Public Protector investigates Learnership 1000 programme


The Public Protector today confirmed it is investigating the controversial Learnership 1000 programme that was initiated by former Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works Marius Fransman in 2006.

The investigation follows a complaint lodged by disgruntled beneficiary Gregvin Rowland, 44, from Poterville who claims that “government lied” about the guarantees of jobs and first-hand training at various organisations during the course of the 18-month programme.

About 35 000 applications were received for programme which was launched in June 2006 in Goodwood.

The programme was backed by the Sector Education and Training Authorities, (SETAs), ABSA bank, City of Cape Town, the provincial Department of Education and municipalities.

According Rowland, the programme targeted unemployed youth who would be trained in various areas such as carpentry, construction, building, agriculture and arts and crafts.

Public Protector spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi confirmed they were investigating the matter and a response from the Department of Transport and Public Works was expected by the end of November.

She said the grievance was allegedly lodged with the department “at the time by the complainant and others but were not attended to”.

She said that it was not possible at the moment to project the time frame around the finalization of the case.

This week, Rowland said that he was lured into signing up for the programme because of the promise of jobs and industrial training, as well as the media hype around the programme.

He said he enrolled for a construction course at College Boland in Paarl but to his disappointment, he and the other learners did not received the promised on-the-job training during the 18-months at the college.

He claimed they also did not receive the promised R888 monthly stipend during the period of the course.

“I applied because of the promises that were made at the launch. Promises of jobs and training. There were no jobs. There was no training. I’m still devastated,” he said.

As a result he laid a complaint with the Public Protector’s office in Cape Town in April this year.

“I want the Public Protector to investigate if there was anything wrong in this programme. I want someone to be held to accountable. Government lied to us. Corruption should not be covered up,” Rowland.

Before signing up for the training, he said he had worked as a part-time welder but due to the scarcity of work, he thought the training would enable him to be employed in construction.

Rowland said he was jobless and had to depend on his wife, who works at a wine cellar, and daughter, who is a farmworker, for support.

Current MEC in the department of transport and public works, Robin Carlisle, said the programme initiated by Fransman was a “disaster”.

He said learners were not placed in a work environment as was planned, but highlighted that the promised jobs were never going to be permanent but were temporary. – Francis Hweshe


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One Response to “Public Protector investigates Learnership 1000 programme”

  1. vuyani viki says:

    I would just like the department to tell us engineering learners where to and what about our certificates. Why did they do this to us what have we ever done to them because now I feel so let down after I spent so much time at school instead of looking for a job. My name is vuyani viki I was studying tool making at northlink (bellvile south campus) my number is 0797735865 please I need answers

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