By: Jane Sithole MPL, DA Mpumalanga Premier Candidate
The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the commitment made by Office of the Premier, Director-General, Mathews Mohlasedi, to ensure that the unpaid government interns finally receive their stipends which have been outstanding for nearly four months.
The DA wrote to Premier Refilwe Mtshweni after the interns sought our support as their cries were falling on deaf ears. The DA also supported a march by the interns, all in an effort to ensure that the interns are paid and that they are granted fair access to sustainable jobs.
The interns, who work across various government departments and municipalities across the province, started working in May 2018 but were only paid in July 2018 for May and June after they protested. They’re yet to be paid for July, August and September. Some of them have never been paid since they started working.
The internships, were supposed to give the interns experience in real work environments had become a liability as many of the interns came from disadvantaged backgrounds and could no longer afford to report to work daily for no remuneration.
In a meeting today with Mathews Mohlasedi, the Director-General stated that the interns would be paid their outstanding stipends on Tuesday 23 October 2018 and that they will thereafter receive their remuneration on a monthly basis. These payments will apparently be made directly by the OTP which will then claim them back from SETA.
While the DA welcomes the progress made in reimbursing these interns, Mohlasedi’s commitment does raise questions of what happened to the money in the first place.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make sure that the stipends are paid on Tuesday as promised by Mathews Mohlasedi. The DA is committed to building One South Africa For All with a strong focus on addressing youth unemployment and ensure fair access to jobs.
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