Still waiting for callback
A DENTAL therapist is twiddling his thumbs after the government granted him a bursary and promised him a job.
Khayalethu Kongile, 22, said he could not look for a job because his contract with the Eastern Cape provincial government states that he has to work for them for four years after completing his studies.
"I was meant to work for them for four years because I studied for four years with their bursary," said Kongile, who completed his studies last year.
"I got a bursary from the Eastern Cape department of health and they promised me a job, but I am still unemployed."
Kongile said he was awarded a bursary by the department in 2008 to study dental technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
He said as part of the contract he was supposed to be placed by the department to complete the terms of his contract.
"I was sent a letter in October last year saying they were aware that it was my final year as a student and reminding me that I had to start working for them this year," he said.
"They also wrote that if I failed to do so I would have to pay them for all the years I had been studying plus interest."
The letter, he claimed, was sent by the superintendent-general of the health department.
As part of the agreement, Kongile said, he went to the department in January when he was told he would be placed at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital as a dental technologist.
"I even went on the tour and everything. Then they told me I should expect a call the next week with an appointment letter. Weeks went by with no word," he said.
He then went to the human resources (HR) department.
"They told me I was not registered with the Dental Technology Association of South Africa and that was why I had not been placed. My parents paid R560 to get me registered and I went back to them when I had finalised my registration."
He said the registration was finalised in March and he still has not been placed.
"My sister decided to call the HR department again and they told her there was no funding for my post," he said. "I then sent a letter to the superintendent-general on May 11 and I've sent SMSes and made calls to the general manager of HR, and she keeps telling me that she's in a meeting," he said. "I want to go to work. I feel like they've abandoned me."
Kongile said his parents were unemployed and he hoped to help them financially.
"I also can't find another job because they will sue me," he said.
Spokesman for the department, Sizwe Kupelo, said it was Kongile's fault that he was unemployed.
"I just want to say he must not put the blame on the government. He must take the blame. He failed to register.
"If you are not registered with the council we cannot allow you to help the patients. It is illegal."
Confronted with the fact that Kongile has been registered since March, Kupelo said, "he must look for a job".
Kupelo, however, did offer to help Kongile and make sure his documents get to the relevant people.
"I reject any conclusion that says the department is in the wrong." - email@example.com