row over missing student funds

LACK of proper communication by the Construction Education and Training Authority or a possible loophole in the system has seen a businessman allegedly pocket thousands of rands meant for needy students he is training.

LACK of proper communication by the Construction Education and Training Authority or a possible loophole in the system has seen a businessman allegedly pocket thousands of rands meant for needy students he is training.

Sam Dubazana of Plumb Train Academy in Mofolo, Soweto, received R2,5million from Ceta to train 100 students over six months.

Instead of paying each of them a monthly stipend of R850, Dubazana allegedly kept the money for himself. Now Ceta wants him to pay up or face the music.

"He knows that he has to pay students a minimum of R850," said Ceta's spokesperson Badumile Duma.

Sowetan, has, however, established that the contract signed by Dubazana and Ceta made no mention of the students' stipends.

Both Dubazana and Duma confirmed this.

"I am not aware that I am expected to pay my students. I have gone through my contract again and I could not find any clause which says I must pay these people.

" My duty is to train and place them with prospective employers," said Dubazana.

But Duma, who admitted that the contract did not address the stipend issue, was adamant. She said legal action would be taken should Dubazana fail to pay the students.

"Although it is not indicated in the contract, Mr Dubazana knows he has to pay these students. This was communicated verbally to him. He is aware of the provisions of the labour laws," she said.

When asked why the stipend was not stipulated in writing, Duma snapped: "I just told you that Mr Dubazana was told to pay students. People who do business with us must do their own research so that they could get to know about these things."

But Dubazana hit back: "This is public money we are talking about, so we can't enter into verbal agreements because you have to account for every cent. If Ceta has promised to pay these students it can do so, but I never entered into any agreement to pay any student."

He said a large portion of the money was going towards paying a monthly rental of R15000 and improvements to the workshops.

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