Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has welcomed the decision of the Labour Appeal Court of South Africa to nullify the Labour Court decision setting aside his application to place the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) under administration.
Nzimande said the Labour Appeal Court decision, marks the victory of public interest over personal, selfish and greedy elements within the CETA, including “nefarious” agendas to loot the entity.
The Minister took the decision to place CETA under administration pursuant to section 15 (4) of the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 (‘SDA’).
Prior to taking the decision on 14 December 2019, the Minister addressed correspondence to CETA Chairperson Raymond Cele, indicating his intention to act in terms of s15 (4) of SDA.
“In my letter I raised 10 allegations which illustrated a profound lack of governance in the operations of CETA, including gross financial management, irregular payment of pension benefits and salary increments, and serious lapses of governance in procurement processes,” Nzimande said.
The Minister added that he expressed the view that CETA was on the brink of collapse and it was incumbent upon him to restore good governance to the operations of the entity.
“It is at that time when I requested that CETA Board make representations to me by no later than 10 January 2020; in particular, as to why I should not act in terms of s15 (4) of SDA,” Nzimande said.
Based on inadequate response provided by CETA Board, the Minister decided to order an independent investigation into the operations of CETA.
“I will continue to fight all forms of corruption and maladministration in any of my portfolio departments and all their entities. I will not sit by and observe when government is becoming a source of rot and looting by some within it, acting in cahoots with those who have their private and personal interest within the entities.”
The Minister reiterated that no amount of legal or any other delaying tactics will divert him from getting to the bottom of what seems to be “serious rot in CETA.”
“The intention to have placed CETA under administration was precisely to get to the bottom of these matters, nail the culprits, and in the process, help clear those who are clean but often get wrongly implicated in such matters,” Nzimande said.
Source: South African Government News Agency