The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that the department of e-Government spent millions of rands on training 45 interns.
While offering internships is a step in the right direction it is unacceptable that the department – after promising permanent employment – only retained 11.
By doing this they are not seeing a return on their investment and should not have made promises that they could not follow through on.
These interns were employed as part of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics training programme.
The programme was run by the department along with Ntsumi Telecommunications, Liaport Africa and IBA Global Training.
Furthermore, the department spent R2.8 million to fly the interns to Germany to learn about AI.
As part of the agreement after completing the year-long internship would be the offer of permanent employment but this did not happen.
Some of the interns left their existing jobs to join the programme because an expectation was created that they would be offered permanent employment only to find out later that this was not the case.
The interns that were trained are now sitting at home with no income.
The DA will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain exactly how much money was spent on the training of interns between 2016 and 2018, what measures are being put in place to ensure the retention of interns and if the interns are supplied with a certificate of completion once the training has been completed.
We will also be investigating whether it would be possible to take action against officials in the department for improper conduct in the handling of the internship programme.