The portfolio committee on higher education & training has called for a thorough probe into reports alleging massive corruption running into millions at one of the entities over which it conducts oversight.
According to weekend reports, Oupa Mopaki, the CEO of the Media Information and Communication Technologies (MICT) Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) was involved in corrupt and fraudulent activities that saw the entity lose millions to companies he had personal interest, which benefited from tenders.
The chairwoman of the portfolio committee, Connie September, said if the alleged corruption occurred, it would be unfortunate as funding at Setas is mainly intended for poor learners, who are struggling to gain work experience.
“This is a worrying situation, especially that the person who is involved is the person who should be leading the institution with integrity and making it realise the broader objectives it was founded for. Our country is faced with massive challenges of young people, who are struggling to gain work experience.
“These accusations are ridiculing to the work of the department and generally government,” September said.
She said entities should not be losing millions while governance, legislation, policies and internal controls are in place. The Seta board must follow the matter and preferably report on this at its next appearance before the committee, September said.
“Setas need to contribute positively to the broad developmental agenda and we want to see results, and they must play the role they were founded for. Therefore, the board must act expeditiously and leave no stone unturned,” September said.
She said the correct procedures must be followed in the investigation.
“The committee will raise the matter with the minister of higher education & training to ensure that a speedy resolution is met, and to ensure that Seta funds are spent to build much needed skills,” she said. — SAnews