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Walter Sisulu University to pay struggling interns their stipends by 30 July

By Yolanda Palezweni - Jul 7, 2017
Walter Sisulu University to pay struggling interns their stipends by 30 July

The Walter Sisulu University (WSU) on Thursday promised to pay up stipends after 100 disgruntled interns from the institution lodged a complaint with the Department of Labour on Tuesday.

The graduates - from the Marketing, Finance, and Finance faculties at the Walter Sisulu University, claim that university was funded to the tune of R4 million by the BANKSETA GRADUATE  programme for it to place them at workplaces relevant to their qualifications for a period of between 6 and 12 months.

According to one of the graduates, who spoke to RNEWS on condition of anonymity, they been working for more than three months and never received their promised stipends.

Read more on the students' plight HERE.

Speaking to RNEWS, Walter Sisulu University spokesperson, Yonela Tukwayo, said that the students have not been paid as yet due to late submission of documents required and a delay in the capturing.

Tukwayo said that the students commenced with their internship programs on 10 April 2017 and were all orientated before they commenced with their internships.

She said that the following was emphasized during their orientation:

  • The expected general behaviour at their workstations and what is expected of them.
  • The fact that all students needed to submit their signed contracts, certified copies of CVs, IDs, qualifications and Bank forms (for their stipends)
  • The money to pay the students will be paid (in two tranches) over to WSU for onward payment to the students.

“What was also emphasized (by the BankSETA) was the fact that all the students need to submit these documents before the BankSETA could release the first tranche to WSU,” said Tukwayo.

She added that it was also repeatedly communicated to them that the students need to encourage each other to submit these documents on time, as failure by some students would delay the release of the payment to WSU and would therefore affect their stipends as well. 

According to Tukwayo, a  number of students, contrary to the instructions issued during the orientation, did not submit their documents on time, and the last group of students submitted their documents in the last week of May 2017, after numerous phone calls and e-mails to remind them.

“The last remaining documents were then submitted to the BankSETA. The BankSETA acknowledged receipt of all the documents. The first tranche was then made to WSU in mid-June 2017,” she said.

“WSU had noted that these payments would be processed when the BankSETA made their payment to the university."

Tukwayo added that the Finance Division indicated that since the stipends were going to be paid monthly to the students, it was proper that the WSU would need to capture these students on the system as interns, which is where they are presently. 

“It is important to mention that WSU had targeted to pay the stipends to students by 30 June but since we cannot pay others and leave out others, it is imperative to speed up the capturing process in order for the university to pay all students in July,” concluded Tukwayo.