MICT SETA boss fingered in corruption claims

Parliament's portfolio committee on education calls for a probe into alleged corruption at MICT SETA.
Parliament's portfolio committee on education calls for a probe into alleged corruption at MICT SETA.

Allegations of corruption running into millions at the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) involving the CEO need to be thoroughly investigated.

This is the word from Parliament's portfolio committee on higher education and training, which exercises oversight of the government entity.

It has been reported that MICT SETA CEO Oupa Mopaki was alleged to have been involved in corrupt and fraudulent activities that saw the entity lose millions to companies in which he had personal interest, which benefited from tenders.

In a statement, chairperson of the portfolio committee Connie September says it would be unfortunate if the alleged corruption occurred as funding at SETA 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."

MICT SETA is a government skills development entity that partners with industry, universities and technical and vocational education and training to provide training and learning programmes to South African youths to address skills scarcity in the ICT sector.

According to the chairperson, 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.

"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."

She adds the correct procedures must be followed in the investigation.

"The committee will raise the matter with the minister of higher education and training to ensure a speedy resolution is met, and to ensure SETA funds are spent to build much-needed skills," she concludes.

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