OUTA uncovers corruption at Services SETA

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has received information indicating gross wasteful and irregular expenditure at the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).

                                                                                                                                                                            July 2018

OUTA has in its possession damning evidence which indicates that certificates obtained from Services SETA between March 2014 to date have not been registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). OUTA, is investigating this information with SAQA.

“We are deeply concerned for those students who have studied through the Services SETA and who have put their trust in this institution believing they hold a valid qualification,” says Dominique Msibi OUTA’s Portfolio Manager on Special Projects.

In addition, OUTA is also in possession of invoices and payment advice forms that show large transactions for questionable purchases.  This includes, 20 000 exam pads at R214-00 per item, 30 000 lanyards at R 166-50 per lanyard, and 30 000 USB’s at R 167-00 per item. A quick online search will reveal that basic USB’s can be bought for as little as R 59-00 and lanyards for as little as R 3-00. It is not known on what basis and for whom these items were purchased.

We are concerned that an institution tasked with training could spend such exorbitant amounts for items associated with an events management company.  The cost per item implies it is gilded. OUTA is suspicious of the fact that all the invoices mentioned above were paid to the same supplier and all but two of the payments were made on the same day 12th June 2018. It also concerns us that, despite the income of R28, 963, 429.60 on this deal alone, the company in question does not have a VAT number and that no VAT is charged on each invoice.

OUTA’s preliminary investigations showed that tender procedures as per government regulations have not been followed.

OUTA will report this information to the Auditor General, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Financial Intelligence Centre.  OUTA will also consider bringing a PAIA application for the Services SETA to make tender documents and payments made to said company available.

In addition, OUTA has requested a meeting with the Minister for Higher Education, Naledi Pandor, regarding wasteful expenditure of tax payers’ money by these training intuitions. These institutions should equip the youth with skills and provide our economy with an employable workforce.

OUTA has expanded this project to investigate maladministration at SETA’s as a whole and is calling on whistle blowers to come forward.

“OUTA has been investigating Services SETA for some time and the evidence we have is damning. However, we need more whistle blowers to come forward as we believe corruption is rife throughout the SETA’s and we want to tackle corruption across the SETA’s in one sweep,” added Msibi.

Please forward any information via our secure portal at www.outa.co.za.

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