e-Government interns sit at home with no job

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.

DA Gauteng proposes Motion on ICT in Libraries


The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance, Ashor Sarupen MPL and DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Kingsol Chabalala MPL, during a debate on ICT in libraries in Gauteng.

Ashor Sarupen MPL

“Gauteng can use ICT in libraries to promote local languages”

•    This motion calls on the Legislature to use this opportunity to give meaning to sections 30 and 31 of the constitution, using technology to promote local language use, while also modernizing ICT in libraries, and, in the process stimulating the local ICT industry;
•    While Microsoft does provide basic Windows functions in isiZulu, isiXhosa and Sesotho, it is rudimentary at best, and its grammar and spell checker is not sufficiently developed for serious academic and journalistic use – which is the lifeblood of how languages thrive;
•    Our citizens should see their language rights promoted in the digital world, and should be able to select their language of choice to interface on these devices when they make use of their local library; and
•    In Gauteng, our libraries, as we modernize and move to e-government, offer a prime opportunity to stimulate the local ICT industry and protect language rights by transitioning to local language-based, open-sourced platforms on the devices that our citizens use.

The full speech can be obtained here.

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“Libraries open up the windows to opportunity”

•    The DA in Gauteng tables this motion as it seeks to encourage young people of all walks of life to access good, reliable and efficient internet services at local libraries across the province;
•    The power of mother tongue internet services will bring our people closer together and unite all those that have felt excluded and marginalised;
•    Libraries remain empty for years, construction delays and blame shift occurs, very little to no books are bought and many remain in boxes for many months whilst internet connectivity seems to be something of the ‘future’  yet we need to adapt to the digital age and an ever transforming society; and
•    Great software makes great computing which equals successful job hunting. It is a win-win on all sides and this house should seriously consider adopting this motion and get our libraries working.

The full speech can be obtained here.