By Sibanengi Dube
VEREENIGING: Vereeniging’s Damelin Campus is retrenching as the giant education group, Educor which owns Damelin, City Varsity, Intec and Lyceum continues to crumble. The company is in the process of retrenching more than 700 employees, who form half of the education group’s workforce. The ‘impacted’ workers are being offered retrenchment packages of a week ‘salary for each year of service to the company. Some retrenched workers are will receive their last salary pay cheque at the end of February. An internal memo dated February 7 which was sent to 1558 permanent employees attributed the decision to the poor performance of the national economy.
However sources within the group revealed that the dwindling enrollment figures which plummeted by more than 48% precipitated the slashing of jobs. Sources also confided that Educor’s expensive fees structure pushed students to seek alternative education in other private colleges. “Their fees are too high. Some courses have an annual tuition fees of between R50 000 to R60 000 a year yet other collages like Rosebank charge half of that for the same course,” confided an Educor employee.
The Education group was stopped from marketing other courses mid last year by the Council of Education for Higher Learning after failing to re- register their modules. The local Damelin campus in Vereeniging operating at Corner Market Street and Voortrekker Road seems not spared the chop. The enrolment figures are reportedly very low and a couple of employees have already joined the long queue of unemployment. Vaal Observer could not establish the exact number of impacted employees, but is reliably informed that the campus shall be operating with a skeletal compliment of staff members. The poor media relations skills within the group are not making the crisis any better. Instead of clearly explaining the situation which the Group is in, personnel entrusted with responsibilities of responding to media queries are duck and diving.
The owner of Educor, Leo Chetty, ignored a set of simple questions that Vaal Observer sent to him. He did not even pick his phone when this paper called him. He later sent a message saying: “Sorry, I can’t talk right now.” He later referred this paper to Zainal Bux, who also ignored questions sent to her.