/ 22 February 2024

Victory for financial sector learners as certificates issued after months of delays

Dr Kershen Pillay Gifs
Dr Kerhsen Pillay, CEO of GIFS

The Graduate Institute of Financial Science is fighting back against shoddy service delivery

The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS) has scored a victory after championing the cause of hundreds of employees in the financial services sector who were left stranded due to inexplicable delays in the awarding of their certificates. Since GIFS began piling on the pressure on regulatory body the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA), 319 certificates have been processed in the last few months.

CEO of GIFS Dr Kershen Pillay says they’re ecstatic on behalf of their learners: “When this matter shot into the headlines in January, what many people didn’t realise was that at the heart of it were hundreds of mainly young people who had effectively been blocked from making career progress because they could not get their certificates, despite doing all the work that was required.” GIFS was granted a court order on 4 January 2024 overturning INSETA’s decision to de-accredit the institution. Since then, INSETA has processed hundreds of certificates, after publicly denying there was a massive certification backlog.

Pillay believes GIFS is being victimised, but it’s a fight he’s unwilling to give up as there are other financial services education providers in a similar situation. He says GIFS has become the face of fighting back against shoddy service delivery since deciding to blow the whistle on alleged corruption by taking the matter to the Public Protector. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has also come into possession of documents that allege widespread corruption in the SETA landscape, and is currently investigating the matter. 

A cease-and-desist letter was also sent to GIFS by INSETA after the airing of a national TV interview in which a learner shared her despair at not receiving her certificate, despite meeting all the requirements of the Wealth Management NQF Level 5. She is among the learners who’ve since been given their qualifications — a process that previously had no end in sight.

“We are among various whistleblowers and we’ll continue despite being threatened and intimidated. We’re fighting for the rights of young people to rightfully enjoy the brighter future they’re studying hard for. It’s time our government steps in to support us,” adds Pillay.