National treasury takes back R530-million of EC Education Infrastructure Grant

BY Bobby Stevenson (MPL) Shadow MEC for Finance

It is a tragedy in a province with so much need that the Department of Education has had R530-million of its Education Infrastructure Grant taken back by national treasury due to slow expenditure.

This amounts to 33% of the total grant of R1.594-billion.   This was gazetted yesterday.

In a fair society that values the freedom that education can bring, those responsible would be brought to book. Fairness demands the premier must make an example of these officials.  Heads must roll. 

There are over 600 hundred schools in this province that lack water, electricity and sanitation. This money would have gone a long way to assisting some of them put the indignity of pit toilets behind them. Thousands of learners must continue to suffer at the hands of inefficient bureaucrats.

Education is the foundation of opportunity and every learner has the right to a decent, healthy and secure learning environment.

The problem with the province is the inability of the Department of Public Works to act as an implementing agent. This results in other service providers such as the Independent Development Trust and Coega Development Corporation having to do the job which results in much higher costs and delays. 

This money has now been reallocated to other provinces -- R400-million to Gauteng, R80-million to Limpopo and R50-million to the Western Cape.

DA MPLs will be pursuing this matter in the portfolio committees of Finance, Education and Roads and Public Works during the current budgetary cycle to ensure accountability.

 March 08, 2016
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