The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga has slammed the Education Department for the slow pace in addressing school infrastructure challenges in the province.
There has been an increase in the number of protests where communities demand dilapidated schools to be rebuilt. In the process disrupting teaching and learning.
DA leader in Mpumalanga, Jane Sithole, questioned the department’s failure in returning millions of rand to Treasury, while the schools are in poor state. The school infrastructure backlog is estimated to be over R29-billion. Sithole says this is unacceptable as some of the schools construction projects remain incomplete due to lack of funds.
“We have been saying that our schools are falling apart many of them are struggling, because classrooms are falling apart, the ceiling is falling apart, this government has returned back R312 million which was suppose to be used, to either rebuild or build new schools. To return back that money, which should have been used.”
Meanwhile, the Education Department in Mpumalanga has acknowledged the school infrastructure backlog in the province. On the issue of the returned funds to Treasury, Head of Department for Education, Lucy Moyane, had this to say.
“Let me indicate that the budget that we have is designated in terms of what it should do. 60% of the money that we have is suppose to address maintenance of infrastructure and 40% has new capital project. Yes, we have lost R312 million but that was the money intended for maintenance. in terms of capital projects, we had to return any money, why the money was taken from us, is because we had a delay in terms of rolling out our maintenance projects.”
Angry parents demand improved infrastructure, learning at a Mpumalanga school: