DA challenges education dept to deliver books

2013-02-09 15:18

The Democratic Alliance challenged the department of education to deliver textbooks to Limpopo schools that faced shortages within 24-hours.

DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane today poured cold water on claims that stacks of textbooks found at a warehouse yesterday were a result of overstocking by the department.

“Education department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi claimed to Sapa yesterday that these books are merely additional stock... This simply cannot be the truth,” he said.

Lesufi said they had overstocked so that they could deliver books within 24 hours if the need arose.

Maimane said the DA was in possession of a letter from a principal apologising to parents for the school not receiving any textbooks for core subjects.

“If the department can deliver books within 24 hours to any school in need as Mr Lesufi claimed, then why is this principal writing desperate letters to parents a month into the school year?” Maimane asked.

The DA alleged they performed telephonic surveys with several schools around Limpopo and found that 56 of them had not received all the textbooks they needed.

Maimane said he believed there were hundreds of schools still without the relevant books. A DA Limpopo legislature member was detained on yesterday for allegedly trespassing at the warehouse where they textbooks were found, said the party.

The party’s provincial leader Jacques Smalle said police refused to release Democratic Alliance MPL Meisie Kennedy until she had deleted photos from her phone.

“The DA made a surprise visit to the warehouse this morning after pursuing the reasons for book shortages in schools this week,” Smalle said.

Limpopo police could not comment on the incident because no charges were laid.

Kennedy said the books were stacked from the ground to the ceiling in the warehouse.

“I introduced myself [and said] I wanted to conduct an oversight at the warehouse,” she said.

“I was allowed in, but while taking pictures I was manhandled. I screamed, I wanted to get help. They grabbed me. I’m still in shock.”

Kennedy said she would not lay a charge with the police because she was not injured. Her driver’s licence, identity document, and camera were confiscated, but were returned after the photos had been deleted.

The department of education said it did not own the property in the warehouse.

“The DA impersonated a government official and that property does not belong to the department, it belongs to a private company,” spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said.

“They must sort [these issues] out with the private company.”

He said the warehouse belonged to distribution company UTI.

The DA said it had heard from schools with textbook shortages that the education department had failed to deliver because of problems with a tender.

Smalle said the department had attempted to move the textbooks to another location yesterday morning after hearing of the DA’s visit.

“A delegation including Mmusi Maimane, Desiree van der Walt, and myself arrived in time to witness this,” said Smalle.

“The warehouse was immediately put into lockdown and thousands of books are still inside.”

Lesufi explained that some of the overstock was because the department’s database had not been updated since 2011 and some schools had gone from being just Afrikaans to Afrikaans and English medium schools.

“That is why we have overstocked the books, so if there is a delay we can deliver. We can also use those books next year.

“We have delivered books in Limpopo. Yes, there might be shortages, but it’s because of our database,” he said.

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.