KZN closes the funding taps on 200 schools

2010-07-21 14:21

About 200 KwaZulu-Natal schools had been operating without cash for

more than six months because the education department had halted funds, an

education department spokesperson confirmed today.

The provincial department was supposed to allocate funds to 200

Section 21 schools six months ago, but it closed taps apparently because the

schools failed to furnish it with invoices.

Unlike other schools, which receive material from the department,

the Section 21 schools receive funds from the department to buy material for

day-to-day operations.

Education department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa confirmed that

there were about 200 schools that had failed to send their invoices to the

department.

“These are the schools that were given money to buy learning,

teaching and support material and provision of other services, and decided to do

something else with the money,” he said.

He said the department was asking for invoices as proof that the

schools had bought what they claimed they had bought.

School principals said they had been forced to fork out from their

own pockets to run their schools.

“Education is adversely affected by what the department has done.

If they don’t want to give us money, they must buy things for us so that

education can continue,” said a principal who did not want to be named.

The principals said the department had changed the rules regarding

the allocation of funds without informing them.

“We have been sending invoices to private auditors who audit our

books. They are appointed by school governing bodies,” another principal

said.

The principals said they were only informed in May that they would

not get money because of the invoices.

“The department is not serious about education.

They are not giving

us money and they are not making arrangements for the material to be bought for

us,” the principal said.

The department was adamant that it would not allocate funds until

it had received invoices.

“As soon as they give us invoices, funding will be given to them.

It is that simple,” said Mlotshwa.

He said if schools failed to submit invoices, the department would

buy the necessary items for them.



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