Still no books at Limpopo schools

2012-04-21 18:08

Thousands of Limpopo pupils are still without textbooks four months into the school year as the government probes a controversial R320 million textbook tender in the cash-strapped province.

The textbook tender was awarded to EduSolutions, a company controlled by ANC-connected businessmen and former government officials.

Whistle-blower Solly Shitangano, a former general manager for budgets in the Limpopo education department, claimed early this year that the tender was awarded illegally.

The claims have been strongly denied by the Limpopo education department and EduSolutions.

Shitangano gave details of the alleged irregularities to the Public Protector, Premier Cassel Mathale and President Jacob Zuma months before a national government task team took over the running of Limpopo amid a budget crisis last year.

This week Anis Karodia, the national basic education department administrator in Limpopo, confirmed that schools did not have new curriculum textbooks, and that the procurement process had been taken over by the national department.

“It can’t be business as usual in Limpopo when you have certain people under investigation,” said Karodia, referring to EduSolutions.

Karodia refused to comment further, but he stressed that the department was no longer working with the company.

He said he would only discuss the matter after a forensic investigation.

The education department’s Hope Mokgatlhe refused to comment on EduSolutions, but admitted there there was a shortage of textbooks.

“This is caused by the challenges in data available about learner numbers in some schools. The basic education department is working with the province to confirm the credibility of data,” she said.

Publishers contacted by City Press said they had still not received any official orders from the department. A number of publishers said they had sent letters and made calls to the department, but had received no response.

Teachers are struggling to teach without the books.

“Teachers are using copies of the curriculum to teach. We have to improvise,” said Bankuna High School principal Aron Baloyi.

Ronald Moroatshehla, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union’s Limpopo chairperson, said they had asked for a meeting with the department.

EduSolutions’ lawyer, Ian Small-Smith, said: “EduSolutions is not under investigation and we have been and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities. Books have not yet been delivered because the department has not given us instructions to proceed with the placing of orders. In terms of our contract, we may not place orders unless the department instructs EduSolutions to do so.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.