ANC: Textbook crisis a failure of govt

2012-07-30 14:22
Gwede Mantashe (File, Sapa)

Gwede Mantashe (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) has acknowledged that the late delivery of textbooks in Limpopo was a "serious failure" by government.

"The NEC... considered the lack of delivery of books in Limpopo as shocking and unacceptable and believes that whosoever is found to be responsible must face stern action that may include criminal charges," ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday.

"The NEC acknowledged that this is a serious failure on the part of government and the department of education in particular at both national and provincial level."

He said the NEC discussed the textbook saga during its lekgotla last week. All task teams investigating the saga needed to reconcile their reports to a presidential task team.

"That final report should be the basis for any action to be taken, including action against any person found guilty of any misdemeanour."

Many organisations and people, including the African National Congress Youth League and the Congress of SA Trade Unions, hold Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga responsible for the saga and have called for her axing.

The NEC proposed that the National Treasury work directly with the department of basic education, so that complaints about the non-availability of resources could not be used as an excuse for late delivery.

"Let us emphasise that throwing money at the problem [must] be avoided. We must do things correctly, efficiently, and effectively," said Mantashe.

It had also agreed that the national department needed to take full responsibility for buying textbooks for next year.

A report by former education director general Mary Metcalfe was compiled in response to the department's assertion that 98 percent of textbooks were delivered to Limpopo pupils after schools were without books for seven months.

It found that despite the extended date for delivery of textbooks - 27 June - the department's assertion that 98% of the books were delivered was incorrect.

Political tensions

Mantashe said the lekgotla also discussed a report by Auditor General Terence Nombembe on the poor performance of municipalities.

"There is a synergy between the AG's report and our own report that was done by our own monitoring and evaluation unit," Mantashe said.

"The ANC acknowledges that many of the problems at local government level have to do with political tensions within the ANC and the alliance."

He said the ANC would ensure that "no single member of the organisation uses a public office as a tool to lobby for power and as a consequence fails to deliver".

The report revealed that only five percent of municipalities received clean audits and that none of the metros received clean audits.

"The NEC... will hold a one day meeting near the end of August to discuss its own findings on the state of local government, as well as the AG's report," Mantashe said.

The lekgotla also decided the focus on tenders as a procurement method needed to be lessened since it was inextricably linked to corruption.

"There was a feeling in the NEC that over-dependence on tenders is killing the capacity of the state. We think that it is one area that actually creates an opportunity for corruption," Mantashe said.

"Therefore, there must be a reduction on the... dependence on tenders. The state should do what must be done by the state, maybe on mega-projects you can outsource to the private sector."

He said the state needed to procure directly from manufacturers and minimise its dependence on "middlemen".

The lekgotla also proposed that one indigenous African language, including Afrikaans, be compulsory in schools, depending on the region.

"If you go to the Northern Cape and the Western Cape by and large, everybody speaks Afrikaans as a first language, so it is an indigenous language," Mantashe said.
Read more on:    anc  |  cosatu  |  mary metcalfe  |  gwede ­mantashe  |  angie motshekga  |  textbook saga  |  education

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

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


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 network.


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.