Textbooks shredded, burned in KZN

2013-07-25 18:25
Textbooks

Textbooks

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

Durban - Textbooks meant for schools in KwaZulu-Natal were found shredded and burnt at a warehouse in Empangeni, provincial education authorities said on Thursday.

They were to have been delivered to schools in the province by March, education MEC Senzo Mchunu said.

The books were discovered on Wednesday at a warehouse belonging to UTi Distributors, a company the basic education department had contracted to distribute textbooks in all provinces.

"We can't help but suspect that there is a case of huge corruption on the part of the company in question," Mchunu said.

UTi Distributors denied not delivering textbooks to schools in the province.

The company's Africa divisions director Greg Saffy said in a statement about 100 school workbooks from the 2012 school year were found irreparably damaged and shredded at its Empangeni warehouse. He said no schools had been adversely affected and there was no evidence of "criminality" or "corruption".

Mchunu said the department began suspecting something was amiss when, instead of distributing workbooks directly to schools, UTi decided to deliver workbooks to the offices of the Uthungulu district.

"That meant we had to incur unnecessary expenses where principals had to drive to the district offices to collect workbooks. This inefficiency happened more than once."

The department investigated and found the textbooks in Empangeni. Mchunu said he had reported the matter to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and police.

UTi said once it had identified the schools for which the damaged books were intended, the workbooks were replaced and delivered. The replacement was done within two weeks, and no schools were affected.

5 578 550 workbooks delivered

"UTi delivered 5 578 550 workbooks in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012, and have delivered 5 122 660 to the province for the 2013 school year," Saffy said.

He said the company was conducting its own investigation. Once that was complete disciplinary steps would be taken if necessary.

Saffy said UTi would provide Motshekga, Mchunu and other relevant parties with an official report as soon as possible.

"UTi was appointed as a service provider to a Joint Venture (JV) with Paarl Media and Lebone Litho for the distribution of school workbooks," he said.

Saffy said the JV agreed with UTi's statement.

The African National Congress in the province condemned the non-delivery of textbooks.

"It is absurd that books which are of great value to our children could be disposed of in this careless way," ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said in a statement. He said this proved that some business people did not care about the development of the country and pupils.

"The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal therefore calls for a speedy police investigation so that the perpetrators of this unspeakable deed are prosecuted and blacklisted from doing business with any government department or public entity."

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  durban  |  education

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
48 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/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.