School group slams bling buys

2009-07-23 22:23

Bloemfontein - The two luxury official vehicles bought by the basic education minister cast doubt on her commitment to education and ability to prioritise, school governing bodies association Fedsas said on Thursday.

While thousands of children were left without access to basic education due to a lack of transportation, Angie Motshekga spent R1.6m on her personal transportation, Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools chief executive officer Paul Colditz said in a statement.

"This is clear evidence that government is not speaking the truth when referring to quality education."

Basic expenses

He was reacting to reports about Motshekga's purchase of a Range Rover Sport TDV8 as her official vehicle in Pretoria, along with a BMW 730D for use in Cape Town, with taxpayers' money.

Colditz said this happened while Fedsas had to threaten Free State Premier Ace Magashule with legal action to pay transfer fees to schools in the province earlier this year.

"Without this money, schools cannot cover their basic expenses."

In the Northern Cape schools had not received all the transfer fees for 2008.

"How are we to teach our children without water, electricity or paper? There are similar examples all over South Africa."

Committed to education?

Colditz said the minister's actions made it difficult to trust her commitment to education.

"Children in rural areas have to walk kilometres in cold conditions because transport tenders were not awarded or routes were changed without consultation or insight.

"Of course she is entitled to transportation, but it is the extravagance thereof that is worrying," he said.

The organisation said the minister owes the public answers for her "apparent lack of prioritisation".

Fedsas is a voluntary association of school governing bodies of 1 100 public schools.