Limpopo misses own textbook deadline but Sadtu is satisfied with 98%

2013-12-22 06:00

The provincial department of basic education in Limpopo claims to have delivered 98% textbooks to schools for the 2014 academic year.

This is despite the assurance that Limpopo books would be delivered by mid-November and that all books would be delivered countrywide before the December break.

Spokesperson Phuti Seloba said: “We have delivered about 98% to all schools across the province. I say 98% because there are books that the publishers didn’t have. But also it’s really very small and negligible quantities. We are now busy verifying and confirming if all schools have received their orders. And most schools seem to have received all textbooks.”

The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union in Limpopo confirmed that “98%” of the textbooks had been delivered. The union’s secretary in the province, Ronald Moroatsehla, who is also principal at Masopha Secondary school, said: “We have received the books.

“I can confirm that all schools have received more than 99% of their books. Well, that’s what the schools are telling us. I guess they don’t want to say they have delivered 100% just in case there are one or two schools which haven’t received some of their orders. We are more than satisfied.”

Seloba said Education MEC Dikeledi Magadzi had pleaded with School Governing Bodies to verify if the correct orders had been received. “We are trying by all means to close all possible gaps. Our view is that when schools reopen, all pupils will have books. We also have a task team doing the rounds in all districts, checking if books have been received.”

He said the region intended to start lessons on the very first day of school next month.

This will be the first time that the department delivers books in two years. In 2010, it outsourced the purchasing and distribution of books to EduSolutions. But the contract was cancelled in April last year when officials discovered major flaws.

The national department of basic education took over the delivery of textbooks, and by the time all books had arrived at schools, the first six months of the year had gone.

In October last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga promised that by the time schools closed, her department would have finished delivering textbooks to all schools.

But in January it became apparent that not all schools had received textbooks – thousands of books were still outstanding.

By April, some schools were still reporting shortages or that they had received the wrong books.

To avoid the embarassment of not having books when schools reopen, the department enlisted the services of the South African Post Office to deliver the textbooks.

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