Nene allocates billions to education purse

2015-02-25 14:15

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The education budget gets an 8% increase to R265.7 billion this year.

Over three years, more than R7 billion will be allocated to replace infrastructure in 510 schools and to provide water to 1120 schools, sanitation to 741 and electricity to 916 schools over the next three years, said Finance Minister Nene in his budget speech.

All schools will meet the minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure by 2016.

The number of qualified teachers entering the public service is set to increase to 10 200 by 2017-2018, up from 7 227 in 2012-2013.

To support teacher training, R3.1 billion will be awarded in Funza Lushaka bursary schemes over the next three years.

Other measures for schools over three years include:

» Printing and distributing 170 million workbooks at 23 562 schools;

» Each pupil in Grades R to 9 will receive two books per subject each year in key subjects;

» R4.1 billion to build and support public libraries; and

» R1.1 billion for broadband connectivity in government institutions and schools;

Mindful of the pressures on student financing at higher education institutions, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme is projected to spend R11.9 billion in 2017-2018, up from R9.2 billion in 2014-2015.

To tighten up financial management and prevent corruption, all books delivered to schools next year will be managed through a centrally negotiated contract.

From May this year, all school building plans will be standardised and the cost of construction will be controlled by the office of the chief procurement officer.

“Too often and for too long, we have paid too much for school building projects,” said Nene.

Routine maintenance of school buildings and minor construction will be decentralised, accompanied by measures “to combat inefficiency and corruption at district and school level”.

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