Is there money for books and teachers?

2013-10-10 00:00

THE provision of learner and teacher support material (LTSM) was “sufficient” for this academic year and 2014, provincial head of department Nkosinathi Sishi said yesterday.

Responding to the announcement to the education portfolio committee on Tuesday, Sishi, however, contradicted himself.

“We bought textbooks and we are ready to deliver by November 1. Books that are bought are sufficient. However, there are a lot of children who are still sharing books,” Sishi said.

He had told the committee that five pupils were currently sharing one book in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of lack of funds to buy more books.

“We have to secure more funds so that they do not share books,” Sishi told The Witness yesterday.

Sishi made the statements following budget cuts instituted by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education to cover personnel costs when it reprioritised its funds.

He said the cuts were a cause for concern as the department now has to deal with basic issues instead of providing quality education.

It was reported yesterday that R155 million budgeted for LTSM was part of the funds reprioritised to pay monies owed to employees. Also cut was R500 million for school infrastructure.

The monies arise from occupational specific dispensation and wage agreements dating back to 2008 that were never implemented due to lack of funds.

This happens as the department is saddled with 800 vacancies and 1 866 mainly administrative posts not provided for in the budget, as well as R80 billion in infrastructure backlogs.

Cutting the infrastructure budget means the refurbishment and building of new schools cannot be carried out. KZN is supposed to be building 14 schools per financial year.

Sishi insisted that the education sector was hugely underfunded. “These are issues the MEC can’t deal with alone,” he said. He added that the department desperately needed more funding, which could be kept at Treasury and the accessed when the need arose.

According to Sishi, the provincial department needed at least R2,8 billion to address employee costs and R80 billion for infrastructure.

Sishi added that a motivation for additional funding had been made to the finance portfolio committee and Provincial Treasury. “It is my job to cry so that the future of our children can be secure,” he explained in his plea for help to the Treasury.

Portfolio committee chairperson Linda Hlongwa said Treasury ought to find ways to get money for the department.

“There is money sitting somewhere,” Hlongwa said.

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. 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


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
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.