Fedsas to take Free State education dept to court

2016-02-02 18:02

Bloemfontein – The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) said on Tuesday that they were taking the Free State department of education to court.  

This comes after some schools in the province were not paid their fourth quarter subsidies last year.    

"The department had promised to pay the subsidies by the end of January and, so far, they haven’t. We have no choice but to take them to court,” deputy head of Fedsas Jaco Deacon said.   

Deacon said the department had only paid a portion of the money to schools, and only special schools in the province have received their full pay.  

"The schools rely on that money and they are under enormous pressure right now because of finances. They need to pay for water and electricity and for now nothing has been done."

A source who works closely with schools in the province, who wished to remain anonymous, said the situation in the rural areas was even worse.  

"The feeding schemes have also run out of money, so children are expected to be fed from home. A number of principals have also complained about their pupils not having proper chairs and tables to sit on," he said.  

Meanwhile, DA education spokesperson Mariette Pittaway said last month that the party had contacted 30 high schools and 20 primary schools in a snap survey to determine the extent of the department’s late payment of subsidies.

She said the results revealed that 21 high schools and 16 primary schools had not been paid their subsidies.

"The non-payment of school subsidies severely hampers the ability of schools to maintain a functional environment that is conducive to learning. Schools need these subsidies to pay for municipal services, water and electricity, without which, schools run the risk of having these services suspended." 

"MEC Tate Makgoe must immediately release all past-due subsidies to schools to avoid the unnecessary court action being brought by Fedsas," she added.  

Asked for comment, the department said it would respond at a later stage. 

Read more on:    bloemfointein

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