MPs call for probe after education dept fails to pay teaching assistants

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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will be calling for an investigation into why over 300 000 assistant teachers have not been paid.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will be calling for an investigation into why over 300 000 assistant teachers have not been paid.
  • Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has called for an investigation after thousands of teaching assistants were not paid.
  • Portfolio Committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said they would meet with the department this week to get answers.
  • There appeared to be a problem with the payment between the national department and provincial departments, Mbinqo-Gigaba said. 

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Basic Education will be calling for an investigation into why more than 300 000 assistant teachers have not been paid.

The committee stepped in this week to try and get to the bottom of why the teaching assistants, working in a national Department of Basic Education project, had not received wages for December.

The assistant teachers were recruited nationally to start work from December to March, according to EWN.

The teachers are based in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said there appeared to be a problem with the transfer of funds between the national and provincial departments.

"National says they have paid, but the provincial departments say they have not received any payment. We need to investigate what is going on," she said.

The committee would be meeting with the national department this week, where they "will get answers," added Mbinqo-Gigaba.

"If national didn't send the money, they need to tell us. We are planning to meet with them this week and we will get answers," she said.

"People have signed contracts and now they haven't been paid, possibly for many months. That must be quite traumatic, because we're talking about their livelihoods."

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga had not responded to News24's request for comment at the time of publication.

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