Limpopo schools without textbooks – despite court order

The order that nongovernmental organisation Section 27 secured from the North Gauteng High Court on May 17 ruled textbooks for grades one, two, three and 10 pupils should reach all schools by no later than June 15.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga vowed in a press briefing last Thursday that the department would meet the deadline. “We are … [o]n time to meet the deadline for delivery to all schools by tomorrow,” she told the widely covered briefing.
New textbooks were needed after the department announced the phasing in of a new curriculum called the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements.
But on Monday the department would not say whether it had achieved its objectives. Responding to a Mail & Guardian query, the department said it was not in position to confirm if all schools had textbooks. 
“We are currently collecting all the relevant information on progress from our service providers,” said Terence Khala, one of the department’s spokespeople. “We will be in a better position to comment tomorrow [Tuesday].”
But indications that the department had not delivered as per undertaking are stark. Nikki Steyn, an attorney at Section 27, told the M&G some of the schools they are monitoring still did not have textbooks.
In a statement sent later on Monday, the department said it had received all textbooks it ordered from publishers. The department said its deliveries prioritised grades 1, 3, 6 and 10 in terms of the court order. In an admission that it didn’t deliver within the set deadline, the department said: “All other grades will then be prioritised during the course of this week.”
‘Crisis of textbooks unresolved’
Section 27 announced last Friday it had found the “crisis of textbooks … unresolved”, during a fact-finding mission it undertook with the National Association of School Governing Bodies.
The NGO hoped every school would have its textbooks delivered during this week, said Stein. “We would need to go back to court if delivery does not take place soon.”
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union Limpopo chairperson, Ronald Moroatshehla, confirmed to the M&G that Mashopa High School in Ga-Modjadji, where he is a principal, had not received textbooks for its grade 10 learners. 
“The department has not even communicated with us about delivery,” said Moroatshehla. 
Motshekga’s department has been running Limpopo’s education department since it was placed under administration last December. 
The Democratic Alliance said on Monday it was aware of at least four schools that had not received textbooks. 
The party’s basic education spokesperson Annette Lovemore listed Mponegele Primary School and Lotang Primary School in Seshego, as well as Serutle Secondary School and Tubake Secondary School in the Lepelle Nkumpi Municipality, as schools still without textbooks.
“There is no doubt that many other schools in the province are still without textbooks,” said Lovemore. 
Lovemore said she would request Hope Malgas, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education, to call Motshekga for an urgent meeting to “explain her department’s failure to meet the court’s requirements”.
She accused Motshekga of being in contempt of the court order. “Minister Motshekga has some explaining to do.”

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.