DA refuses to retract Limpopo textbook claims

Two district warehouses visited by the DA were apparently filled with 'thousands' of books. (Luke Boelitz, M&G)

Two district warehouses visited by the DA were apparently filled with 'thousands' of books. (Luke Boelitz, M&G)

"It is increasingly undeniable that there are severe shortages in many schools across Limpopo," said Democratic Alliance MP Jacques Smalle on Friday.

"The department's claim that 97% of books have been delivered is false."

On Monday, the department of education said textbooks had been delivered to all schools in Limpopo.

"There is no school in Limpopo that has not received textbooks," said spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi.

He urged the DA to retract its claims by the end of business on Friday.

Smalle said the party received a letter from the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools on Monday, proving that the department was in denial about the shortage.

"In the letter, schools with shortages are told to collect books from district warehouses on a first-come-first-serve basis."

He said the schools were instructed to provide updates on whether their "situation" had changed.

On Monday, the Mail & Guardian reported that the department came out guns blazing refuting claims by the DA that there are still schools in Limpopo without textbooks. The DA has until Friday [15 February] to "apologise to South Africans for misleading them" or risk being reported to Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education, said Lesufi.

Shortage of books
Two district warehouses visited by the DA on Thursday, were apparently filled with "thousands" of books.

Smalle said this was proof that there was still a shortage of books.

"The 'first-come-first-serve' instruction also reveals that the demand for textbooks is greater than the supply."

He said the DA would continue applying pressure on the department until all schools received textbooks.

Comment from the department of education could not be immediately obtained. – Sapa

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