Sizwe Mchunu, MPP – DA KZN Leader &
Tom Stokes, MPP – DA KZN Education Spokesperson
THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has written to Education MEC Senzo Mchunu to ask for the release of all Edusolutions tender documents.
KZN is the only province that has so far refused to release the details of how much money Edusolutions has made from contracts with the Department for books and stationery. We believe that Edusolutions is making hundreds of millions of Rands out of the KZN Department that otherwise could be used to buy additional books, appoint teachers or fix schools.
The state’s own legal opinion, provided by Advocate Pat Ellis, has found that Edusolutions contracts with provincial Education Departments are unconstitutional because they are not “fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective”.
In each province, Edusolutions is able to abuse the state’s buying power to pocket all discounts it can negotiate with stationery and book suppliers on behalf of a provincial Department. Tender documents in our possession relating to Edusolutions’ dealings in other provinces show that the company was pocketing 70% of all supplier discounts in Limpopo before the contract was cancelled. In Mpumalanga they are currently pocketing 60% of these discounts and in Gauteng 55%. The KZN contract was negotiated along the same lines as the contracts with Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
It is in the public interest for MEC Mchunu to release these documents for scrutiny. If he fails to do so, it will only enhance the perception that a handful of connected tenderpreneurs are profiting while KZN children continue to go without a quality education.