Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spkoesperson on Education
A CONCOURT ruling, ordering the KwaZulu-Natal education department to pay millions in subsidies to 119 low and middle fee independent schools in the province, is set to further jeopardise the standard of education offered to learners in the region.
Over the last few years, both the department’s HOD and CFO have sent out warning signals that the department is unable to fund programmes mandated through the provincial government or those in line with national government as part of its “number one priority” policy.
The DA believes that yesterday’s ruling and the consequent unexpected, unbudgeted liability it brings will further exacerbate the department’s ability to deliver a quality education.
Last year the DA refused to accept the department’s budget on the basis that it was inadequate to carry out the programmes authorised.
The situation remains unchanged and the DA will again vote against the budget this year.
The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet needs to realise this fatal flaw.
Funding must be reallocated from ministries where frivolous expenditure is the order of the day. The recent Taking Parliament to the People – at a cost of R2 million per day is a case in point – as are other jamborees. This expenditure ignores the primary needs of the people of this province who are being given short thrift.