Desiree van der Walt MPL
DA Limpopo Spokesperson on Basic Education
The DA believes Limpopo Education MEC Dickson Maseloma’s consistent neglect of public schools’ infrastructure has now reached alarming proportions. MEC Maseloma allocated a mere R997 million for school infrastructure development in the entire province. This sharply contrasts with a R1,1 billion budgeted to pay for the MEC’s support staff. This comes swift at the heels of Limpopo’s controversial Adjusted Budget Bill which sought to shift R78 million from Ordinary Public Schools Education meant to build schools in order to pay for salaries.
The DA plans to contest the education budget when it reaches the legislatures education committee. These budget allocations come in the midst of a school infrastructure crisis in Limpopo. Recent DA visits to schools in Mankweng revealed shocking conditions of learners being taught under trees because promises of school buildings never materialized. The budget is a clear indication that the Education Department cares little about building and repairing schools for the learners of Limpopo. Clearly the department’s mission to “ensure equitable and efficient allocation and utilization of resources” is only valid to the extent that salaries for officials are paid.
Everything else such the department’s core mandate to build schools for our learners can be compromised in the process. This is in the context of the department’s officials failing to deliver textbooks on time and overcrowded or collapsing school buildings in the province. Where the DA governs in the Western Cape, education budget is prioritised for the department’s main mandate; the provision of proper education under conducive environment.