Dr. Allen Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the Northern Cape Education Department (NCED) to speedily resolve the collapse of its capacity to process incapacity and sick-leave applications from teachers in the province under the Policy and Procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement (PILIR).
According to a parliamentary reply, a total of 140 educators in the province who had applied for incapacity leave or retirement between January and March 2013, have been left in limbo, as their applications cannot be processed and finalized.
The national education department indicated that the delay is due to their having suspended a contract with service provider Health Risk Managers.
The DA is concerned that this effectively places the NCED in the position where it not only has to fund the appointment of a temporary educator, but also the teacher who is booked-off ill awaiting the finalization of their PILIR application.
The NCED must act swiftly to not only see to it that it brings this situation under control for the sake of its already stretched budget, but also for the wellbeing of the teachers concerned, who want to move on and take time to recover.