New MEC must make sure education funding is KZN cabinet’s top priority

Tom Stokes, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Education

The Democratic Alliance has tasked newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, with ensuring that education is the provincial cabinet’s top funding priority.

According to a report tabled to the provincial education portfolio committee yesterday, KZN Education has been under extreme financial pressure for as long as five years, which has led to a knock-on effect on many important programmes.

This is exactly why the DA did not approve the department’s June budget.

In March this year, during a portfolio committee meeting, former MEC, Senzo Mchunu acknowledged the accuracy of the DA’s assessment of this budget, in particular its inadequacy in funding education programmes.

Yesterday MEC Nkonyeni conceded that the department is unable to function effectively with the current budget.

The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet’s funding choices reflect a lack of understanding of priority, as funds are consistently diverted from education to less essential portfolio’s.

Politics is about choices which reflect the political mandate of a particular party – in this case the ANC – and the current distribution of funds reflects less commitment towards fixing education in this province.

The DA challenges the cabinet to re-examine its own commitment to tackling education when it comes to funding.

We challenge MEC Nkonyeni to make sure this happens.