Financial woes plague FS Education Department

Peter Frewen MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

The Free State Department of Education is unable to pay its suppliers and service providers. The Department reportedly owes publishers a staggering R250 million and distributers more than R1 million. This comes after an almost two year battle in the Provincial Legislature calling on the department to get its books in order. Last year the department’s annual budget was increased by only 0.5% this has led to the current situation where the department is set to overspend to the tune of R1.2 billion in current financial year.

The DA has repeatedly applied pressure on the department to come forward with a clear strategy to address this situation. I will again take the matter up at the next committee meeting.

The ANC’s priorities can be seen in the budget of the office of the Premier. Premier Magashule’s budget has increased annually from R157 million in 2009/10 to more than R255 million in the current financial year. This is how the ANC government rewards the Premier annually for his inability to improve governance while education and health is left to scrape the barrel for a few cents to deliver key services.