DA requests Hawks to investigate Education trips

By Safiyia Stanfley, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape:

The Democratic Alliance has requested an investigation from the Hawks into irregularities at the Northern Cape department of Education.

Information at our disposal indicates that travel and subsistence claims have been paid in cases where the relevant trip has nothing to do with the core business of the department.

We specifically want the Hawks to investigate travel and accommodation that was paid for four officials from the department who travelled to Upington from 17 October 2013 to 20 October 2013. The Member of the Executive Council got married in Upington on 19 October 2013. These dates are too coincidental for our liking. Looking at these dates, one can only conclude that the four officials were reimbursed for attending the MEC’s wedding.

We request this investigation because we believe our information is credible.

It is absolutely wrong for any official to abuse government resources.

Any money that is spent on travel and accommodation must relate to the main mandate of the department, which is to improve the quality of education in the province.

We cannot afford any money to be lost through corruption, fraud and the manipulation of the system where friends of the MEC gets reimbursed for private journeys.

For that reason, the Democratic Alliance will also submit written questions to the department to establish how much was spent on travels for the MEC’s family. We want to determine if the money spent was within the limits allowed by the Ministerial Handbook and the cost containment measures announced by National Treasury.

The Democratic Alliance believes that every child has the right to an education of the best quality. To achieve that quality, we need to free up resources for the basics such as textbooks and school infrastructure. If resources are instead being misspent on the private frolics of a privileged few, we will not achieve quality education in all schools in the province.