By Mariette Pittaway, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
Construction at the Heide Primary School in Bloemfontein has been halted due to the non-payment of contractors by the Independent Development Trust. Construction at the school began in 2013 and was supposed to be completed by September 2014.
The delay in completing the construction at the school has a negative impact on the delivery of quality education to learners. In addition, a construction site is hardly the place for young children to be educated in.
The Free State Provincial Department of Education have long faced financial difficulties. More recently Education MEC Tate Makgoe admitted during a sitting of the Legislature that his department are facing cashflow problems and have been unable to pay school subsidies as a result.
I will submit written questions to MEC Makgoe at the next opportunity next week asking:
- (a) Which contractor was appointed and (b) when, (c) the total contract value, (d) the total amounts (i) paid out to date and (ii) currently owed and (e) when payments will be made;
- By which date the project will be completed?
- Whether projects at any other schools in the province undergoing construction have been delayed as a result of non-payment by the department; if so, (a) which schools, and in each case (b) the nature of construction, (c) the total amounts owed, (d) the reasons for the delay in payment, (e) when payments will be made, (f) the names of appointed contractors, (g) the original date of completion, (h) the expected date of completion?
The department’s self-inflicted financial problems are severely and negatively affecting the quality of education offered in the Free State.
The ANC-led government’s financial mismanagement continues to erode the ability of the State to deliver services. Sadly, the failure to deliver services affect the poor and marginalised more.
Where the DA governs we pay contractors and service providers on time.
In the Western Cape the DA-led government are building state of the art school facilities, investing in the future of South Africa. MEC Tate Makgoe cannot claim the same here in the Free State.