By Mbali Ntuli, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education:
THIS month marks a year since KZN Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, launched a Commission of Enquiry into financial mismanagement within her own department and still there is no indication of its findings.
At the last portfolio committee meeting, when questioned by the DA about the progress of this Commission, the MEC replied that it had long since been concluded and awaited the Premiers sign off.
Despite this, the MEC has not tabled her own report about the Commission.
The question is why is this information being withheld?
The DA can only conclude that, either the Commission findings are so damning that the leadership of this province are afraid to release them. Or the leadership is so negligent as to forget to deal with this urgent matter timeously.
Whatever the reason, the lack lustre effort to deal with the financial problems within this department means that education in KZN will continue to lag – and it is clear who is to blame.
It has been evident for some time that KZN’s Education department is incapable of strict financial management with service providers and teachers not being paid on time and projects being stopped by the department because of a lack of funds.
A response by the MEC to a DA question earlier this year revealed that the department has already spent a shocking R44 million on investigations into alleged internal irregular expenditure.
The provincial Education portfolio committee is yet to see a single one of these reports.
The DA will be writing to Premier Senzo Mchunu to remind him that the findings of the Commission are sitting on his desk and the longer it does so, the worse for the learners of this province.