DA: Heads must roll after Treasury takes back unused R530mil from ECDOE

MARCH 8, 2016

The Eastern Cape Department of Education has had R530 million of its Education Infrastructure Grant taken back by national treasury due to slow expenditure, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Tuesday.

"This amounts to 33% of the total grant of R1.594 billion. This was gazetted on Monday, 7 March 2016.

"In a fair society that values the freedom that education can bring, those responsible would be brought to book. Fairness demands the premier must make an example of these officials. Heads must roll," said the DA's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Finance, Bobby Stevenson.

He said that there are over 600 hundred schools in this province that lack water, electricity and sanitation.

"This money would have gone a long way to assisting some of them put the indignity of pit toilets behind them. Thousands of learners must continue to suffer at the hands of inefficient bureaucrats.

"Education is the foundation of opportunity and every learner has the right to a decent, healthy and secure learning environment."

Stevenson said that the problem with the province is the inability of the Department of Public Works to act as an implementing agent.

"This results in other service providers such as the Independent Development Trust and Coega Development Corporation having to do the job which results in much higher costs and delays.

"This money has now been reallocated to other provinces — R400 million to Gauteng, R80 million to Limpopo and R50 million to the Western Cape," he explained.

"DA MPLs will be pursuing this matter in the portfolio committees of Finance, Education and Roads and Public Works during the current budgetary cycle to ensure accountability."