Lack of money to blame for lack of scholar transport – EC Department of Education


The Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education has criticised a ruling by the Grahamstown High Court that it is legally bound to provide transport for scholars living at least five kilometres from school.

According to The Times, the ruling passed by Judge Clive Plasket last week Friday found that around 170 scholars had their access to education interrupted due to vast distances and being unable to afford transportation costs to and from school. He has given the department time until the end of July to re-address its decision.

Responding to the ruling, Department Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga stated that a lack of finances had made the provision of transportation to the pupils impossible despite a budget increase from R210-million in 2011 to R432-million this year for the project.

“There are court orders. But then the department gets allocated money from the Treasury. Demands on education are also increasing,” he was quoted as saying.

The latest ruling comes after the Special Investigative Unit earlier this month announced that it would be investigating claims ranging from maladministration and unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property, to intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property against the department.