20 June 2012

South Africa: Limpopo Textbooks Still in Warehouse - Minister in Contempt of Court

Photo: UNICEF/Flickr
South Africa, Limpopo Textbook Saga Haunts Education Ministry

press release

Thousands of textbooks are still lying in a Polokwane warehouse nearly a week after a court deadline for the Minister to deliver them to Limpopo schools.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) inspected the Polokwane warehouse where books are housed this morning. Photographs (attached) were taken of mountains of boxes that have not yet left the premises.

Minister Angie Motshekga is in contempt of court for missing the deadline for these books to be delivered.

It is unthinkable that not even a court order can get the Department to put textbooks in the hands of schoolchildren more than six months into the school year.

While there is activity at the warehouse, textbooks still need to be delivered to as more warehouses in the education districts before reaching schools.

The final step where books actually land on the doorstep of Limpopo schools is likely to be the most complex part of the distribution.

The time it will take to do this final step means that many schools will close on Friday before delivery can take place. Learners are likely to leave school on the last day of the term. Without the books they will need to catch up on lost learning time over the holidays.

It is apparent that the Department does not have a proper catch-up plan in place for learners either. Calls by the DA for the Limpopo Education MEC to provide us with credible timetables and learning schedules for this plan have been met with silence.

The DA will be sending the photos taken at the warehouse today to the Section27 legal representatives. The Minister is in contempt of court and action must be taken for this disgrace.

DA Limpopo Spokesperson Langa Bodlani.

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