24 February 2013

South Africa: 42 000 Textbooks - Minister Must Break Her Silence

Photo: SAnews.gov.za
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga (left)

press release

Education Minister Angie Motshekga must break her three week silence on chronic textbook shortages in Limpopo.

Since the Democratic Alliance uncovered a Polokwane warehouse stacked with 1000's of books on 6 February, not a single word has been heard from the Minister.

This silence cannot continue now that a shortage of 42 000 books in Limpopo has been confirmed by the Federation of School Governing Bodies of South Africa (FEDSAS).

Education Department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi has already rejected the DA's call for an urgent textbook roundtable in Polokwane.

Instead of dealing with the book shortages, Minister Motshekga has allowed her spokesperson to spread misleading information to the public over the last three weeks.

During that time Mr Lesufi's story has changed from "literally all schools have received books" (12 February), to "there are 2-3% of schools with shortages" (13 February), to "80% of the textbook shortage problem has been addressed" (18 February).

The DA demands to hear from the Minister about why this crisis has been allowed to occur two years in a row in Limpopo. We also want concrete plans on when the shortages will be addressed and how this will be verified.

Nothing less than 100% of books delivered this year will be acceptable. The DA achieves this where we govern and we expect nothing less from ANC-governed provinces.

Desiree van der Walt, DA Limpopo Legislature Caucus Leader

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