Budget not released for 100 Soweto schools

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

More than 100 Soweto schools might start the new year without stationery if the Gauteng education department does not release funds soon.

The money, to be spent on stationery and the maintenance of schools next year, should have reached schools by May this year.

This means 102 primary and high schools will be affected if the department does not act decisively by allocating the yearly R800000 to each high school and R300000 for each primary school.

The budget usually comes from the coffers of the national Education Department and is distributed by the provinces.

Tumi Ramasike, chairman of the School Governing Bodies Association in Soweto, said: "When we enquired about the delay, we were informed by the Gauteng education department that we would get the funds by the end of September. We're still waiting."

Department spokesman Kate Bapela said: "The department realises the seriousness of the matter and we are working at it. There is no need for schools to panic."

She said the department was convinced only schools in Soweto are affected by the problem.

"It is an administrative error. One section in the department is delaying, thus affecting the whole process," Bapela said.

She said she did not foresee a situation where pupils will not have stationery next year.

"We have a central learner support material system which ensures that by the beginning of the year, all study materials will be available for all schools."

Bapela promised that the schools will receive their money by the end of next week.