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Gauteng education fails to spend nearly R1 billion of its budget

Image: 123RF

Gauteng Education department has returned almost R1 billion to Treasury in the 2018/19 financial year.

This was revealed in the department’s annual report.

DA Gauteng spokesperson for education Khume Ramulifho said it was unacceptable that with the enormous problems facing schools the department failed to spend the allocated money.

“It is concerning that money had to be returned to treasury especially because school infrastructure has been deteriorating, aging and classrooms are overcrowded.

"The environment in many of our schools is not conducive for learning and teaching. The money left unspent could have made many improvements where it is most needed,” Ramulifho said.

Early this year MEC Panyaza Lesufi while responding to questions in the provincial legislature said the aging and deteriorating school infrastructure needed R5bn in maintenance.

In January four pupils died after a bridge fell on them at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, in the Vaal area.  At Oakdale Secondary in Ennerdale, four classes don’t have a roof after it was ripped off by the storm. At Eqinisweni Secondary in Tembisa, on the East Rand, pupils are taught in temporary classrooms made of corrugated iron sheets without windows, doors and chalkboards.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department has a R50 billion budget of which 98% was spent.

“The outstanding amount is mainly because of delays in invoicing from our implementing agencies, suppliers, changes in human capital matters like resignation and deaths. Some of the scholar transport budget was unused due to new schools being developed. In addition the department planned to award bursaries to the top performing learners. Unfortunately some of the targeted learners were covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme,” Mabona said.

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