MEC Lesufi to probe R430m spent on fighting Covid-19 at Gauteng schools

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

Gauteng education spent over R430m for the provision of decontamination, deep cleaning and sanitisation services at schools, district offices and teacher centres.

According to the report that was compiled by the head of department and chief financial officer on decontamination, deep cleaning and sanitization, the department spent about R431, 274, 959, 17. Service providers were appointed from the Central Supplied database considering their specialty.

“The amount was paid to about 280 companies between June and end of August and the extent of the school’s elemental spaces differed from facility to facility. The average school in Gauteng caters for 1,000 learners with a profile of 28 classrooms, administration building and specialist rooms,” read the report.

“The process was aimed at limiting the survival of coronavirus and minimising the transmission in Gauteng facilities. The decontamination, disinfection and cleaning of educational facilities commenced in June last year in preparation for the reopening of schools.

“The disinfection involved 2,207 schools and 38 admin buildings, and the scope before school opening mainly involved deep cleaning, and from August as advised by department of health and the command council the focus was shifted from a whole school to a decreased specified area of contact per case,” read parts of the report.

The report also indicated  that during the same period there were 3,443 positive case of Covid-19 at schools in the province.  There were 2,773 schools, 987 learners,  2,091 teachers, 226 admin staff members, 101 general assistance and 30 youth brigades who were affected. There were also 30 educators who succumbed to Covid-19-related illnesses.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was dismayed by millions spent on decontamination, disinfection and sanitisation of schools. “I wish to affirm my commitment to leave no stone unturned on this including holding those who procured these services accountable,” Lesufi said.

He said he was at an advanced stage in consulting with relevant law enforcement agencies to take up these investigations and also the Auditor-General to check and verify if there was value for money used.

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