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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU shocked by Limpopo textbook report

16 July 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is shocked at the revelation, in the report by former Education Director General, Mary Metcalfe, that by 27th June 2012, the extended date for the delivery of textbooks to Limpopo public schools to comply with a court order, only 15% of books had been delivered, quite contrary to the earlier claim by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) that 98% had been delivered by that date.

By July 3 the figure had increased to 48% and by July 11, 22% percent of the sample schools in the sample were still awaiting textbooks. This news comes on the first day of the new school term, leaving large numbers of learners without books more than half way through the school year.

The co-sponsors of the report, SECTION27, concede that all the figures require further verification, but that based on the facts revealed so far the DBE remains in violation of the court order to meet its textbook delivery deadline.

The federation welcomes the assurance by the DBE spokesman, Panyaza Lesufi, that the department accepted the report, would work to implement its recommendations, and are going to Limpopo to count each and every learner and teacher to ensure that this situation does not happen again.

Nevertheless COSATU agrees completely with SECTION27, that it is clear that “from this and other reports that the Limpopo education department is rotten, riven with corruption and incapable of meeting its constitutional obligation to learners”.

We support their call for the department “to be cleaned out, for the vigorous prosecution of charges of corruption, for maximum openness about those charged, and for the (Limpopo) MEC for basic education, Dickson Masemola, to be fired.”

The situation remains totally unacceptable and COSATU expects that the other enquiries under way to get to the bottom of this scandal will continue to find the root causes, will recommend tough action against all those found to be responsible and that the government will act speedily to implement this hard-line approach.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za