Concerns raised over the state of Gauteng schools

Johannesburg – The DA has accused the Gauteng Department of Education of failing its children after a report revealed how the department had underspent its budget.

According to Gauteng Education spokesperson, Khume Ramulifho, they are concerned that school children in the Gauteng province were still being taught in asbestos classrooms.

“The Department of Education failed to exercise its responsibility to conduct crucial maintenance to school buildings,” said Ramulifho.

He said the department had underspent its budget of R1.6 billion for the 2020/2021 financial year.

“This money could have been used to eradicate asbestos classrooms and conduct crucial maintenance to dilapidated schools,” he said.

He added that the department received an initial allocation of R52.9 billion. In terms of year-to-date expenditure, the department has spent R51.2 billion. This leaves the department with an under expenditure of R1.6 billion during the financial period.

“The constant failure by the department to spend its full budget has a consequential impact on delivering quality education to children,” said Ramulifho.

He said that most of the school infrastructure is old and dilapidated, and in dire need of proper regular maintenance, yet the department left billions of rands unspent.

“This clearly indicates a lack of proper planning by the department as they are aware of the infrastructure challenges facing our schools.

“This money could have been used in eradicating asbestos schools, building more schools where there are new housing developments, particularly in Johannesburg North, Johannesburg South, Ekurhuleni, and Tshwane to avoid overcrowding in classrooms,” added Ramulifho.

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