Still no books at Limpopo schools
- Monday, 23 April 2012
Thousands of pupils are still without textbooks four months into the school year as the government probes a controversial R320-million textbook tender in the cash-strapped Limpopo Province.
The textbook tender was awarded to EduSolutions, a company controlled by ANC-connected businessmen and former government officials. Whistle-blower Solly Shitangano, a former General Manager for budgets in the Department of Education, claimed early this year that the tender was awarded illegally. He gave details of the alleged irregularities to the Public Protector, President Jacob Zuma and Premier Cassel Mathale before a national government task team took over the running of Limpopo amid a budget crisis last year.
Last week, the Department of Basic Education Administrator in Limpopo, Anis Karodia confirmed that schools did not have new curriculum textbooks, and that the procurement process had been taken over by the national department. He refused to comment further, but he stressed that the department was no longer working with the company. Spokesperson for the department, Hope Mokgatlhe refused to comment on EduSolutions, but admitted there was a shortage of textbooks. “This is caused by the challenges in data available about learner numbers in some schools. The basic education department is working with the province to confirm the credibility of data”, she said.-City Press