EASTERN CAPE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IS STARTING NEW FINANCIAL YEAR IN THE RED

The Democratic Alliance is very concerned and deeply perturbed that the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape will only have R700 million to spend on non-personnel issues for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.

The budget allocation for the department for the 2011/12 financial year is R24.6 billion. Of this amount 87 % will go to compensation of employees, namely R21.4 billion. This leaves 13 % or R3.2 billion to address cumulative over expenditure of R1.2 billion, made up of R800 million from the 2009/10- and R400 million from the 2010/11 financial years. The department also has to address accruals of R500 million and, in addition, has to cover the projected expenditure of R800 million over ten months to pay for the cost of the reinstatement of temporary educators as per the recent court order.

When all the above amounts are added up it is obvious that this department will have major difficulties in funding its various programmes with only R700 million available to it. This R700 million will have to provide for scholar transport, the school nutrition programme, learner-teacher support material, appointment of substitutes, provision of school furniture and the building of schools.

The red lights are flickering and it will only be by the hand of a magician that this department will be able to provide all the services necessary in order for quality education and teaching to prevail.

This department is still in a dysfunctional mode and has no funds to function effectively and efficiently.

The national Department of Education and the Treasury should, without delay, come to the assistance of the department to save it from total collapse.