The Democratic Alliance supports the temporary appointment of Mr. Mthunywa Ngonzo as the superintendent- general of the Eastern Cape Department of Education in the place of Adv. Modidima Mannya.

He has a long record of serving in a senior position in the department, which includes deputy director-general in 2007 and acting superintendent-general in 2009.

I believe that Mr. Ngonzo is the best person currently available among the senior management in the department. He has the necessary expertise as well as capacity to lead this embattled department.

As current district director of Cofimvaba, Mr. Ngonzo, through his leadership and managerial capacity, improved the Grade 12 results from 59% in 2010 to 72% in 2011.

The DA is also of the opinion that Mr. Ngonzo is a person of integrity who will be able to take this department forward.

However, with all the corruption in the department, we are concerned whether he will stand the test and not be influenced by Sadtu or any other external factors. Or for that matter be dictated to, to implement decisions that are in the interest of these other stakeholders rather than in the interest of education.

The DA knows that the tasks to be fulfilled are not child’s play. If Mr. Ngonzo can implement the programmes already identified by his predecessor the department can start moving in the right direction. These include:

1. The fillings of all substantive vacant post through redeployment and temporary appointments;

2. The assessment of educations within the classroom situation;

3. Prohibiting officials doing business with the department;

4. The strengthening of internal control measures; and

5. The establishment of a document centre, to allow this department to be audited.

The DA wishes Mr. Ngonzo all the best and hope he will not cave in and abdicate his responsibilities, no matter what the pressures are.