The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape is stunned but not surprised by yet another irresponsible and senseless waste of funds by the provincial Department of Education.

The DA was reliably informed that while the Department of Education is on track to overspend its 2011/2012 budget by almost R2,8 billion due to financial mismanagement and maladministration, the Port Elizabeth district office has in its educational wisdom decided to have a Grade R-Indaba at the Eastern Cape Training Centre (ETC), on 21 and 22 September, at a cost of R180 000.

It really boggles the mind that although the district office has limited resources, it spends money on an “Indaba”, when a workshop for Grade R-practitioners could have been held after school hours, at no cost in the available hall at the district office.

It is incomprehensible, to say the least, that while Grade R-practitioners are not paid on a regular basis, money can be found to have an Indaba at the expense of procuring much needed resources for the district office that will enhance its service delivery to schools.

Schools have complained in the past that due to a lack of photostat machines and paper at the district office, important documents could not be copied for dissemination to schools.

This irresponsible management decision constitutes a complete waste of financial resources and this money could have been better utilised.

An anticipated 440 attendees were expected at this Indaba which included Grade R-practitioners, school principals where Early Childhood Development centres are attached, as well as chairpersons of governing bodies. This venture includes the hiring of the facilities at ETC, the hiring of equipment for presentation purposes and the provision of meals for the attendees.

The DA is deeply perturbed by this unnecessary spending of funds. The Superintendent- General, Advocate Modidima Mannya was informed of this ill decision. In the light of the critical financial position of the Department of Education, I have asked him to thoroughly investigate why such a decision was taken when there are other viable options and to act decisively against those who have plunged this department deeper into a financial mess.


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