The Eastern Cape has squandered R1,596 billion annually on surplus teachers despite an undertaking by the Premier two years ago to “move with speed” to deal with the situation. Over a two year period this has amounted to R3, 192 billion.

This issue must be viewed in the light of the province’s overall financial position where there is a crying need to improve the efficient and effective allocation of government resources to make this a winning province.

This province faces huge challenges when it comes to redressing the legacy of apartheid as well as 18 years of inefficient ANC administration. Resources cannot be squandered due to a lack of political will.

Strong leadership and the courage to hold people accountable for poor performance must take place to rescue the Eastern Cape from its current path of poor service delivery.

Last week I received a response to a written question I asked to the MEC for Provincial Planning and Treasury, Phumulo Masualle, which revealed that 6 715 additional teachers Bas costing the province R1, 596 billion. For the response click here.

IQP 43 of 2012

Two years ago, on 18 February 2011, Premier Noxolo Kiviet, said in her State of the Province Address that excess teachers had to be dealt with within six months. She said: “…it is imperative that we move with speed to deal with the issue of excess teachers hindering permanent placement of teachers in vacant posts, and this must be completed within six months.”

Due to the lack of political will to deal with this issue timeously, scarce resources are being wasted while there are massive demands on the provincial fiscus. In education alone there are infrastructure backlogs like 496 mud structure schools and lack of libraries, science labs and sporting facilities, despite all the other challenges this province faces.

Recently the Eastern Cape lost R6,2 billion for the eradication for mud structure schools because of slow spending by the National Department of Basic Education. There is also under spending taking place in other provincial departments.

The Premier must stick to her promise and ensure this matter is speedily resolved. It is costing the province R4,3 million a day.

A DA-led provincial government would ensure that tough management decisions are made so scarce resources can be properly utilised for the benefit of the province as a whole

DA Shadow MEC for Education, Edmund van Vuuren, is driving the issue of the reassignment of surplus teachers to schools where they are needed in the Education Portfolio Committee. (For comment on this aspect, he can be contacted on 072 184 7840.)