DA wants answers from Education Department after thousands abandoned without payment

Issued by Yusuf Cassim, MPL
Shadow MEC for Education

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted Parliamentary Questions to the Department of Education (DoE) after thousands of youths did not receive remuneration after being appointed under the Education Employment Initiative (EEI).

The EEI was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April 2020, with National Treasury committing R7 billion for the EEI project.

The EEI announced that 300 000 job opportunities were to be created for young South Africans and School Governing Body (SGB) funded posts, 200 000 Education assistants (EA) and 100 000 general school assistants (GSA). Of these, 55 803 posts were allocated to the Eastern Cape.

However, the Department has been unable to pay over 9 000 of these newly appointed employees for more than two months.

These assistants were, for the most part, appointed at the beginning of December last year to assist with the extra preparations needed to get schools ready to reopen in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DoE has no valid excuse but has resorted to blaming the PERSAL administrative system for the delays. The truth is that all the respective details should have been captured when these individuals were appointed. It appears that while these dedicated youths were working to create a better, safer environment for learners, the relevant education staff were in holiday mode.

I have submitted parliamentary questions to Education MEC, Fundile Gade, requesting a full report on the Education Employment Initiative (EEI).

In a province with the highest unemployment rate in the country, and where unemployment is increasing year-on-year, employing someone and then not paying them for months speaks to a truly uncaring ANC government.

A capable state would have their house in order. A caring state would ensure that those who are employed are paid on time.