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Lost Opportunities: Learners pay the price for unfilled teacher vacancies

June 1st, 2023

Learners are paying the price of unfilled teacher posts across the Eastern Cape, while the Department of Education (ECDoE) denies that there is a problem, claiming instead that there is a teacher in front of every class. The ECDoE should tell this to parents across the province who have shut down schools out of sheer frustration because of the severe teacher shortages these schools are experiencing and the impact this …

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No textbooks, no libraries, no wonder they can’t read

May 18th, 2023

Eight out of ten children in grade four are unable to read for meaning, which is hardly surprising when the Department of Education cannot even provide them with adequate textbooks or libraries. The latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) revealed that a staggering 81% of grade four learners are unable to read for meaning. It also revealed that grade six learners from the Eastern Cape were the worst-performing …

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Heads must roll for school nutrition payment failure

May 9th, 2023

Bureaucrats responsible for the delay in payments of the National School Nutrition Transfer funds to Eastern Cape schools should lose their jobs with immediate effect. Their actions have taken food out of the mouths of starving children, many of whom have no access to other meals. That these children have not received any food since April and will most likely only get food again next week, if payments are processed …

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Children starve as Education Department bureaucracy delays nutrition payments

May 5th, 2023

Tens of thousands of learners have gone without food at school for almost a month because the Department of Education has failed to pay over the latest tranche of school nutrition funding. For many children, the food they receive from their school nutrition programme is often the only meal they receive each day. When schools are unable to feed them, it places an additional burden on families already buckling under …

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Public servants take R1.2 billion in sick leave over two years

April 26th, 2023

Service delivery to the communities of the Eastern Cape is being severely disrupted because public sector employees are taking excessive sick leave or simply going AWOL, costing the public purse hundreds of millions of rand each year. The Democratic Alliance will be referring these statistics to the Public Service Commission and will call for an investigation into the abuse of sick leave in the province. The abuse of sick leave …

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Budget fails to address service delivery challenges

March 14th, 2023

The budget delivered by MEC Mlungisi Mvoko today failed to provide the people of the province with any hope that service delivery will be front and centre of the Treasury’s expenditure priorities. Although he insisted that the province has a good story to tell, these stories are nothing more than fictional tales to our severely distressed communities. MEC Mvoko failed to announce any concrete plans to deal with the energy …

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EC budget must be service delivery focused

March 13th, 2023
Yusuf Cassim

Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, needs to spell out exactly how the province plans to improve service delivery through the efficient and effective use of this year’s financial allocations. There is far too much money going to the bloated salaries of cadre-deployed millionaire managers and not enough spent on frontline staff who are at the coalface of service delivery. When you spend 65 cents of every rand on salaries, there is …

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Unimpressive adjustments budget fails to provide solutions

November 24th, 2022

The unimpressive adjustment budget that was tabled by Finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko in the Eastern Cape Legislature today is a sad reflection of the state of the fiscus in general. The MEC failed to come up with any innovative ideas and out-of-the-box thinking to shift resources away from a non-core expenditure to core expenditure. We simply cannot carry on in this manner and bold steps need to be taken to …

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EC cannot give input on the national adjustments budget today

November 21st, 2022

The Eastern Cape will not have a voice in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) today, where the National Adjustments Budget is being discussed, due to the abysmal turnout at the public hearings last week Friday. The only stakeholder to join the public hearing on the 2022 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill and give input was Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, DA councillor Retief Odendaal. Once the adjustments budget is …

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Lack of leadership in Education Department leaves schools high and dry

August 25th, 2022

Despite being instructed by the Eastern Cape Legislature to ensure that a water disaster plan is put in place for schools in and around the Nelson Mandela Bay area, nothing has been done. Should day zero arrive, our learners’ education will be severely disrupted. Schools could become hotspots of infection as sanitation conditions deteriorate. Learners would be faced with the very real choice of either staying home and missing school, …

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