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Brand-new Patensie school vacant for over a year

October 21st, 2020

A brand-new school that was built by the Department of Education in Patensie, has been standing empty for over a year, while learners who are meant to benefit from it are still forced to attend schools with woefully inadequate infrastructure. The building of the school was part of the national Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programme which aimed to eradicate schools built with inappropriate and unsafe materials. A programme …

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Education Department digs in heels over e-learning contract, at taxpayers’ expense

October 17th, 2020
Yusuf Cassim

The Eastern Cape Department of Education refuses to admit its mistakes and self-correct with respect to the irregular E-learning procurement contract entered into with Sizwe Africa IT Group, despite a court interdict pending a full review. This became clear during a sitting of the portfolio committee on Education, requested by the Democratic Alliance, which met on Thursday to consider the implications of the interdict and pending review. The DA has …

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DA intervention secures much-needed repairs to Stutterheim Wastewater Treatment Works

October 8th, 2020

The Democratic Alliance is extremely pleased that the Wastewater Treatment Works in the Amahlathi Local Municipality has been repaired, and that the electricity grid to the plant has been upgraded, following our calls for intervention. Since December 2019, the wastewater treatment plant had no electricity. In February this year, a generator was installed by the Amatole District Municipality, which was only capable of providing electricity to treat less than half …

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Education portfolio committee must discuss interdict implications

October 7th, 2020

The interdict by Judge Buyiswa Majiki, to immediately stop the implementation of the controversial R538 million contract, between the Sizwe Africa IT Group, MTN and the Department, has serious implications for learners across the province. The Democratic Alliance has repeated raised its concerns regarding this contract, in various Legislature forums, since it was first tabled in the portfolio committee. The DA wants to build an education system in the Eastern …

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Ugie school suffers while Department blows infrastructure budget on overpriced PPE

September 16th, 2020

The Ugie based ET Thabane Primary School is, quite literally, falling apart at the seams, but its cries for help over the past seven years have fallen on deaf ears, with the Eastern Cape Department of Education simply ignoring their plight. Instead, the Department has spent over R578 million of its infrastructure budget for the current year, purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at highly inflated prices from connected cadres, paying …

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Wetland invaders placing themselves at risk

September 15th, 2020

Land invaders who have illegally settled on a stretch of wetland in the Bushmans area have placed their own lives at risk, as they have built their homes in an area prone to flooding. Even more disconcerting is that they have allegedly done so with the permission of local government officials. Yesterday I conducted an oversight inspection in the area, accompanied by local DA councillors Jocelyn Guest and Phil Kani, …

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SITA court action further evidence that Sizwe Africa deal irregular

September 1st, 2020
Yusuf Cassim

The Education Portfolio Committee must call the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to explain why it has turned to the High Court in a bid to stop a controversial R538 million tablet deal between the provincial education department and the Sizwe Africa IT Group. The evidence is piling up that the contract, awarded to a subsidiary of well-known ANC-ally Iqbal Survé’s Ayo Technology Solutions, is irregular and should be set …

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ANC whitewashes Sizwe Africa IT deal in portfolio committee

August 19th, 2020

The ANC has whitewashed the awarding of a controversial R530 million contract to Sizwe Africa IT Group, which is a subsidiary of well-known ANC ally Iqbal Survé’s Ayo Technology Solutions. The ANC Education portfolio members have resolved to go ahead with the contract during the latest portfolio committee meeting, despite the vehement objections from opposition parties. It was clear from the outset of the meeting that the ANC members had …

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Thousands of Eastern Cape learners go hungry as school nutrition programme fails

August 13th, 2020
Yusuf Cassim

Thousands of learners across the Eastern Cape, waiting to be phased back into classes have gone hungry, as the School Nutrition Programme (SNP) in the province has failed to provide them with meals. In a report to the Education Portfolio Committee last week (6 August 2020), the Department of Education revealed that only 3,25% of learners had received meals from the SNP during lockdown. This despite the High Court in …

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Education HOD perjured himself to avoid accountability

August 6th, 2020

Education Head of Department, Superintendent General Themba Kojana, has broken the law by providing false testimony and information to the Eastern Cape Portfolio Committee of Education, under oath. This is concerning the awarding of the controversial R530 million contract to Sizwe Africa IT Group, which is a subsidiary of well-known ANC ally Iqbal Survé’s Ayo Technology Solutions. This once against illustrates that the Eastern Cape is not only the epicientre …

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