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Suspended Social Development officials paid R7 million to sit at home

November 5th, 2019

The Department of Social Development in the Eastern Cape has paid out over R7 million to 51 employees who were placed on paid leave over the past three years, pending the outcomes of investigations against them. These employees sat at home, drawing salaries, while hundreds of thousands of people, living in poverty, were deprived of the services these individuals were supposed to be providing. In response to a parliamentary question, …

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Less than 7% of children in the Eastern Cape have access to Early Childhood Development Centres

September 19th, 2019

There are close to 800 000 children between the ages of 0 and 4 in the Eastern Cape, but only 6.8% of these are provided with Early Childhood Development services by the Department of Social Development. MEC for Social Development, Siphokazi Mani Lusithi, has revealed that only 73 187 children currently receive an ECD subsidy through the 1 757-government funded ECD centres in the province. This needs to be urgently …

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R9.6 billion allocated for SMMEs, but no indication of how funds spent will be monitored

July 17th, 2019

Premier Oscar Mabuyane recently announced that over R9.6 billion of the Provincial Government’s annual budget will be set aside for SMMEs, but there has been no indication of how the spending of these funds will be monitored. The Democratic Alliance believes that small businesses are the driving force of the economy, and that entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged for job creation but is concerned that the lack of sufficient monitoring …

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Ernest Malgas Treatment Centre in need of better aftercare services and teachers

July 9th, 2019

The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development must, as a matter of urgency, assign more field social workers to children graduating from the Ernest Malgas Treatment Centre in Port Elizabeth. Yesterday, 8 July 2019, I conducted an oversight inspection at the Centre and found it to be a well-run, state-owned drug rehabilitation facility for children – the only one if its kind in the province. I was also joined by …

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Illegal ANC billboard a desperate attempt to garner support

January 24th, 2019

The failing ANC government have found it fit to erect a massive billboard on the school grounds of Selborne College in East London, in direct contravention of the South African Schools Act. Section 33A of the Act clearly states that “… (4) A school may not allow the display of material of a party-political nature on its premises, unless such party-political material is related to the curriculum at the school.” …

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Learners abandoned due to failed rationalisation

January 17th, 2019

Over 60 learners from Elliot have had their school ripped away from them and have been left stranded because the failing Eastern Cape Education Department cannot adhere to the rule of law and failed rationalisation. The Grade R to Grade 7 learners and the teachers of Long Hope Primary School have been left abandoned after a decision to close their school with no apparent plans to accommodate them. The children …

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Turnaround strategy needs to start from Grade R

January 8th, 2019

As tens of thousands of learners across the province begin their schooling this week, and hundreds of thousands return to class, more needs to be done to ensure they are getting the best education possible. There is no quick fix solution for the Eastern Cape Education system, it will take concerted effort and time, but first there needs to be the political will to admit there are failings, so that …

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Eastern Cape’s 40,866 missing matrics of 2018

January 4th, 2019

Yesterday the Eastern Cape celebrated breaking through the 70% Matric pass rate, but it doesn’t tell the full story. What the Department did not mention is that of the 106,599 learners in the province who enrolled for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) at the beginning of the year, only 65,733 wrote their final exams. The question that needs to be asked is what happened to the other 40,866 learners? Were …

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More needs to be done to sensitise people around LGBTI issues

November 23rd, 2018

The recent incident wherein an email was circulated requesting the details of learners who identified as LGBTI so their names could be added to a database, has left no doubt that more needs to be done to create safe and non-discriminative environments, at work, at school, at home, and in at-risk communities. Recently Scotland became the first country in the world where schools would be required to adopt an “LGBTI …

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Annual Report paints bleak picture of Education Department in shambles

November 9th, 2018
Shadow MEC for Education, Edmund Van Vuuren

The recently tabled 2017/18 annual report for the Department of Education shows a department unravelling at the seams, unable to spend money on critical projects, while wasting funds through irregular expenditure and non-core business. This is the reason why schools are not being built and why learners are still forced to go to school in mud structures and use pit toilets! The Department underspent its allocated budget for the 2017/2018 …

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