DA calls on Premier Makhura to investigate more than R431 million spent by GDE on decontaminating Gauteng schools

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to initiate an urgent investigation into the more than R431 million spent by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) in three months on decontaminating of schools for Covid-19.

The DA has learnt with shock that the Gauteng Department of Education has spent R431 274 959 on sanitising schools.

It is alleged that hundreds of companies who were awarded this tender to sanitise schools do not have any expertise and experience and are not part of the cleaning industry. The money for service rendered by these companies was paid in sundry payments which raises questions as to whether this money was spent wisely.

Furthermore, late last year the Department informed the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s (GPL) Education Portfolio Committee that they had spent R15000 per school for fogging and that Bidvest had also rendered this service to some of the schools for free.

We are calling on Premier Makhura to initiate an urgent investigation to ascertain exactly how much was spent per school and to identity those schools that were also sanitised for free by Bidvest. The investigation should also determine where the money was used as the department denied any expenditure in this regard.

Should it be found that there was an element of corruption where companies submitted invoices for no services rendered, the Head of Department must explain. The investigation must ensure that the money should be paid back and those involved face the consequences of their actions.

It has now become a norm for the ANC-led administration to use Covid-19 funds to enrich themselves while a number of people are dying on a daily basis due to Covid-19 related complications.

Premier Makhura should hold the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi accountable for the millions spent on fogging schools for a period of only three months. These millions could have been spent on building more schools and providing additional mobile classrooms to ensure that all learners are placed and to ease overcrowding in classrooms.