DA urges the Gauteng Department of Education to speed up the building of new schools

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has conducted oversight visits to inspect school readiness in Tshwane. Caucus Leader Solly Msimanga, Shadow MEC Khume Ramulifho, Constituency Head Adriana Randal, Cllr Aru Meyer and Cllr Sipho Mtakai led the delegation.

The DA’s visit included Laerskool Danie Malan, Hoerskool Pretoria North, Gerrit Maritz Hoerskool and Laerskool Theresa Park.

These schools are in high-demand areas where parents are looking for space. Schools that are at capacity such as Laerskool Danie Malan are prepared to expand and have satellite campuses to accommodate more learners. This was also confirmed by Hoerskool Gerrit Maritz who has agreed to take in more learners as they will be building four additional classrooms.

The DA is cautioning political parties to refrain from interrupting schools but to support all schools to ensure that learning and teaching occur in a conducive environment.

The DA is urging the MEC to prioritise building new schools in high-demand areas. The department must use data from its online system to plan and allocate resources.

The DA will continue to monitor the school readiness and placement of learners. We urge the Gauteng Department of Education to move with speed to conclude this process.

Gauteng City Region Academy CEO must account for alleged maladministration and tender fraud

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) must account for the maladministration, tender fraud, corruption, and manipulation of Supply Chain Management procedures that transpired in her office.

According to the Auditor General (AG) report in the annual financial report for 2021/22, there were 10 findings against the CEO.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) takes these findings seriously and demands that the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, must hold the CEO and all officials implicated to account.

The AG report found the CEO responsible for the irregularities below:
• Removing functions and budgets from managers and centralising them in her office,
• Irregularities involving the appointment of Mr Y,
• Irregularities in the appointment of a company called Tinikele,
• Irregularities in the appointment of a company DataSP to develop an online bursary platform, and to provide a structured platform to migrate the bursary information from hard copy to digital,
• Irregularities involving the appointment of Edgefield Marketing (Pty) to host learners for structured workplace learning,
• The removal of the Chief Director from the Covid-19 Youth Brigade project was found true,
• Irregularities in the appointment of Black Shepperd for projecting managing the Youth Brigade,
• The report compiled by Mankurwane was not provided to AG and no copies of developed policies on bursaries, internships, apprenticeship, learnership and skills programmes as claimed to have been done and Linothe and Tinkele also claimed to have drafted bursary policy.

All these allegations were substantiated. What is missing is decisive actions against those implicated including the CEO.

The DA demands that MEC Chiloane urgently implement recommendations as per the AG’s report. These include amongst others:

• Disciplinary, civil, and criminal to be taken against GCRA officials identified in the report.
• Criminal/Civil actions against identified service providers/ business entities identified in the report.
• HOD advise MEC, Treasury and AG of criminal charges.
• HOD restrict affected suppliers and directors from the procurement process.

The DA will be taking this matter to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Education Portfolio Committee to ensure that there are resolutions adopted to ensure that all those implicated are held to account.

GDE will not meet the demand to place all learners as DID is lagging in building new schools

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will not meet the demand to place all learners who applied for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2023 academic year.

This is because the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) is lagging in building new schools and maintaining the existing schools.

This means that with the high demand for enrolment in this province, many learners will not have access to quality education and a conducive learning environment due to the shortage of schools.

This will result in overcrowding in classrooms, some learners being taught under the tree or in the school hall, and many schools will adopt the rotational learning system to ensure that learning and teaching continue without further disruptions.

There have been unnecessary delays in the construction of the following new schools; Hillcrest Primary School, Mayibuye School Primary, Mogobeng Primary School, Nokuthula LSEN School, Nancifield Primary School, Braamfischerville Primary School, and Rustervaal Secondary School.

The contractors have been terminated, and the planning is underway for the appointment of new contractors to complete the projects.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) MEC, Tasneem Motara, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL). See replies here.

It is unacceptable that seven schools are still incomplete and will not be completed within the stipulated timelines. Delays in the completion of infrastructure projects will result in running over budget.

It is further disappointing that the only action taken by DID against these contractors that have failed to complete the construction of the schools is terminating their contracts.

Contractors who fail to complete the infrastructure projects should be blacklisted and not do business with the government.

The DA demands that both MEC Motara and Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, must fast-track the process of appointing the new contractors so that the construction of schools can be completed and be able to ease pressure on high demand schools. When the DA governs Gauteng in 2024, we will terminate the current agreement between DID and the GDE, to ensure that GDE is responsible for its infrastructure budget and building its own schools.

DA concerned about increase in sexual abuse and physical assaults of learners by teachers

by Khume Ramulifho MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

The DA is deeply concerned by the increase of number of complaints of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers in Gauteng schools.

According to the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, 175 complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers and 43 complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers were reported to the department in 2017/18 financial year.

Of the 175 complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers, 118 cases resulted in guilty verdicts. In 43 complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers, 19 complaints resulted in guilty verdicts against the teachers.

The following table indicates the total number of cases of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers reported in three financial years:

Financial year Number of complaints of physical assault of learners by teachers Number of complaints that resulted in guilty verdicts Number of complaints of sexual abuse of learners by teachers Number of complaints that resulted in guilty verdicts
2015/16 131 114 34 22
2016/17 107 85 17 14
2017/18 175 118 43 19
Total 413 317 94 55


The number of complaints of physical assault and sexual abuse of learners by teachers increased in the 2017/18 financial year. This indicates that teachers are failing to adhere to the policy against corporal punishment and the sexual abuse policy that are in place.

It is disappointing and disturbing that teachers who are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after learners at school are also abusing them.

In addition, the department has reported 81 cases to the South African Council (SACE) of Educators, 55 teachers have been found guilty and 41 were dismissed from employment. 41 department officials were also reported to SACE.

The DA calls on MEC Lesufi to engage with teachers on corporal punishment and the sexual abuse policy so that there is a culture of zero tolerance for these incidents in all our schools.

DA welcomes early launch of Gauteng online registration process

The DA welcomes the Gauteng Department of Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s decision to open the online application process today to avoid the late placement of learners in schools in the province, following this year’s disastrous experience where approximately 58 000 grades 1 and 8 learners were not secured school placement timeously even though they applied online.

The early opening of the online registration process is a positive move as it will alleviate pressure from parents of queuing at the application centres at the eleventh hour.

It will give schools ample opportunity to plan and allocate the required resources.

The Department must strike a balance between schools facing high enrolment demand and those schools which are standing empty.

The DA calls upon MEC Lesufi to resource the underperforming schools with adequate infrastructure so that they are able to compete on an equal footing with those that have a legacy of excellence.

In so doing, it will reduce overcrowding in schools that are performing well which are preferred by parents and ensure that those schools that are empty are better utilised.

The Department must kick start a campaign to make parents aware of the online registration process so as to reduce the backlog of unplaced learners at the last minute particularly in areas where parents have little access to mainstream media.

We urge parents to register their children as early as possible so that they will have time to prepare for the next academic year.

We believe that the Department has learnt from this year’s disaster and have found ways of improving the system going forward.

We will continue to monitor this process as failure to ensure the timeous placing of grade 1 and 8 leaners will have a negative effect on such learners, which could impact on their educational outcomes.

MEC Lesufi shields SADTU at the expense of learners

by Khume Ramulifho MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

It is unacceptable that the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi has opted to side with the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) at the expense of our poor learners who are desperate to be taught.

Despite the reality that SADTU are holding meetings during school hours and disrupting teaching and learning, the MEC is painting a different picture on the matter and denies the truth.

The MEC says the Department has an agreement with the unions that meetings must be held after school hours to avoid disrupting learning and teaching.

He added that union meetings can only be held during school hours if there is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed and the school principal must first give approval for the meeting to take place. The time lost must also be recovered through either morning, afternoon or weekend classes.

However, this is not always the case as l have visited many schools across the province and have observed on several occasions how SADTU meetings disrupt schooling.

The fact that SADTU is the largest teacher union in Gauteng, does not give them the right ignore the rules.

SADTU plays a massive role in the ANC’s mobilisation efforts during elections and the ANC would rather sacrifice the future of our learners for the sake of votes.

The DA demands that the Department implement’s a better management system to monitor teacher’s attendance and take a firm stance against unions holding meetings during school hours.

The ANC and Lesufi cannot be trusted with the futures of Gauteng’s youth. A Total Change in government led by the DA is needed, where quality education is the order of the day and learners come first.

MEC Lesufi not doing enough to address racism in GP schools

The DA calls on the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi to act as a matter of urgency to address racism in Gauteng schools.

There have been numerous incidents of racism reported in schools across the province yet the Department has failed to effectively address this in any meaningful way.

These racism allegations have resulted in the disruption of teaching and learning since the beginning of the 2018 academic year.

In Overvaal High School in Vereeniging, different stakeholders embarked on violent protests after the school refused an instruction by the Department to accept 55 English-speaking pupils into the Afrikaans-medium school. The school said it had no capacity to admit the learners and its decision was backed by the High Court.

The inept handling of the matter resulted in disruption of schooling and a situation which posed a safety risk for both teachers and learners.

In Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto, parents and the community have been up in arms over the appointment of a black principal. The parents reacted by shutting down the school which severely impacted on teaching and learning.

The same occurred at Klipspruitwest secondary and Eldorado Park Secondary School where there are racial tensions amongst teachers.

In a recent incident, a 17 year-old black girl learner at Carletonville Hoërskool‚ in West Rand claims that she was assaulted by a white boy in class.

There are serious allegations of racism in this school and some former learners claim that white learners are treated differently from the black learners.

The DA strongly condemns racism in schools and appeals to all teachers to treat learners equally and not to discriminate based on the colour of their skin.

It is high time that MEC Lesufi must walk his talk of being pro non-racialism. He must stand firm in his interventions and implement stringent rules against racism in our schools.

Racism has no place in our society and cannot be tolerated. Those who are perpetrating racism in our schools must be disciplined and face the course of the law.

The DA will continue to put pressure on MEC Lesufi to ensure that racism is addressed in our schools. We will also follow up on all these cases to ensure that the victims get the justice they deserve and that the perpetrators are punished for their actions.

MEC Lesufi has failed to deliver a new school in Cullinan

Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi has failed to deliver on his promise of building a new primary school at Refilwe Extension 9, Cullinan in Tshwane.

In an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on 29 November 2016, MEC Lesufi confirmed that the building of the school in the area will start in February 2017.

The population size in Refilwe Extension has doubled as a result of new dwellings hence the need for the new primary school.

Chokoe Primary school is the only primary school in the area. The school is overcrowded and had close to 2000 new learners who registered in 2016.

In April this year the project manager responsible for the construction of the new school confirmed that the department has to date not issued a purchase order number for the project.

I followed up with the MEC and managed to obtain a purchase order number on 19 June 2017.

However, we were informed that there is now no budget for the building of the new school.

MEC Lesufi must prioritise the building of this new school in the area as it is desperately needed.

The DA believes that overcrowding in schools is unacceptable and that every child deserves the right to learn in a safe and conducive environment.

We will continue engaging the MEC to ensure that budget is allocated for the building of the new school in the area.

Increased Library Capacity Must Be Prioritised

Madam Speaker,

This week and next as of the 13th – 21st of March 2017, South Africa celebrates National Library Week under the theme, “My Library, Your Library”.

SA Library Week was officially celebrated for the first time in 2002 and has become a very important date on the national calendar.

However, Madam Speaker, it is important to note that 845 public ordinary schools in Gauteng do not have fully stocked and functional libraries, denying learners the opportunity to broaden their knowledge base in subjects outside the school curriculum, as well as supplement their classroom learning.

Most of the schools without working libraries are in poor areas, and the DA is particularly concerned about the effects on the poorest of the poor – who have no other way of obtaining information and knowledge.

The current low level of education outcomes are not surprising. Gauteng’s poor will remain at a disadvantage and will continue to struggle to get jobs or some form of higher education if the capacitation of libraries is not prioritised.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi claims a number of reasons for this shortfall, such as budgetary constraints, school budgets not being ring-fenced for libraries and that schools built before 1994 were built without libraries.

The DA believes that the MEC’s arguments hold no merit, as the department has had more than two decades to wipe out the backlog. If anything, libraries are simply not a departmental priority and most recently, the allocations to the Community Services Library Grant were reduced as a result of slow spending patterns.

Madam Speaker, this house should support the call to increase the number of school libraries and community libraries in poor communities across the province.



Media Enquiries

Mike Moriarty MPL
DA Gauteng Provincial Legislature Chief Whip
082 492 4410

Gauteng School ICT Strategy Has The Hallmarks Of Failed Gauteng Online Programme

ICT Strategy in Gauteng Schools

The DA is convinced that the tender specifications for the roll-out of the ICT strategy in Gauteng schools was not followed and is now having a negative impact on learners and teachers across the province.

The DA has visited a number of schools across Gauteng to assess the roll out of the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) ICT strategy.

It is apparent that this program has flaws similar to those experienced by the failed Gauteng online project. Some of the major issues that were noted were the lack of connectivity at sites, stolen ICT hardware, a lack of proper training and the incomplete renovations of classrooms.

Not all grade 12 and 11 learners have smart boards and tablets, despite claims by MEC Lesufi that all grade 12 and 11 township schools have smart classrooms.

The money invested into this project will be wasted if no there is no urgent intervention.

PAIA Application

Many schools which returned the tablets they were using last year are still waiting to receive them back to use in the 2017 academic year.

Equally it is disappointing that many grade 11 classrooms have removed their original chalk boards, without making provision for alternative teaching material. This has been on-going since August 2016.

The GDE refused a PAIA application by the DA to provide all the relevant tender documentation on this project, which the DA has challenged. The DA will ensure that the truth about this project is made public and if there are instances of corruption, action will be taken against those involved.




Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC

082 398 7375

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