DA calls on MEC Lesufi to ensure that all schools are prepared before schools reopen

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi to ensure that all schools are fixed and ready before the schools re-open during this national lockdown period.

While Gauteng schools are gearing up to reopen, MEC Lesufi indicated some of the things that his department has done in preparation such as allocating a cleaning budget to all schools to hire cleaners to clean their schools.

He also indicated some of the measures that will be put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus in schools such as all learners and educators receiving masks, face clothes, soap and sanitizers weekly. The district offices will be used as war rooms; scholar transport will be sanitized; the department will employ substitute teachers to help reduce number of learners to at least 20 per class; 67 schools will be fenced and schools with low water pressure will be provided with water tanks.

MEC Lesufi was responding to the DA’s oral questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

The DA is worried that some of these measures will not be implemented when the schools reopen hence we are urging MEC Lesufi to implement them as soon as possible to ensure that teaching and learning continues uninterrupted when the schools reopen.

We call on the MEC to ensure that all district offices are functioning and have all the necessary resources needed to provide to schools when they reopen. The department should engage with private scholar transport to ensure that all learners have PPEs all the time.

The safety of both our learners and teachers must be a priority for the department when the schools reopen. The department should also monitor the schools‘ spending of the allocated cleaning budget to ensure that it is spent accordingly.

We will continue to monitor the department’s progress in implementing health and safety measures in all our schools to ensure that the department fixes all outstanding matters before schools reopen.

DA calls on MEC Lesufi to resolve all admission appeals before schools reopen on 15 January

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng calls on the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi to resolve the 2020 admission appeals as a matter of urgency.

There are hundreds of parents of Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners who have appealed to the department with regards to their children’s admissions for the 2020 school year but they have as yet received any responses from the department.

Replying to the DA oral questions in December, MEC Lesufi has committed to finalize all appeals within 21 days but this has not succeeded as there are more than 2000 learners who are still waiting for their appeals to be finalized.
The slow pace of the department in dealing with admission appeals is extremely frustrating for parents who do not know whether their children will be enrolled for the 2020 academic year.

Most of the parents that have submitted appeals have not yet started preparing their children for the reopening of schools on the 15 January as they don’t know the schools to which their children will be allocated.

The DA urges MEC Lesufi to work around the clock in finalising all admissions appeals before schools reopen so that parents can buy school uniforms and budget for their children’s transport.

We cannot have a situation whereby some learners do not start schooling with their peers on the first day of the academic year due to delays in the finalisation of admissions appeals.

The DA will be monitoring the process of the finalisation of all admissions appeals to ensure that all learners commence schooling when schools reopen.

Vandalism, burglary of schools shows Gauteng government has abdicated its responsibility

The vandalism of public assets, burglary of schools, deterioration of government-owned property and unsafe buildings are all in some way or another, linked to the fact that this administration has abdicated its responsibility to manage the infrastructure under its custodianship and Mr Premier, this is an indictment of your leadership.

Despite R43 billion of assets, this administration has up until now not had any property management function to check the condition of buildings and other fixed assets, to manage leases in order to maximise revenue, to utilise its’ assets for the benefit of the community and to prevent the deterioration of the assets. The tax-payer is the victim of all of these leadership and management shortcomings because it is the tax-payer that picks up the costs.

In the context of schools, unsafe and insecure infrastructure impacts negatively on learning, puts the lives of learners at risk and gives rise to the increasing theft from schools. MEC Lesufi, appealing to the community and threatening the criminals publically has clearly not borne fruit. What is required is a management intervention and frankly, I do not believe that your department has either the expertise or the financial resources to deal with this matter. Please prove me wrong.

Throwing millions of Rands down a black hole on useless campaigns such as I Care We Care has also not worked, because the vandalism and theft continues unabated.

Besides the poor management of infrastructure, your party, Mr Premier, has failed the citizens of this province and this country by falling foul of your constitutional obligation to keep people and their property safe from the ravages of rampant criminality. 

On a previous occasion in this house Mr Premier, you threatened to unleash the criminal justice system on the so-called thugs in the business forums that disrupt our projects, and what happened, an escalation of disruptions. The citizens simply cannot rely on you or on SAPS to prevent the criminality that takes place in the context of our infrastructure. You have proved that you are incapable of arresting this problem, so are we destined to stand by and watch the criminals vandalise and steal our assets and our future?

If not Mr Premier, please indicate that you have a plan, because thus far, all we have seen and heard is propaganda and empty promises.

Appointment Of The Moral Regeneration Movement By Gauteng Infrastructure Raises Questions

Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development

The decision by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) to involve the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) to assist in driving its campaign to safeguard public assets from being vandalised has raised a few eyebrows.

The campaign, called “I Care, We Care”, was launched by the department a number of months ago, with its primary objective to convince members of civil society that vandalising or destroying public assets such as schools, hospitals or clinics is counterproductive and self-defeating.

The appointment of the MRM has however provoked interest, as it must be remembered that initially, the patron of the MRM was none other President, J G Zuma, who eventually resigned from this position.

MEC Jacob Mamabolo

One would have expected that in the debate on the fitness of the President to hold office that the MRM, as the centre of our collective South African morality, would have had something to say. Instead there was deathly silence.

Funding for the MRM comes from national government, and receives a very small budget. It must also be noted that the MRM has few human resources, so it begs the question -what will the Movement do and how much they will be paid?

MEC for DID, Jacob Mamabolo, was extremely vague as to the amount of money allocated to them, stating that it could be between R2 to R3 million.

One hopes that this is not a cynical mechanism to augment the funds of the MRM.

In light of the laudable objectives of the campaign and an appeal from the MEC to evaluate the MRM’s performance as the project proceeds, the appointment was accepted.

The DA will pose questions to the MEC to ascertain the exact amount the MRM is receiving from the department’s budget. We will also scrutinise the project to ensure that value for money is maximised as a result of the MRM’s input.



Media enquiries:

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

060 558 8313

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