Sunday, October 17, 2010

R44 billion dissapears

R44bn disappears
Funding bungles mirror poor matric results
Oct 13, 2010 10:21 PM | By THABO MOKONE and NASHIRA DAVIDS


Three of the country's provincial education departments cannot explain what they did with more than R44-billion allocated to them in the past financial year.


Photograph by: Reuben Goldberg Meisie Nkau, business executive in the office of the auditor-general, told Parliament yesterday that only three of the country's provincial education departments were given clean audits for the 2009-2010 financial year - Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Presenting the audit outcomes of all provinces to the parliamentary portfolio committee for basic education, Nkau said the worst managers of public money were the education departments of Eastern Cape, Limpopo and North West.

The audit report of each department included a disclaimer by the auditor-general to the effect that he could not verify entries in their accounts because they were not supported by documentation.

The Eastern Cape and Limpopo education departments produced matric results that were among the country's worst last year.

The Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape audits were qualified because of auditors' concerns.

Nkau told stunned MPs: "There was a lack of internal controls totally. It is disappointing to note that three of the nine provinces regressed when we should be working towards a clean administration.

"The deficiencies open gaps for fraud, and for irregular and wasteful expenditure," she said

Compounding the problem, she said, was poor oversight by provincial MECs, their heads of department and chief financial officers.

The lion's share of the national education budget, R123-billion, goes to the provinces.

Eastern Cape, the worst province in terms of financial management, received R20-billion from the Treasury but could not explain how R1.5-billion of it was spent. Many children in the province are still taught in open fields and under trees.

DA education spokesman Wilmot James yesterday announced the launch of a campaign to identify under-resourced schools and determine the effects of wasteful expenditure, corruption and bad management.

James will begin in Eastern Cape with visits to seven "mud schools" that are taking the government to court alleging that it has failed to provide adequate buildings.

After the auditor-general's presentation to the portfolio committee, ANC MP Nomalungelo Gina asked: "Are we going to continue giving them money whereas they can't account? What are the steps we are going to take because we can't allow this?"

•A study by Stellenbosch University has shown that almost half (47%) the Grade 3 pupils in Western Cape cannot read and write to the required standard. In addition, only 35% are sufficiently skilled in maths.
The Western Cape education department commissioned the study to assess performance in the foundation grades of 45 schools.

It was found that teachers often did not "set the bar high enough for children" and that pupils did not have all the text books they needed.

"It was also found that there is limited reading and writing in classrooms," said Bronagh Casey, spokesman for education MEC Donald Grant.

Van der Berg and his team made several recommendations, including limiting classes to 40 pupils and grouping schools according to their performance to allow "for far greater targeted and specific assistance to under-performing schools".

Principals will have to present quarterly reports to the department, detailing how much of the curriculum they have covered.

Education expert Graham Bloch said literacy and numeracy levels in Western Cape and Gauteng, though unacceptable, were higher than in the rest of the country.

"Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga perform badly in all phases.

"These are poorer, more rural provinces [in which] parents are generally more submissive - unlike parents in Western Cape or Gauteng, who are more likely to put pressure on the system to improve conditions at schools," he said.


  1. You only need basic education to commit fraud !In this instance no education !

    "Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)"

    We don't need no education
    We don't need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teachers leave them kids alone
    Hey teacher leave them kids alone
    All in all it's just another brick in the wall
    All in all you're just another brick in the wall

    [chorus at end by pupils from the Fourth Form Music Class Islington black School, London]

    We don't need no education
    We don't need no thought control
    No dark sarcasm in the classroom
    Teachers leave them kids alone
    Hey teacher leave us kids alone
    All in all you're just another brick in the wall
    All in all you're just another brick in the wall

  2. ....."and the rich get richer and the kids get dumber!!"..........and robbed and raped!!