AfriForum demands explanation for malperformance of Gauteng’s Education MEC causing racial tension

AfriForum has sent an urgent request to the National Department of Basic Education to confirm whether the MEC for Education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, had submitted a report explaining why targets for the development of school infrastructure in this province had not been met in 2016/2017.

According to Section 58C(3) of the Education Act (Act 84 of 1996), an MEC is required to submit such a report annually to explain to what extent targets set for the year and budgeted for, have been reached. Should such targets not be achieved, the MEC also must explain what measures have been taken to find solutions to the ensuing problems.

The 2016/2017 report of the Auditor General indicates that the following targets had been set and achieved during this period:


  Planned Achieved
New schools built and completed 59 16
Schools provided with sanitation facilities via the accelerated schools infrastructure delivery initiative 265 30
Schools provided with water via the accelerated schools infrastructure delivery initiative 280 29
Schools provided with electricity via the accelerated schools infrastructure delivery initiative 620 0

According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, it is important to know what the reasons for Gauteng’s malperformance are, as well as why Lesufi is not being held accountable for this.

“Currently there is mounting tension in various communities because of children who have not yet been placed at schools for the 2018 academic year. The MEC uses language policies that recognise learners’ right to Afrikaans home language education and racism as scapegoats for a situation that has in fact been created by his own and his department’s failure to comply with their legal obligations,” says Bailey.

“The MEC puts the safety of learners and communities at risk by creating racial polarisation to hide his inability to provide service delivery. He also creates explosive situations that are being exploited by other ideologists and populists. For the sake of all children and parents involved, AfriForum will hold him accountable for this,” Bailey concludes.

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