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Opposition Parties Not Impressed With Motshekga

The Basic Education sector has received criticism from opposition parties. This comes after Minister Motshekga announced a budget cut.

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Opposition parties criticised the department for cutting the budget while failing to provide all schools with PPE. Motshekga dismissed these claims and clapped back at some who were calling her 'stubborn'. 

Nomsa Marchesi of the Democratic Alliance outlined inconsistencies with how the government has handled the reopening of schools.

"If you had any doubt about inequality in South Africa, Covid-19 has unmasked these inequalities. This outbreak could have been a catalyst to bridge the gaps and divide but instead, the decision and priorities taken by this government widened the inequality further." said Marchesi in her opening statement. 

She said the department's budget cut meant provinces would have to use 20% of their Education Infrastructure Grant in order to cater for Covid-19 related expenses.

“This is a shame. It is a shame because efforts to address sanitation, inadequate and poor infrastructure [and an] IT infrastructure backlog were now put on the back-burner and therefore will not be addressed in the foreseeable future.

Marchesi criticised the department for not delivering services to all schools, as schools in the Eastern Cape were left out of receiving PPE.

"Minister, you assured the nation that you will not compromise on these 3 essentials like masks, social distancing and sanitizers. But your own government decided to ease the taxi industry relations by allowing 100% capacity load, which means learners can travel in a taxi that is not complying with social distancing regulations and end up at a school that has worked hard to control the infection."

 Reneiloe Mashabela of the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) criticised the government for reopening schools while failing to train teachers on Covid-19 protocols.

"There was no quality assurance of Personal Protective Equipment sent to schools. Some schools received wrong face masks and poor quality sanitisers"

"Essentially the department seeks to engage in a dangerous experiment with learners and teachers, while politicians work remotely in the comfort of their homes with heaters and fireplaces." said Mashabela. 

The IFP said it was in support of the budgetary adjustment but remained concerned about the R600 million that had been reprioritised for water tanks. 

"The supplementary budget makes no additional funding available to basic education,"

"These adjustments will have a negative impact on school infrastructure projects. We will see the postponement and suspension of projects at the expense of the education of those most in need."

Motshekga thanked the MPs for their input and said she would not be responding to statements made against her.

"As usual we also have to acknowledge that we have the anti-everything repeating the old same [things], all the time and nothing constructive. It's very unfortunate that we can't use opportunities to engage to be able to build a nation" said Motshekga. 

 

 

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