Hon Chairperson, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the MEC for education from the Western Cape and learners up there in the gallery, I feel specially honoured to be given a chance to address the NCOP only six days after the local government elections, with the ANC having scored a great victory. Thank you for giving us a hearing in spite of the mood of excitement and jubilation all around. Honouring these democratic processes is vital for nurturing and sustaining our hard-won freedoms and rights. It is in this spirit of accountability, responsiveness and transparency that I stand before this august Council to present the Budget Vote of the Department of Basic Education.
Our focus this year is mainly on strengthening the delivery-driven basic education system in line with the delivery agreement we entered into in October 2010. It is only through education that we can roll back the tide of poverty and joblessness and redress apartheid inequalities. It is precisely because of the pivotal role it plays in creating a better life for all that education remains an Apex Priority of the current administration.
For the 2011-12 financial year the overall budget for our department has increased from R6,369 billion to R13,868 billion. Note that this allocation concerns only the national Department of Basic Education - Vote No 15. It does not include allocations for provincial departments of education. The 2011-12 consolidated investment in the education sector, which includes the national department and all nine provincial departments of education, is R168,056 billion.
Last year we made bold to say we have made huge strides in education since the advent of democracy and committed to do more to address challenges to the provision of quality education. We committed to developing an education sector plan that would help us transform schooling, ensuring all of us, as the national and provincial departments of education, worked together to deliver an education system that speaks directly to the current needs of our democratic and developmental state.
Thus, on 2 August 2010, we gazetted Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025. We took this step following consultation with the Council of Education Ministers and in terms of the National Education Policy Act of 1996. This action plan provides key outcomes and performance deliverables for the entire education system and will help us to co-ordinate provincial planning and reporting.
In spite of formidable challenges, including the teachers' strike, we achieved an impressive 67,8% pass rate in the 2010 Grade 12 national senior certificate exams. All provinces improved their performance, with Gauteng achieving the highest pass rate in the country at 78,6%.
We are satisfied with progress on preparations for the incremental implementation of the reviewed Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements. This will start in January 2012, in the foundation phase and Grade 10.
As indicated last year, to enhance quality we required an effective performance evaluation mechanism. Accordingly, on 17 and 18 March 2011 we launched the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit, Needu. We appointed Prof John Volmink as its inaugural CEO, with effect from 1 July 2010. Since then, six additional staff members have been appointed to the team.
Needu's main task would be to provide an authoritative, analytical and accurate account of the state of education and the status of teaching and learning in all schools. A draft Bill has been developed and we look forward to the support of the NCOP in finalising relevant legislation.
Regarding the workbooks, last year we promised to provide high-quality workbooks in literacy and numeracy for learners in Grades 1 to 6, and literacy, numeracy and life skills for learners in Grade R, to improve and enhance the quality of learning. We have copies of these workbooks outside the door here and members are free to pick up a copy and see the quality of these books.
Workbook 1 was rolled out to the schools from January 2011, but with difficulties and delays in some schools. Workbook 2 should reach the learners next month. To reduce delivery glitches, the department has verified relevant data with provinces, including the number of learners.
With regard to the assessments, we are committed to improving the performance of Grades 3, 6 and 9 from an average performance of between 27% and 38% to at least 60% by 2014. One way of doing this was to administer the annual national assessments that are standardised and internationally benchmarked. Analysis of results of such assessments will inform the plans we adopt to improve education.
We started in February 2011 with Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 10. Approximately 6,5 million learners participated. We wanted to release the report at the end of April, but we had to move the date due to the enormity of the work involved. A new date will be announced soon.
With regard to the challenges, in spite of the footprints we have made, a lot still needs to be done. Institutional challenges include inefficiencies resulting in poor management and weak financial controls. We see evidence of this in some provincial education departments continuing to receive qualified reports. We are still battling with poor accountability in the system, including poor planning, implementation and reporting.
The education system is also plagued by learner-related challenges around their wellbeing, exacerbated by poverty and social deprivation; ill- discipline and youth criminality; and reproductive health-related problems, like teenage pregnancy.
It is against this background that this year we launched the Bill of Responsibilities campaign, in partnership with Lead SA and the South African Interfaith Council. Raising awareness around the Bill of Responsibilities will help promote the Bill of Rights, constitutional values and civic responsibilities.
Educator-related challenges include educator wellbeing, which has been aggravated by the nation's burden of disease, like the impact of HIV and Aids; low levels of skills, commitment and discipline; and inappropriate working conditions.
While great progress has been made, the sector needs to intensify ongoing work in the area of curriculum development, implementation and monitoring. Provincial departments, as conduits to schools, are critical in this regard.
Our educational outcomes continue to reflect socioeconomic patterns of inequalities. One of our major challenges remains addressing inequalities in the system. Believing that every child is a national asset, we will work with our provinces to ensure that no child is left behind.
Given the many challenges plaguing the education system and the need to respond to them effectively and better support the national goal of achieving inclusive growth and economic freedom, our response has been the decision to up the bar and work even harder towards a delivery-driven basic education system. In keeping with government's commitment to outcomes- driven service delivery, the department will continue aligning itself to outcomes delivery processes.
Therefore, during the 2011-12 financial year, we will lift our current delivery programme by establishing a planning and delivery oversight unit. This unit will work with and through provinces in weaving together all current initiatives so as to allow for a coherent value chain from policy to implementation in the classroom.
The department will continue to focus on the following levers to steer this quality education outcomes improvement programme. Given the key role of gateway subjects in accelerating economic transformation and growth, we will do more to improve performance in maths and science. We're already developing a maths and technology strategy to reinforce the Dinaledi schools programme, which has received a conditional grant amounting to R70 million in 2011-12.
All our efforts aimed at enhancing the quality of learning outcomes will indeed benefit immensely from heeding the President's call for more focus on the Triple T: teachers, textbooks and time. Thus, working with provincial departments of education, we will ensure that we indeed deliver on the objective of providing a textbook for every learner in every subject.
Plans for the central procurement of learning and teaching support materials are under way. In this regard, consultation with provincial departments of education is continuing. We hope this will result in efficient service through which we will eliminate the risks associated with expensive and inefficient procurement processes which have until now made it difficult for us to provide every child with a book in every subject.
All these efforts will not adequately produce a delivery-driven basic education system without quality teachers. We will therefore proactively up our work on teacher development to advance the Triple T and ensure that teachers are in class and teaching at least seven hours a day, as President Zuma has directed. For us, teachers are a critical resource for improving quality.
On 5 April 2011, with Minister Nzimande, we launched the Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development. It is key to achieving Output 1 of the delivery agreement, that is, improving teacher capacity and practices.
Improving the quality and conditions of service for teachers is a top priority. Last year, the monitoring of implementation of the occupation- specific dispensation was stepped up. We will continue to monitor full implementation by provinces to ensure that unintended consequences are addressed.
Funza Lushaka bursaries have increased to R449,44 million and will reach R893,867 million in 2013-14. Our targets include attracting young qualified teachers and filling the vacant posts to help advance this year's clarion call for the creation of decent jobs and economic transformation and freedom for all.
This year we will continue to strengthen school management and governance. The department is reinforcing the training of principals, particularly those from underperforming schools. More work will be done to improve school infrastructure. We will continue working with communities at all levels, encouraging their participation and urging them to take ownership of school buildings. A community facilitation team has been constituted to work with school communities.
We will eradicate mud and unsafe structures. For 2011-12, we have prioritised 85 mud schools and 246 inappropriate structures. We will provide water to at least 807 schools, sanitation to 391 schools and electricity to 286 schools. For free-standing facilities without adequate resources, we will build 29 administration blocks, 25 libraries and six laboratories. Working with provinces, by 2014 we will have attended to 3 627 schools that need to be brought up to basic functionality and safety levels.
An allocation of R5,498 billion for the education infrastructure conditional grant has been introduced for 2011-12. The school infrastructure backlogs indirect grant of R700 million has also been introduced. We will continue to pay serious attention to the health, safety and protection of children, mainly children at risk.
In 2010-11, the National School Nutrition Programme reached over 10 million learners in approximately 21 000 schools. For 2011, the National School Nutrition Programme conditional grant has increased to R915 million to cater mainly for implementation in quintile 3 secondary schools.
Education being a concurrent function, we're very worried indeed that 18 of our districts are underperforming. We are also very much aware that provinces are not performing satisfactorily in different areas, including slow spending on some programmes and overspending in other areas.
We will work with provinces, particularly those that received qualified reports, to deal properly with the Auditor-General's concerns. We will also prioritise the strengthening of outcomes improvement plans of poorly performing provinces and districts.
Regarding the intervention in the Eastern Cape department of education, I made a ministerial statement to Parliament on 16 March 2010. The Eastern Cape department of education had struggled for the past 16 years to establish itself as a stable and fully functional department. The challenges resulted in a Cabinet decision to invoke section 100(b) of the Constitution in March 2011, to allow the Ministry of Basic Education to work with the province to implement a comprehensive and sustainable intervention.
Subsequently, as required by the Constitution, a notice regarding the intervention was lodged with the NCOP on Tuesday, 15 March 2011. Since then we have established an intervention unit that co-ordinates the activities of the intervention. An intervention framework has been completed and a detailed intervention plan will be completed in a month's time. Following engagements with the premier and the MEC for education, a memorandum of agreement will soon be signed.
Regarding the critical areas of service delivery, the National School Nutrition Programme has been resuscitated. The programme has been decentralised to schools and a strategy has been developed to strengthen it. Temporary teachers whose contracts were terminated in December 2010 have been reinstated. Temporary relief in the form of mobile classrooms has been provided to address the challenge of mud and unsafe schools while plans are being finalised for building permanent schools.
On learner and teacher support materials, 90% of non-section-21 schools have received textbooks and workbooks. Learner transport has been restored, particularly in rural areas. A team from the national department is working with the officials from the Eastern Cape departments of education and transport to ensure norms and standards are adhered to in this regard. The shortage of stationery is also receiving urgent attention.
It is our hope that the intervention will turn around the situation in that province and ensure delivery of key educational outcomes.
In conclusion, I wish to say a special word of thanks to you and to all patriots who supported the class of 2010. Let us all support the class of 2011 this year. I am grateful for the support of my Deputy Minister in absentia, the MECs and the director-general, Bobby Soobrayan. I call him "Abrahams". [Laughter.] Sorry, I think all Indians have the same name. I thank all the HODs from different provinces and all our officials in the department. I am grateful to our teachers, principals, parents and learners for their hard work and dedication to education because we believe that working together we can deliver a transformative, high-performing, quality education system. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Chairperson, hon Minister of Basic Education and Deputy Minister in absentia, hon members, special delegates and our distinguished guests, it is my sincere pleasure to address this august House on the occasion of the debate on the Budget Vote of Basic Education.
At the very outset, I want to remind the Council that the ruling party has designated education as one of the Apex Priorities of the current administration, which runs until 2014. Education and training remains the centre of our social transformation agenda and, correctly so, it is the main preoccupation of the ANC government. As such, education spending remains government's largest spending item.
The ANC's basic policy document, the Freedom Charter of 1955, makes a bold statement about the mandate of a future democratic state to ensure that the doors of learning and culture are open to all. The progressive increase in the Education budget, year after year, is a clear indication of our government's unshakeable commitment to education. The overall budget for the Department of Basic Education has increased drastically. This shows the ANC-led government's commitment in providing education for all.
The Department of Basic Education intends to implement inclusive education at all levels in the system by 2020. By inclusive education, we mean an environment that promotes the full personal, academic and professional development of all learners, irrespective of their race, gender, disability, religion, culture or sexual preference.
We welcome the introduction of the education infrastructure conditional grant. I believe this will assist in the eradication of mud and unsafe schools. As I say that, we must remember that these unsafe and mud schools are not our doing, but something that we inherited. We will ensure that it ends. I remember our parents from a poor background having to pay what we called t?helete ya moago [building funds]. Imali yomakho. [Building funds.]
When some were advantaged, schools were built for them, but in our poor communities parents had to fork out money so that we could have an extra classroom. So, this is not our doing and our department is making sure that we overcome that legacy. Even though we are criticised, we must remember the legacy of Verwoerd, when he said in 1854 that a black person could not go to school, especially girls, but would become good domestic workers and moms. [Interjections.]
Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it proper for the hon member to misrepresent the past in this House?
I would not rule on that. I do not know whether she has misrepresented the past.
The hon member said "Verwoerd" in "1854".
It is 1954. [Laughter.] I just got the date wrong. Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
With regard to curbing overspending, I believe we sometimes have the problem of overspending by our departments in the building of schools. To curb this overspending, the department should have its own internal engineers, which would reduce exploitation by consultants and building contractors. This will help us to get value for our money.
The education infrastructure conditional grant, as it would be ...
Chair, will the member take a question?
Yes, I will, Chairperson.
Hon member, what is your question?
Were the DA and Mr Lees serious about the future of our children when he indicated that he was going to take over Tshwane, Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg and eThekwini and then bring a different education system to those specific areas? [Interjections.]
Hon member, continue.
The question was complicated and I am only registered for standard grade. [Laughter.] As the education infrastructure conditional grant will be transferred to the provinces, it is important to have regular reports from provinces on how many structures have been built and at what cost. Provinces should be encouraged to categorise these structures according to how many are in urban, rural and township areas, and include those in farming areas, where we have schools on private property. One of our challenges with farm schools is that we are trapped in a cycle of poverty that is inherited. We believe that the vulnerability of our farm workers, their dependency on the commercial farmers and their extreme indigence are often the main obstacles impeding the delivery of quality, uninterrupted education for the African child.
Remember, at these schools that are on private property our children and the parents are, most of the time, dictated to by the owners. We should look into that and ensure that every child who lives on a farm, as well as teachers, adheres to the policies of the Department of Education and not to the rules of the owner of the land. That is another problem we have.
We also welcome the notice of the Minister of Basic Education to invoke section 100 of the Constitution in the department of education in the Eastern Cape. As the ANC, we are committed to moving with absolute speed and tenacity to dismantle all the obstacles that threaten our education transformation agenda in the Eastern Cape or any other corner of this country.
The January 8 Statement 2010 says that in all our endeavours to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our schools, early childhood development and the foundation phase remain critical. Particular attention will also be paid to improving the quality of Grade R and early childhood development to ensure that young children are adequately prepared for schooling. We have called for non-negotiables in education. We are happy and we congratulate the department because it made sure that there was training of early childhood development, ECD, facilitators and that dream will be realised.
Again, responding to the January 8 Statement 2010, we acknowledge that your department has introduced standardised workbooks of high quality as an additional support to textbooks in all public schools, for learners in Grade R to 6. When we leave here, even the critics should take a look at the books outside and see the quality that we are talking about.
We have also noted that the department will be developing new training packages through distance education and e-education to enable our Education department to improve learning outputs. We see this as a motivator for young educators to enjoy teaching as a profession. We will be taking a keen interest in the outcome of these programmes. The department will have to give regular updates on how many have entered the system and how many have completed it.
I want to couple what I am saying with your statement that you want us to support the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit. We will really support that initiative as soon as the Bill arrives because we believe that there are gaps in the integrated quality management system and whole-school evaluations that will be addressed by this particular policy or this Bill, to ensure that our schools receive what is due to them.
Since the inception of the school nutrition programme, more children have enrolled in our schools and the rate of absenteeism has been reduced. We appeal to the department to ensure that allocation for this is done on time. I am saying this because during the first term of each year children at school do not receive the food because of the budget and because by the end of the previous year everything had been finished and now they do not have anything.
Let us come up with a plan. We asked the department to come up with a plan so that our learners do not have a day at school where they do not eat because they are still waiting for the financial year to start. This may not happen because it also means increased absenteeism, especially in the rural areas. As you have noticed, in most schools, during the first term, there are fewer learners because there is no food. We cannot allow that to continue. We need to replan around the programme of the first term.
Regarding the merger of schools, the Department of Education has set guidelines for the rationalisation of small, nonviable schools. One of the guidelines for the district is to ensure additional support for learners and their parents. I want to raise this as we talk about this merger. We have problems, especially in areas like the Western Cape, where they make sure they place emphasis on the feeder schools and these feeder schools have been structured to be more racially divided.
We want to make sure that we do not concentrate on the feeder schools so that the motivation that they put forward, which is that if you have been in a white school you should be a feeder to a white school, is not taken into account. What happens to other children from other schools? [Interjections.] We must make sure that this is really not taken into account.
Also, as we improve our schools, we don't want to see adverts like those in the Western Cape where it is implied that to be a member of the school governing body you have to be of a particular profession, like an accountant or a former teacher. [Interjections.] We don't want to see those things because it disadvantages our poor parents who did not go to school. If you have your children in that school, you are just there as a parent but you cannot take part in the school governing body because the adverts are very clear that you need to be a member of a particular profession. That is not the aim.
With regard to learner transport, let us provide a conditional grant to the provinces. We are tired of the learner transport where every province has to decide. We need a policy that will guide how the learner transport works. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members and guests, it is an honour to take part in this policy debate on basic education. The key priority of the Department of Basic Education is to educate our nation. With this in mind, and given our expectations of the forming of a quality nation, we have to bear in mind that we must have quality teachers; quality teaching materials; quality and high-integrity staff and educators; staff and educators with pride and a responsible character; quality training of educators, and one goal for all, which is quality delivery in outcome and performance of teachers and learners.
If these are our goals and achievements, then we can reach the goal of contributing towards improving quality of life and building a peaceful and prosperous democratic South Africa. We must provide people with quality skills to help them in their quest for employment and to grow the economy.
We are confronted with the question: How successful is our quality education of learners in the early childhood development, foundation, primary and intermediate phases of Basic Education? Can we say that we are satisfied with the achievements of the Department of Basic Education? They said it well and we appreciate that they have recognised that learning and teaching outcomes, particularly in the foundation phase and certain subjects, are not satisfactory; that we score low on international assessment benchmarks; that there is less than satisfactory performance across the grades and phases; that the quality of learning outcomes is among the lowest in the middle-income countries; and that a gap in leadership, competence and professionalism exists.
It is equally right that the department confesses the challenges and does not shy away from the problems. The challenge is to pinpoint exactly which and where the causes are that lead to these problems. Is it true that our educators cannot teach or don't have skills to perform their duty to educate our learners? I can say with pride that our educators do not lack skills and intelligence; the problems are somewhere else.
We must have the guts to ask the educators what the problems are that prevent them from delivering quality education. I am not referring to the unions. I am actually referring to the grass roots in the education sector. Enough money in Basic Education is not a problem. Poor control, monitoring, management, evaluation, discipline and integrity are to be blamed. That is why we are talking today about Triple T - teachers, textbooks and time. If we can address this fast, effectively and with vigour, then we will see progress in the quality of the numeracy and literacy skills of our learners.
The problems in the department of education in the Eastern Cape and the underspending of funds in other provinces are irresponsible and a crime against humanity. Discipline and accountability must be demanded of those responsible in management. No mercy must be shown or excuses accepted. If this is not done, then we have failed in our obligation to deliver quality deliverables. We are all then also guilty of failing the community. The question can be asked: Does the Department of Basic Education have the capacity and any plans to assist provinces which have these weaknesses? I would like the Minister to actually choose to say today what the situation is.
Addressing the backlogs in infrastructure delivery can create bigger problems if we do not plan responsibly and effectively. We appreciate the building of new schools where there are mud schools. There must be a plan with an outline for implementation, progress and completion. We must be sure that the country and the companies and businesses involved can deliver the required amount of cement, bricks, building materials and the rest on time. In our time of governing, I think 45 new hospitals will have to be built in South Africa. If this can't happen, chaos will be created. The completion time must be carefully planned and conducted to prevent overspending. Again, this boils down to discipline and effectiveness.
My time does not allow me to address the other issues, but the gain of achieving success is most definitely discipline, responsibility, accountability and performance. Thank you.
Hon Chairperson, this year is an important milestone for our democracy, as we have just completed the local government elections. I believe that this address to the NCOP is the ideal opportunity to review the progress made in realising the vision of our Constitution and to show that our successes in education go a long way towards realising the struggle of the seventies.
I would like to congratulate the ANC in the Gauteng province on its overwhelming achievement in the local government elections and retaining all its metros.
The Constitution guarantees the right to education. This is a social right that not only guarantees access but also demands that the education be of a high quality. We in the ANC welcome the Minister's declaration of commitment to tackle quality through intensive and directed initiatives and programmes over the next Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period.
Over the past 17 years the ANC has travelled far in transforming the education sector in this country, to honour the rights of the Constitution. While there are still numerous challenges facing education, we have achieved a level of stability in education that we had not seen in the 20 years prior to democracy, and that is across all communities, not just those that were advantaged.
The curriculum redress policies, the national curriculum statements and the proposed curriculum and assessment policies have ensured that schools whose curriculum offering simply added to the marginalisation of the youth of our country have successfully introduced appropriate subjects that will ensure that learners leave school with more opportunities than ever before.
Despite all these successes, one must reflect and ask the question: Has the quality of education improved over the past 17 years?
I would also like to congratulate the Gauteng province learners for an outstanding performance in the 2010 matric results, surpassing all other provinces, including the Western Cape.
While education has always been a high priority for this government since 2009, it has become the single highest priority, or Apex Priority, as it is called. This is partly in recognition of the importance of education. It is also partly in recognition of the fact that we have not made as much progress in improving the quality of education as we would have liked, especially in poor communities. Let me be more specific: We have not yet eradicated the shadow of history in reversing the legacy of apartheid education. While we knew that this would be a multidecade challenge, we did expect to have made more progress.
Gauteng welcomes the commitment of the Minister and her department to work even harder towards a delivery-driven basic education system, given the many challenges facing the education system and the need to respond to them effectively.
In support of the national thrust for quality in the basic education sector, both nationally and provincially, Gauteng province welcomes the targeted programmes and interventions to address the quality of teaching and learning. Gauteng welcomes the 27 targets of Action Plan to 2014 and the four outputs of the delivery agreement.
The budget that has been tabled before the NCOP today represents more than an allocation of resources and an accounting of revenues. Behind the numbers and statistics the central purpose of this budget is to ensure that South Africa is equipped to rise to the challenge of the new and fast- changing global economy. Not just a few of us, but everyone.
Gauteng welcomes the increase in the overall budget of the Department of Basic Education for the 2011-12 financial year, which has been increased to R13 billion. We note that most of these funds are being directed to address systemic issues across provinces and schools. However, government must be satisfied that resources in education are going directly to learning in the classroom.
We also welcome the budget to support the Minister of Education's programme of action, so that every school can meet the standards set for results and quality learning in safe and conducive learning environments.
Gauteng welcomes the targeted funding and conditional grants to support and improve education delivery in provinces and schools. Gauteng will provide access to an appropriate and effective integrated system of prevention, care and support for learners, educators and support staff infected with and affected by HIV and Aids.
Gauteng will train 150 master trainers in the integration of life skills and HIV and Aids programmes. It will also train 1 000 educators to integrate the life skills programme. It will provide peer education, care and support programmes for learners, educators and other school support staff in an additional 300 schools. It will also develop age-appropriate, National Curriculum Statement, NCS, compliant learning and teaching support material for Grades R to 7. These will be adapted for the deaf and blind and distributed to all the respective special schools.
In Gauteng, the total number of learners to be fed is 889 792. Included in these are over 151 000 learners in quintile 3 secondary schools that will benefit from the scheme for the first time in 2011. Gauteng will use this grant to recapitalise 38 technical schools and improve their capacity to contribute to skills development and training by improving the conditions of technical schools. It will modernise them to meet the teaching requirements of learners in the technical fields and increase the number of suitably qualified and technically skilled graduates from these schools.
Gauteng will use the infrastructure grant to accelerate the construction, maintenance, upgrading and rehabilitation of new and existing infrastructure in education. It will focus on 142 ordinary and special schools for renovation and refurbishment as part of the major maintenance programme.
In supporting Dinaledi schools in Gauteng, the province will use the Dinaledi schools grant to support 101 Dinaledi schools with additional maths and science resources. Also, there will be an additional 202 posts for additional maths and science educators.
In Gauteng, all affected grades will benefit from the nationally driven processes related to Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements, workbooks and textbooks.
The long-term review of spending on education in provinces and schools must meet targets for raising standards in schools in their areas. And those involved must demonstrate that money is being spent in improving the quality of learners' education. Finally, the fast-growing economy and rapidly changing social environment threaten to marginalise more of Gauteng's youth if we do not act rapidly and ensure that quality education is a permanent feature of the education terrain in South Africa. It is against this social pressure that Gauteng unreservedly supports the Minister's thrust for quality education. I thank you. [Applause.]
Chairperson, Minister of Basic Education, hon members of the NCOP, Director-General of Basic Education and honoured guests, thank you for the opportunity to address the NCOP as we debate the Basic Education Budget Vote. The Western Cape warmly welcomes Minister Motshekga's continued emphasis on a delivery-driven basic education system. We are particularly pleased with her efforts to increase the provision of workbooks and learner support materials in the classroom, and her support for the President's call for an undivided focus on the Triple T: teachers, textbooks and time.
This echoes Premier Helen Zille's often-repeated mantra of "time on task". Based on this principle, we are doing everything possible to protect teaching and learning time in the Western Cape to ensure that learners are in class seven hours a day, five days a week and 200 days a year.
We also welcome the Minister's commitment to increase and improve educator and principal training courses and we are very supportive of her intention to deliver on the objective of providing a textbook for every learner in every subject.
While we are pleased with and will support a number of these intended deliverables, in the Western Cape we have already gone way beyond talking about delivery and have already begun to deliver. For instance, in March this year I also announced our intention to ensure that over the next three years every child from Grades 1 to 12 will have a textbook in every subject that he or she is taking. We are already delivering on this.
In the current and last financial year, we have gone beyond the national norm for textbook allocation by allocating an additional R230 million for the purchase of textbooks throughout the system. For the first time ever, learners in Grade 2 received a mathematics textbook and reading books have been distributed to selected schools for Grades 1 to 6.
The Western Cape education department, WCED, has also delivered life sciences textbooks to every Grade 12 learner taking the subject in 2011, and textbook orders in other subjects to the value of R6,5 million were placed and delivered early this year for any shortages in Grades 10 to 12. In literacy and numeracy, the Western Cape continues to lead the rest of the country in the use of extensive testing for learners.
Last year we expanded our provincial lit-num testing programme by testing over 247 000 learners. We tested both Grades 3 and 6 learners in the same year instead of in alternate years, and introduced Grade 9 learners and independent schools to the programme for the very first time.
It is clear from the Minister's speech that there are concerns about underexpenditure on capital payments on the one hand, and overexpenditure on personnel on the other. In stark contrast, the Western Cape has spent all of its budget allocation on infrastructure and other capital projects and managed the impact of the salary increases through effective cost savings. We are particularly pleased with the progress we have made in the delivery on our infrastructure plan. In just one year, we have delivered over 171 additional mobile units to overcrowded schools and have built an extra 112 classrooms to increase access to quality schools.
This year we have already opened five new schools, including Claremont High School, our third Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, or Stem, school. Eight schools are currently under construction, with a further 15 in their planning stages. Fifteen replacement schools are also in their planning stages, with four schools expected to be completed this year.
We are also very proud of how we have delivered on our commitment to improve the department's business processes and systems in order to ensure rapid response and support to schools. We have complete faith in our quality schools and have developed a "call us if in need" approach to allow them to function without interference and, in turn, free up our district officials to concentrate on struggling schools.
We also know how important it is for principals and school governing bodies, SGBs, to have the highest degree of staff stability possible. To this end, we have dramatically improved the processes by which we advertise and fill vacancies in our schools.
In 2010 we published seven vacancy lists, as opposed to the two lists in earlier years. By improving the turnaround times in the appointment process, we are ensuring that much-needed greater stability of schools. We agree with Minister Motshekga's view that in order to fully realise the rights of all learners to quality education we need to improve teacher subject knowledge and pedagogical practice. The Western Cape has therefore streamlined our educator training and development programmes, so that they are more focused, with compulsory training for teachers at underperforming schools and far greater choice for teachers at high performing schools.
In March this year the Minister launched the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit. While we fully support her commitment to evaluate performance in the system and to identify problems that undermine school improvement, we are also of the belief that accountability for performance begins at the top. To this end, the head of department and I signed performance contracts early last year with the premier, which directly link our actions to improving learner outcomes in line with our strategic plan.
Last year we also passed the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Act, which will enable me as Education minister in the Western Cape to develop regulations with regard to performance agreements between the head of department, principals and deputy principals. These performance contracts will ultimately link performance assessment to the quality of learner outcomes at a given school.
The Minister herself recently announced her intention to deliver new performance evaluations for principals to ensure that schools deliver academic results. These are just some of the deliverables we have achieved in the last year and it is significant that we have laid the foundations for the implementation of our strategic plan.
In 2011 we will continue to work hard to build on these foundations with our main objective in mind, i.e. to improve the quality of education in the Western Cape. Ultimately, all of us in education have, as a goal, the provision of quality education to all our young learners. But it is the delivery of these objectives that will determine our success. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon House Chair, hon Minister, hon members and colleagues, it is a privilege and great honour for me to participate in this debate, just after the successful and victorious local government elections. This is an indication that the ANC-led government does not only have foresight and vision for this democracy but can also deliver a better life for all. It is only the ruling party that has emerged victorious in these elections. The whole nation has something to be proud of because these elections were free and fair. Our detractors will eat humble pie, because we do not only preach democracy but we practice what we preach.
In 1955 we said "the doors of learning shall be opened". This budget seeks to make this clause of the Freedom Charter a reality. The majority of the population in our country never had as many opportunities as they do today to access education. The rural poor never dreamt that one day they would not be taught in the cold rain and blazing sun in search of education. They no longer have to drop out of school because their parents cannot afford the school fees.
As stated in the strategy plan, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 requires education to be transformed and democratised in accordance with the values of human dignity, equal human rights, freedom, nonracism and nonsexism. It guarantees access to basic education for all, with the provision that everyone has the right to basic education, including adult basic education. Children who stay on farms no longer have to leave school to stand in for deceased parents.
The department's allocation for the current financial year amounts to R13,8 billion. In order to fulfil the constitutional imperative, the department has established five main programmes: administration; curriculum policy, support and monitoring; teachers, education human resources and institutional development; planning, information and assessment; and an education enrichment service.
These programmes should ensure that teachers are at school on time and in class, teaching. The greatest concern at this juncture is that resource allocation in our education system is not commensurate to the output. Our matric results are much poorer compared to other developing countries who are contributing far fewer financial resources to education than our country. When tabling this budget, the Minister of Basic Education quoted from her speech of last year, saying, "We acknowledge shortcomings in the system, some of which, as demonstrated by research, show our weaknesses as being in the quality of education". Thus the department has formulated strategic goals in support of the programmes mentioned above to remedy the situation.
The five strategic goals that have been factored into the programme are: to improve the quality of teaching and learning; to undertake regular assessment to track progress; to improve early childhood development; to ensure a credible outcomes-focused planning and accountability system; and to improve the capacity of the Department of Basic Education.
The department is of the view that these strategic goals will bring about the necessary improvement in our education system. However, you must bear in mind that to remedy the situation there needs to be buy-in by all stakeholders involved in the country. The moral decay in society has to some extent rendered our schools unsafe working places, as shown by the latest attacks on educators by learners and criminal elements. As the department strives to improve the quality of teaching and learning, among other things, community involvement in creating an environment for that cannot be overemphasised.
Relating to this, I would like to quote the MEC for education in the Free State province. When tabling his budget speech, he said:
There is no other profession that is more important to our children's future than teaching. It has long been acknowledged that teaching is the mother of all professions. The future of our country is determined in the classroom. With this in mind we feel compelled to applaud all our teachers who continue against all odds to regard their profession not as a job but a mission that has to be accomplished. Education will forever remain a societal responsibility. Without the contributions and support of educators, learners, parents and other stakeholders the department alone may not overcome this minefield.
The strategic plan stated that the quality learning and teaching campaign, which is a collaborative agreement with the teachers' unions, governing body associations and learner representative bodies, was successfully launched in all provinces in 2010. In the same year a protocol document outlining collaboration between the Department of Basic Education and the SA Police Service was developed and signed by the Ministers of Basic Education and of Police.
The department has further put aside funds to do away with the unsafe mud schools, especially in the Eastern Cape. The department plans to eradicate 85 such schools in the Eastern Cape during this financial year. A further 246 unsuitable structures will be attended to and, according to the Minister in her budget speech, a further 286 will be electrified during this financial year.
Programme 5 deals with educational enrichment services to develop policies and programmes aimed at improving the quality of learning in schools. One of the functions of this programme is to care for and support the schools in the management of policies on the overall wellness of educators and learners, the management and monitoring of the nutrition programme, and to develop and monitor policies and programmes promoting gender equality, nonracism, nonsexism, democratic values in education and an understanding of human rights in public schools.
In line with that, the Minister announced in her budget speech that the school nutrition programme reached over 10 million learners in approximately 21 000 schools. For 2011-12 the National School Nutrition Programme conditional grant has increased to R915 million, mainly to cater for implementation in quintile 3 secondary schools. Zooming in on the province regarding this issue, the Free State department of education, through the National School Nutrition Programme conditional grant, has provided food to 444 042 learners during 2010 and 2011.
During this period an additional 61 367 learners will be fed, to take the total number of learners to be fed to 505 409. Local women's co-operatives, where they exist, are prioritised for the provision of meals to these schools, thereby creating jobs for marginalised women. Where the co- operatives are not yet in place, 2 780 food handlers are paid a stipend of R600 per month for 10 months and R300 for the month of the June holiday for preparing meals for the learners, thereby creating jobs for the food handlers.
In conclusion, the points above indicate how much the ANC-led government cares for the citizens, especially the poor. It is no mistake that in the elections that we just held the majority chose the movement as their party of choice to lead them to a better life in this democratic, nonracial and prosperous country. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I thank you.
Hon Minister, hon Chair, the South African education system is malfunctioning and it has a long way to go before it is completely transformed from Bantu education. The rural-urban bias and urban- urban inequalities still persist in our schools.
Though government spends billions of rand on education, the picture on the ground is quite different. From Prof Bhengu to Prof Kader Asmal, from hon Pandor to hon Motshekga, our education system is left with a paradox: the South African education system is divided into rich schools that function optimally and poor schools that are often dysfunctional.
In recent Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality, Sacmeq, III, data analysis, dysfunctional schools were blamed for poor learner performance. Education MECs countrywide describe the lack of infrastructure as a big challenge. Lack of infrastructure is said to be ... [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, will the hon member take a question?
Yes, I will.
I want to know from the hon member in which province he stays. What he is saying now is not a true reflection of what is happening in South Africa.
I stay in the North West province. That is where I stay! A lack of infrastructure is said to be contributing to poor results, especially in rural schools, where you have unqualified or poorly qualified teachers and no laboratory, library or equipment to assist the teacher.
Teachers, on the other hand, are frustrated by the ever-changing curriculum jargon. Cope welcomes the recent announcements by the Minister of Basic Education of the Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development to improve the quality of teacher education and development, in order to improve the quality of teachers and teaching. Cope hopes this will not end up like outcomes-based education, OBE, where teachers were inadequately trained and instructions were not clear.
We also hope that the resources will be available and that the department shall consult extensively with all the stakeholders. Cope believes that if all of these are not done, the framework will falter, just like the teacher laptop initiatives.
Is the hon member prepared to take a question?
Moenie bang wees nie, agb Plaatjie. Kap hulle! [Don't be afraid, hon Plaatjie. Rebuke them!]
Is the hon member prepared to take a question?
Yes, of course, hon Chair.
I just wanted to enquire if Cope had a plan for improving the education system? The only plan they seem to have is one of destroying themselves!
Yes, hon Chair and hon member, there is an extensive plan. Yes, there is! [Interjections.] [Laughter.] There is a plan! [Interjections.]
Order! Hon member, your time is up.
Cope hails the department for including the foundation phase in the framework.
Hon Plaatjie, your time has expired! [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, hon members, hon Minister, all protocol observed. Tomorrow, 25 May, is a very important day for the African continent. It is a day when we celebrate the milestones that we and our fellow African nations have achieved. It is also a day when we reflect on various challenges facing the African continent, where the majority of inhabitants are suffering the most inhuman conditions and where human rights are often prayed for.
Africa has the highest poverty and illiteracy statistics in the world. Therefore the South African government has to strive towards overcoming the challenges faced by our own country. It is a crying shame that our people do not receive education of the quality they deserve.
Our communities should play an active role in our schools, especially when it means the distribution and quality of our learning facilities as well as the equality and distribution of education will improve. There are still too many parents and caregivers who fail in their obligation towards the education of their children and simply leave the responsibility to the teachers alone. The sad reality is that most of these cases are found in underprivileged areas. Over the past 17 years we have spent more on education than most other developing nations, and we believe we still do not have enough to show for it. We remain concerned about the massive inequalities in education.
More focus should be placed ... [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, is the hon member prepared to take a question?
Chair, I will not take questions, my time is up.
You may continue, hon member.
I thought he was a bull! He is a bull, because I wanted to ask him a serious ideological question. [Interjections.]
More focus should be placed on reading, writing and mathematics. Furthermore it is crucial that each and every school be given access to electricity, clean running water and sanitation. Libraries, functioning science laboratories and free Internet connectivity should also be counted as a necessity at a school. [Interjections.]
Hon Gunda, there is a point of order.
Yes, but you are publicly wasting your time!
Is the member prepared to take a question ... [Interjections.]
He said no!
... because mine is going to be a simple one?
Are you prepared to, hon member?
No, hon Chair. [Laughter.] For many children, physical, sexual and substance abuse has become extremely frequent within the home and educational environments. It is therefore also necessary that each school must have a social worker who can identify and deal with these problems.
Hon Chair, let me just say this, and I want to say it in Afrikaans.
Voorsitter, ek wil aan die agb lede in hierdie Huis vandag s dat die toekoms van ons land nie l in mense wat leuens vertel nie, maar in kinders wat opgevoed word. Die toekoms van ons land, as ons armoede wil uitwis, l in die opvoeding en ontwikkeling van kinders sodat ons kinders mre regte leiers kan wees. Daar is niks en niemand wat jou geletterdheid en jou geleerdheid van jou kan steel nie. Niks en niemand kan jou verhoed om vorentoe te gaan as jy geletterdheid het nie. Al wat ek aan die lede van die Huis wil s, is ... (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Chairperson, today I would like to tell the hon members in this House that the future of our country does not lie in people who tell lies, but in children being educated. The future of our country, if we want to eradicate poverty, depends on the education and development of children so that our children can be true leaders tomorrow. Nothing and no one can take away your literacy and your education. Nothing and no one can prevent you from moving forward once you are literate. All I want to say to the members of this House is ...]
... please learn to listen. It is important to educate and develop our children. [Time expired.]
Mohlomphegi Modulasetulo, pele ke tsena polelong ya ka, ke rata go laet?a gore go bohlokwa gore ge re bolela mo Palamenteng re bolele ditaba t?e di agago set?haba kua ntle gomme re se ke ra bolela bakeng sa go nt?ha phefo ganong. Ge re ka bolela fela bakeng sa go nt?ha phefo ganong, se se ra gore batho bao ba re romet?ego gore re tlo ba emela ka mo re ba emela gampe. Ka fao, ga re a swanela go ?omi?a maemo a Palamente go emela batho gampe. Batho ba letet?e t?e botse go rena gore dillo t?a bona di tle di kwagale ka gare ga Palamente.
Ba bangwe ba bolela eke ba medit?we gomme ba ka gare ga dimpa t?a ba bangwe. [Disego.] Ga ba sa kgona go hema botse ge ba bolela, ba na le sekhutamoya. [Disego.] Ge o ka bolela o na le sekhutamoya ga o sa ikwa le gore o reng.
Ba bangwe ba bolela ba se na ditokomanekgolo. Ditokomanekgolo di dikgorong t?a met?helo.[Disego.] Batho ba bjalo ga re hlwe re ngangi?ana le bona ka gore ga ba na se ba kago se ?upa ge re ka re ?upang. Ba tla ?upa eng? Ke t?a bopudi di nt?e kgakala di phala ke t?a bonku.
Ke rata go boela polelong ya ka ya let?at?i. Le ge re ka bolela ka ditsebi le bomankge ba thuto, eup?a ra se be le taolotshepedi?o ya maleba ye e hlwekilego, go swana le ge re ekga meetse ka pakete ya go dutla. Le ge re ka ba le maatla a pu?o ra laola matlotlo a set?haba, eup?a ra se be le taolotshepedi?o ye e lebelet?ego dinyakwa t?a set?haba, re tla be re nyat?a Molaotheo wa naga ya gaborena.
Ge taolotshepedi?o e se ya maleba kgorong, intastering, bjalo bjalo, gona thuto ya bana ba rena ya maleba goba hlabollo ya intasteri yeo ga e gona. Go tla latela eng ge go se na taolotshepedi?o ya maleba, mohlomphegi Tona? Go tla latela tshepedi?ompe ya matlotlo, gomme thekgo ya kantoro ya Tona e tla phuhlama. Mananeo ka moka a go ya diprofenseng a tlo ?arakana la go thelet?a moloi pelo.
Mmu?o wa ge?o wa go etwa pele ke ANC o thadile le go beakanya ditokomanekgolo t?e re di bit?ago dipholisi t?a go netefat?a t?e di latelago: taolotshepedi?o ya Kgoro ya t?a Thuto; gore go be le tshepedi?o ya maleba ye e hlwekilego; le gore thuto ya bana ba rena e be ye e hlabologilego. Ditokomanekgolo t?e di phethagat?a ke mohlankedimogolo wa kgoro. Yena le bao ba ?omago ka tlase ga gagwe ba swanet?e ba bone gore ditokomanekgolo t?e di a phethagat?wa. O swanet?e a ?ome ka makgethe gore taolotshepedi?o e be ye e hlwekilego. Ke mo re tlogo mo phaphatha magetla ra re o ?omile.
Ke rata go t?ea sebaka se go leboga kgatelopele ye e dirilwego ke Kgoro ya t?a Thuto ya Motheo. Kgoro e kgonne go felelet?a le go fetolela ... [T?hwahlelo.] (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[Mr T A MASHAMAITE: Hon Chairperson, I would first like to indicate that it is imperative that in Parliament we talk about things that benefit the public and not just talk for the sake of talking. That will mean we are not representing the public well. We have to represent the public well. People expect the best from us so that their concerns can be addressed in Parliament.
Some of the people speak like they are inside other people's tummies. [Laughter.] They cannot breathe properly when they speak because there is not enough air. [Laughter.] You cannot make sense of what you are saying if you do not have access to enough air. Some of the members speak without the main documents that are available from the SA Revenue Service offices. [Laughter.] We do not have to argue with such people because they do not have proof of what they are saying.
I would now like to continue with my speech. If we can speak of education experts and specialists but lack proper management processes, it is the same as fetching water with a leaking bucket. If we are in power and govern the public finances but lack proper management processes that address the needs of the public, then we will be undermining our Constitution.
Without proper management processes in a government department, industry, etc, there is neither proper education nor industrial development. What will be the result of a lack of proper management processes, hon Minister? It will result in mismanagement of finances and this will lead to less support for the hon Minister. All the programmes to the provincial departments will be in crisis.
The ANC-led government has drawn up and organised the main documents, which are called policies, that ensure the management processes for the Department of Basic Education, a proper and clean process, and the development of education for our children. These main documents are implemented by the senior official in the department. It is the responsibility of the senior official and his or her followers to make sure that these main documents are implemented. He or she has to ensure a clean management process and we will appreciate his or her good work.
I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate the progress in the Department of Basic Education. The department managed to complete and translate ... [Interjections.]]
Chairperson, on a point of order: I am just standing up to check if the hon member is ready to take my question.
Modulasetulo, ke ikemi?edit?e go t?ea pot?i?o ya gagwe ge a ka e bot?i?a ka leleme le ke bolelago ka lona gona bjale. [Disego.] [Hon Chairperson, I am ready to take his question, provided he asks the question in the language that I am using now. [Laughter.]]
That is unparliamentary.
Mohlomphegi Modulasetulo, ... [T?hwahlelo.] [Hon Chairperson ... [Interjections.]]
Hon Mlenzana, are you able to speak Sepedi?
Madam Chair, on a point of order: You as the Chair should know that this Parliament allows all languages and that man cannot dictate to another. You can prevent that from the Chair. The hon Mlenzana has freedom of speech in this Parliament and members can use any language they like. [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, on another point of order: Is it parliamentary for a Member of Parliament to refer to another member as "this man" and point a finger at the hon member?
I will apologise, Madam Chair, for calling the hon member a man. I thought he was a man. [Laughter.] I withdraw calling the member a man.
Hon Watson, you mustn't insult other members here. That is unparliamentary.
I did not insult anybody. I asked you to rule on the fact that the hon member asked the member to speak in another language and you are using ... [Interjections.]
Hon Watson, you must apologise.
Chair, to whom?
Hon member, sit down.
Chair, to whom must I apologise?
You must apologise to the members.
I have said I apologise and I withdraw. I said so. But will you please rule on my point first, Madam Chair? Another point came second, mine was first.
Hon Mlenzana, I am able to speak Sepedi. The hon member said, if you can, speak Sepedi.
Thank you, hon Chairperson, but I will not be dictated to by another hon member. I take it that he is ready to take my question because he said I may continue - the "how" does not necessarily concern him. I am now continuing with my question, unless he is changing his mind and is no longer ready to take my question. Can I continue, Chairperson?
I will not allow any member to speak in this matter. I will allow only the hon Mlenzana to ask hon Mashamaite a question, and then he will be assisted by interpretation.
Morena Modulasetulo, nka se mo dumelele gore a bot?i?e pot?it?o. Ga ke a ikemi?et?a go t?ea pot?i?o ya gagwe. [Hon Chairperson, I will not allow him to ask the question. I am not ready to take his question.]
Chairperson, I am happy if he is no longer prepared to take my question. Maybe he was just speaking, thinking that we were not going to understand.
Madam Chair, on a point of order: You have not ruled on the point of order raised by the hon Watson. I request you to do that and then I am raising a second point of order: You repeated your question to hon Mlenzana, asking if he could speak a certain language. I believe that is unparliamentary and I wish that it be ruled so by you.
Hon Lees, I will not allow any debate with regard to this issue. Thank you.
Hon Chair, on a point of order: You cannot decide on what you take or leave when it pertains to a point of order. I raised a fair and legal point of order and unless you want me to take the matter further I ask you to rule on it.
Chairperson, first of all, there is no need for a point of order here. All the Chair said was, "Mr Mlenzana, can you speak Sepedi?" Mr Mlenzana could have said yes or no. Chair, you have not ruled that Mr Mlenzana must speak Sepedi so please stick to your ruling. There is no point of order here because you never said Mr Mlenzana must speak Sepedi. You never said that. All you asked was whether he was able to speak Sepedi.
Madam Chair, please, the point of order arose because the hon member said he would answer a question on condition that it was asked in Sepedi. Your ruling from the Chair should have been that the member asking the question could use any language. But you then actually took the matter further and said, "Can you speak Sepedi?" That has got nothing to do with Parliament.
I said the matter is closed.
Ke a leboga, mohlomphegi Modulasetulo.
Ke be ke sa leboga kgoro ka mo e ?omilego ka gona - t?welopele yeo e dirilwego ke kgoro. Kgoro e kgonne go dira gore dikolo t?e 234 di fiwe didiri?wa t?a mahlale ka dikopanyi t?a inthanete le didiri?wa t?a 3G. Dipampiri t?a Dipot?i?o t?e 260 di ile t?a kgona go dirwa ka 2010 t?a neelwa kgoro gore bana ba kgone go ngwala ditlhahlobo.
Ka go re bjalo, t?e ke t?e mmalwanyana t?e nka di balago go bont?ha gore kgoro e t?wela pele gomme e kgona go dira mo?omo wa yona. Ba bangwe ba ?et?e ba badile t?e dingwe, ka fao nka se di bu?elet?e.
Tekolo ya molekodipharephare wa dipuku t?a dikgoro e bega gore ngwageng wa dit?helete wa 2009-10 dit?helete di ?omi?it?we gabotse gomme re amogela pego ye e hlwekilego go laet?a gore banna le basadi ba be ba t?wele ka dijase le dit?ajana e le let?ema.
Gape molekodipharephare wa dipuku o begile gore tlase kua diprofenseng, Dikgoro t?a Thuto ga di ?ome gabotse go ya ka dikutollo t?a tekolo pegong ya gagwe. Go molaleng gore bahlankedi ba kgoro diprofenseng t?a gaborena ga ba latele ditokomanekgolo le melawana ya thu?o ya dit?helete t?a set?haba - PFMA. Tona, se se laet?a gore tsela ya bohodu e ka bulega ge re ka se hlokomele temana ye. Go ra gore tsinkelo e swanet?e e be diprofenseng. Re swanet?e go fihli?a boetapele bjo bo agilwego kgorong diprofenseng gobane re di abela t?helete ya tlalelet?o.
Ge ke felelet?a ke re re tlo t?wela pele go thekga kgoro ka t?ohle t?e e ka kgopelago komiti gore e di dire. Re ikemi?edit?e. Re na le wena, Tona. O se ke wa t?hoga selo. Tseba gore banna le basadi go t?wa komiting ya rena ya t?a Thuto ya Motheo ba ema le lena. Re le ba ANC, re thekga ditekanyet?o t?a kgoro. Ke a leboga. [Legofsi.] (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[Mr T A MASHAMAITE: Thank you, hon Chairperson. I appreciate the good work done by the department, their progress. The department provided 234 schools with science equipment, Internet connections and 3G equipment. In 2010, 260 question papers were prepared and forwarded to the department for the learners to be able to write their examinations.
These are the few things I can mention to prove that there is progress in the department. Some of the things were already mentioned by other members so I cannot repeat them.
The Auditor-General reported that the money was used effectively in the 2009-10 financial year. We appreciate the clean financial audit report which indicates the good work done by men and women.
The Auditor-General indicated that according to his report the provincial education departments are doing well. It is obvious that officials in the provincial departments are not following the main documents and the Public Finance Management Act, PMFA. Hon Minister, provincial departments need attention because this might open doors to corruption. The type of leadership we have in the national department must be extended to the provincial departments because they get extra funding.
In conclusion, we are ready to give the department whatever support it needs from the committee. Hon Minister, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education supports you. We support the budget, as ANC members. Thank you. [Applause.]]
Chairperson, I have no intention of taking up all the time allocated to me, because we fully agree with what members have said on the majority of issues raised. We make the undertaking that we will indeed follow through on some of the recommendations they have made to us, through the implementation, oversight and monitoring unit that we are establishing.
I want to take this opportunity to thank members for the debate. To the acting chairperson of the committee I say that we will follow up on the advice given on school nutrition and the rationalisation of schools. We are also currently working with the Department of Transport on establishing norms and standards for scholar transport, because it is a worrying factor indeed. We are looking at the budgets that provinces are already spending on learner transport. We think it is a bottomless pit because, in some instances, they transport learners even when they are not supposed to. Urban provinces should be able to provide schools in close proximity, saving that money. So, we will be engaging with provinces on that.
I think I can safely acknowledge, MEC Grant, that the Western Cape - and I keep saying this without shame - is, indeed, one of the best-run provinces in the country, alongside Gauteng. KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape are improving. Those are some of our best provinces. I have to say that. We can say that with pride, because in the previous two terms, when the ANC ran the province, it set up a very solid education system. That was also a system established alongside, or even by, Premier Zille. So, it has been quite fortunate that all the departments have settled on very good solutions. The current MEC has built on a very good legacy and made sure that he upped the bar. I think that is why we are in agreement most of the time, because, as I say, it is a well-run province. It complies with national policies. We learn a lot. We share a lot with the province and we can say that with real pride and joy.
The other parties could possibly be wasting my time. Cope is a party in turmoil. So, if I really have to respond, I am not really sure what you are dealing with. [Interjections.] You are dealing with traumatised people. Even their inputs are extremely traumatised, I think. [Laughter.] [Applause.] So, I will be wasting my time trying to resolve their issues, because I am dealing with the crumbs of a splinter. So, I really do not want to waste time. I do not know what it is that you are raising. [Interjections.] It is a party fighting for survival. I think one can appreciate the turmoil and the trouble that the party is going through, and this includes their input here today.
As for the member of the ID, I am not sure. The party has been swallowed. It is gone. So again, I do not want to be responding to something that is already absent, just waiting for its time to be up in 2014. I will be wasting time.
Let me engage with people who have a future and who have plans. [Laughter.] [Applause.] I will try and engage with the DA. Maybe it has a future, but the others are dead. I am wasting my time. They are not going to take me anywhere. You know, the ANC is going to be around forever, so let me try to deal with those who are going to be here forever too. [Interjections.]
As I said, from the Ministry's side, we will submit all the concerns raised and the proposals that we have been given here. We will put them through a planning and implementation process via the unit that we are setting up. We will also exercise oversight over them.
We want to thank everybody for their support and also the members of the ANC for their unwavering support. As a department, we are very aware that if we are to succeed we need all the support we can get. The President called for education to be a societal issue. We are greatly encouraged by the support that we are getting, especially from the ruling party, and we will do our best.
In all humility, I really want to thank the members for a very vibrant debate. We have taken copious notes. We will follow through on most of the points that have been raised here. I thank you, Chair. [Applause.] Debate concluded.