Motshekga: I can't run in the middle of a crisis

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said she would not resign over the Limpopo textbook crisis.

Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said she would not resign over the Limpopo textbook crisis.

She announced on Friday that a new deadline had been set for textbooks to be delivered to all schools in the troubled province. 

Motshekga's department took over the administration of Limpopo education in December last year. 

It is six months into the year and some schools are still waiting for textbooks. 

Human rights group Section27 lodged an urgent application in May, to force the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo education department to deliver textbooks to learners.

The North Gauteng High Court ruled that learning material should be delivered to schools by 15 June, but the deadline was missed, allegedly because of logistics.

“The main problem was logistics and capacity to send the books to schools,” Motshekga said. 

The initial delay was allegedly caused by an invalid tender cancelled in April.

Motshekga said she cannot jump ship now.

“I have to deal with the crisis and make sure we are over it…I can’t run in the middle of a crisis.”

The minister said she might consider resigning from her post once the crisis is resolved.

Spokesperson for Section27 Nikki Stein said the new deadline is Wednesday.

Stein said Motshekga’s department will have to report back to the organisation so that they are able to keep track of its compliance with the new agreement.

The minister apologised and said a recovery programme for students has been put in place.