Dept. denies failing to deliver textbooks

The Basic Education Department maintains it has the Limpopo textbook crisis under control.

These textbooks, which were meant to be delivered to pupils, were dumped in Limpopo.

JOHANNESBURG - In the wake of fresh allegations that more schools in Limpopo are still without textbooks, the Department of Basic Education maintains it has the crisis under control.

Rights group Section 27 took the department to court earlier this year after it emerged that most schools in the province were without textbook due to a tender that was cancelled.

The organisation's Nikki Stein says they are still getting reports from schools that have not had textbooks since the beginning of 2012.

"The Department of Education has not complied with court orders in relation to both deliveries of textbooks. While the department says the delivery of textbooks is complete, we continue to receive reports from schools to say they are still waiting for textbooks," says Stein.

But the department's Panyaza Lesufi says Section 27 misunderstood the court order.

"Section 27 is missing the boat. They think that every learner in every grade has a textbook. Even in our richest provinces, Gauteng and Western Cape, that's not the case."

Last week, over 200 textbooks were found dumped next to the Polokwane Magistrates Court in Limpopo.

The books were syllabus textbooks for English and Afrikaans for different grades.

Meanwhile, a man is expected to appear in the Lulekani Magistrates Court for dumping textbooks.

Vincent Mbhungele was arrested in August after textbooks for grade zero to grade nine for various subjects were found in Majeje.

He faces a charge of malicious damage to property.