MPs question classification of report

MPs have questioned the classification of a learner transport report.

Parliament.

CAPE TOWN - African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) Members of Parliament (MP) in the Western Cape on Wednesday disagreed about access to a report on learner transport that has been deemed classified.

The internal report is before the Provincial Standing Committee on Public Accounts who are considering it for debate.

It is an assessment of vehicles and maintenance of school buses transporting thousands of learners in the Western Cape.

The report was completed before a school bus crash in Rheenendal last year in which 14 children and their bus driver were killed when the vehicle veered off the road.

The ANC's Max Ozinsky said the department has bent the rules to classify the report.

"An audit is conducted by the department, and the audit makes recommendations, did the department take steps to implement the recommendations?"

The DA's Mark Whiley said the Western Cape Education Department has done nothing wrong.

"If the auditor general felt so strongly about audit reports mentioned in the internal audit, they would have said we should be looking at that document, if they felt there was any merit in it."

It's estimated nearly 50,000 Western Cape learners rely on transport arranged by the provincial education department.

Wiley said the committee needs to trust provincial administrations.

"If we constantly question the integrity of departments, then I believe we are doing ourselves an injustice."

Provincial MPs have access to the report, but cannot discuss it publicly as it would be a breach of security.