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Minister highlights first day of school

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga talks textbooks and challenges on first day of school.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga talks textbooks and challenges on first day of school. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG, PRETORIA - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday said the department might still run into some delays even though textbook deliveries for 2013 appeared to be going smoothly.

The minister held a press conference at the N'wa Mhinga Primary School in Saulsville, Pretoria, which she visited on the first day of school.

In 2012, thousands of learners in several grades were without textbooks because of non-delivery, especially in Limpopo.

Motshekga had said it was a lack of funding that prevented the delivery of the textbooks.

She said there might be another pressing issue for the department to combat in 2013.

"What would be a delaying factor would be production from our publishers or the companies that do the deliveries for us."

Motshekga was also present for a launch of a sponsor programme at the school.

The project, called the "Back to School", will see shoes, uniforms and stationery distributed to underprivileged children.

The bank initiated the project in 2011 and has contributed over R6 million in helping over 6,000 children in need.

The minister conceded that many youths were not finishing school, saying issues like poverty, pregnancy and criminality amongst the youth were beyond her control.

Motshekga praised the private partners for helping the department reach areas that were outside their mandate.

More than 2,000 school pupils received donations from the program.