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Limpopo textbook issue back in spotlight

Befa is taking the Education Dept to court over another failure to deliver textbooks to pupils.

Textbooks found in a warehouse in Limpopo. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo is once again in the spotlight with the matter being taken to the North Gauteng High Court today.

Community-based organisation, Basic Education For All (Befa), is taking the Department of Basic Education and it's Limpopo branch to court after it emerged that 39 schools have not received textbooks for the 2014 academic year.

The organisation is seeking an order that will compel government to complete textbook deliveries to all Limpopo schools by 7 April.

The group also wants the national and provincial departments to develop a plan by next week detailing how they will combat this recurring problem.

But the Basic Education Department has denied there is another textbook crisis, saying it delivered over 6,5 million books across the province.

The department's Elijah Mhlanga says government has a strong case.

"We are confident but we are also at the mercy of the judge. We have put the strongest case possible and we've provided evidence of all the work that we've done to ensure all books are delivered."

The department says while there have been reported shortages, pupils have not been compromised.

In December 2011, the Limpopo Department of Education was placed under administration after it failed to manage its budget.

In June 2012, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was asked to explain why a large number of textbooks were destroyed in the province, despite shortages.