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DA raises concerns over provincial education budget cuts

Minister Angie Motshekga revealed the budget cuts in a written parliamentary reply to DA Member of Parliament, Ian Ollis.

FILE: Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance believes provincial education budget cuts could free up funds for free higher education.

The party is reacting to massive budget cuts for the Eastern Cape, Free State and North West Education Departments confirmed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The Free State budget has been cut by almost R35 million, the North West will receive just under R82 million less and the Eastern Cape will see a baseline reduction of more than R325 million in the 2018/19 financial year.

Motshekga revealed the budget cuts in a written parliamentary reply to DA Member of Parliament, Ian Ollis.

Despite being the most troubled and dysfunctional province, the Eastern Cape Education Department will be the hardest hit.

Ollis says that overall, the Basic Education budget will be cut by R7 billion over the medium term three-year period.
He says the cuts raise a number of concerns and will have a direct impact on young learners.

“One of the biggest concerns I have is that money is being taken from the Basic Education Department budget to fund higher education, which will be free. So young children are being punished so that older learners can get a degree.”

Ollis says the ministry has only revealed budget cuts for three provinces and the picture could get worse.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)