3 senior KZN officials suspended over R129mn schools’ sanitary towels project

It is alleged officials mismanaged the implementation of a project aimed at distributing sanitary towels to indigent girl-learners at the majority of the province’s schools between 2016 and 2017.

FILE: KZN education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said his department initiated the sanitary towel provision programme to improve the school attendance of girl-children as well as improve their performance.. Picture: @DBE_KZN/Twitter.

DURBAN – Adverse findings have emerged against senior officials and a service provider to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) education department following an investigation into a tender worth R129.8 million.

It is alleged officials mismanaged the implementation of a project aimed at distributing sanitary towels to indigent girl-learners at the majority of the province’s schools between 2016 and 2017.

Suppliers are alleged to have failed to make full deliveries for goods and services.

KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said his department initiated the sanitary towel provision programme to improve the school attendance of girl-children as well as improve their performance.

“It became part of the necessary intervention, by the government, in the same spirit as the school nutrition programme.”

Mshengu said an amount of R20 million was set aside for the pilot programme in 2016, but corruption allegations started to emerge when the programme was expanded without following proper procedures.

“In determining the number of girl-children to benefit, neither the needs analysis nor any evaluations for the pilot project were conducted for this pilot project. There was no guide for the implementation and distribution of this project.”

The MEC said the project resulted in an oversupply and financial loss to the department.

Three senior officials have been suspended pending a hearing into the matter.

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