The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to take control of its entire infrastructure budget from the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID).
This follows the DID’s failure to adhere to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103, 1977 as amended which has resulted in three newly built schools being denied permanent occupational certificates.
Mayibuye Primary School in Rabie Ridge has been built on a waterlogged area and there are outstanding items that need to be completed for the school to be compliant before an occupational certificate can be issued.
Nokuthula LSEN School and Noordgesig Primary School are still operating on a temporary occupational certificate, as permanent occupational certificates will only be issued once all outstanding matters relating to site development and building plans have been addressed.
This clearly indicates that the DID is incapable of complying with the building standards and to build proper schools on behalf of the GDE.
Furthermore, the DID has failed to fix most of our schools which have severe infrastructure challenges, to eradicate asbestos schools across the province and to effectively spend the GDE’s infrastructure budget.
The GDE has consistently underspent on the school infrastructure budget.
In the 2018/2019 financial year the GDE failed to spend nearly R1 billion of its’ infrastructure budget. In the previous year, the department also failed to spend R1 billion and in both instances the money was sent back to Treasury.
In the department’s second quarterly report for the 2019/20 financial year, the department has only spent 24% of its infrastructure budget instead of the target of 50% which should have been spent at this point.
It is high time that the GDE takes control of its entire infrastructure budget to ensure that proper schools are built that comply with the building standards. The DA has made this recommendation at committee meeting and it was adopted.
The DID has proven to be ill-effective, incompetent, and there seems to be no political will on the part of the DID MEC, Tasneem Motara and her department to deliver adequate school infrastructure within the stipulated budget and timeframe.
The recommendation to control entire infrastructure budget was adopted by the legislature. However, we need the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, and the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi to action this resolution.
The DA will write to the Premier and the MEC to indicate measures taken to ensure that this recommendation is implemented without any delay.