Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga must set a final deadline for the delivery of textbooks in Limpopo and commit to tendering her resignation if this deadline is not met.
One in five learners in Limpopo remain without textbooks.
Based on a sample of 10% of schools in Limpopo, the Metcalfe investigation determined that 22% of learners still do not have textbooks. The DA’s own investigation outside of the sample also evidenced numerous schools still without textbooks.
It is clear that this crisis has taken its toll on Limpopo learners. Survey results reported in the Sunday Times today indicate that 70% of Grade 10 learners in the province have failed their June exams.
Since the Metcalfe report was released last week, the delivery situation seems to be in limbo, without any definitive end in sight.
Minister Motshekga has had numerous opportunities to get this right:
In December 2011, cabinet placed the Department of Education in Limpopo under administration.
On 13 January 2012 the DA demanded urgent intervention by the Minister regarding textbook orders in Limpopo after an investigation revealed that a textbook crisis was imminent.
On 17 May a court of law directed the Minister to deliver books by 15 June.
Despite the order being given on 17 May textbook orders were only placed in the first week of June.
On the 15th of June the first court deadline was missed, contravening the court order.
On 21 June a settlement agreement was reached between the applicants, Section 27, and the Department to deliver the textbooks on the revised date of 27 June.
On 27 June the second court deadline was missed, again contravening a court order.
Minister Motshekga must show leadership and put her ‘head on the block’. For any attempt to get learners back on track to be meaningful, the Minister must set a final deadline for the delivery of all textbooks in Limpopo. If the deadline is not met the Minister must resign.