Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet has called on all government structures in the province to work collectively in assisting the Departments of Education and Health, which account for more than 75% of the provincial budget.
Both departments have come under fire in recent months over alleged cases of wasteful, fruitless and irregular expenditure as well as under-spending on the infrastructure budgets.
According to Kiviet’s spokesperson, Mahlubandile Qwase, the Premier has urged that turnaround strategies adopted to address institutional challenges facing the two departments – including the implementation of Section 100 (1) (b) in the Department of Education – must be implemented with vigour “so that things can return to normality sooner rather than later”.
Qwase said other achievements of note include the successful provision of scholar transport to more than 56 000 students and reliable feeding of over 1.6-million needy children in more than 5 000 schools.
Scholar transport was suspended throughout the province last year after it emerged that the Department of Education had ran out of cash.
“The decision to shift non-core scholar transport to the Department of Transport and to decentralise the administration of the nutrition programme to schools has begun to work well,” Qwase said.
Last year, government placed the embattled Eastern Cape Education Department under administration following a string of reports pointing to inefficiency and maladministration in the department.