ATC120823: Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on its follow up oversight visit to the Eastern Cape from 13-16 March 2012, following the Intervention by the National Department of Basic Education, dated 08 August 2012

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

The Portfolio committee on Basic Education, having undertaken an oversight visit to the Mpumalanga Department of Education from 23 – 24 February 2010, reports as follows:

Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on its follow up oversight visit to the Eastern Cape from 13-16 March 2012, following the intervention by the National Department of Basic Education, dated 08 August 2012.


1. Introduction

The Select Committee on Education and Recreation, having undertaken an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape , reports as follows:

On Tuesday, 13 March 2012 delegation visited the region of East London , Eastern Cape . The Committee held the following meetings:

Education Leadership Institute – Meeting with members of the provincial legislature and officials of the provincial Department of Education.

This visit was a follow up to the one the Select Committee embarked on in August 2011. At that time, the Select Committee held meetings with members of the provincial legislature, unions and other relevant stakeholders on the intervention tabled by the Minister of Basic Education on the National Council of Provinces in terms of section 100 (1)(b). The Committee also interacted with the MEC for Education in the Eastern Cape , Head of Department in the Eastern Cape and the coordinator of the intervention task team to solicit views and also to get a briefing on the cause of the intervention.

On Wednesday, 14 and 15 March 2012 the delegation visited the region of King Williamstown District and Eastern Cape . The Committee held meetings as follows:

i. Mzontsundu Senior Secondary School - Meeting with relevant stakeholders, educators, the school governing body and provincial and national Department of Basic Education officials.

ii. Mgcawezulu Secondary School – Meeting with relevant stakeholders, educators, the school governing body and provincial and national department of Basic Education officials.

The purpose of the oversight visit was to get progress reports from all the relevant stakeholders and the Department of Education on the implementation of the intervention in terms of section 100(1) (b) of the Constitution. The visit formed part of the Committee’s oversight responsibility to monitor and support progress in the implementation of education priorities, more specifically the expectation pronounced during the 2010 State of the Nation Address, for both learners and educators to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching seven hours a day. The Committee also aimed to assess the impact the intervention had in terms of the level of delivery of learner and teacher support material (LTSM), provision of school nutrition programme, provision of infrastructure, including water and sanitation and scholar transport.

This report provides a summary of the key issues that emerged from the interaction with stakeholders, officials of the national department, provincial departments as well as the committee’s deliberations, observations and recommendations.

2. Delegation

Select Committee on Education and Recreation: Hon M W Makgate, MP (ANC – North West ) (Chairperson); Hon S H Plaatjie, MP (Cope – North West ); Hon W F Faber, MP (DA – Northern Cape and Hon M L Moshodi, MP (ANC – Free State ), Hon M J R de Villiers ( DA-Western Cape )

Parliamentary Staff: Mr M Dlanga (Committee Secretary: Select Committee on Education and Recreation); Dr H Baloyi (Committee Researcher); Mr S Mthonjeni (Committee Assistant)

Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature: Mr M Mrara, MPL (Chairperson); Ms K Fihlani, MPL; Ms P T Mpushe, MPL and Mr M Mkosi (Researcher) and Ms M Daniels (Committee Coordinator, EC Legislature)

Eastern Cape: Hon M Makupula, MEC for Education, Eastern Cape; Adv M Maanya, Head of Department, Department of Education, Eastern Cape; Mr T Moniwa; Mr Z Tom; Mr F Sokutu

3. Briefing by the MEC and Department for Education, at the Education Leadership Institute in East London , Eastern Cape

3.1 Overview and welcoming by Hon M Makupula, MEC for Education

The MEC welcomed the delegation of the NCOP to the province. He indicated that the visit by the Select Committee should be understood in the context of co-operative governance. He indicated that the role of the task team needed to be clarified. The challenges at the Eastern Cape Education Department can not be limited to administration. It was further reported that the Ministerial task team which also consisted of MECs had only met once. This was the structure that was appointed by the President of the Republic. The MEC wished the Committee success during its fact finding mission in the province and indicated that the visit by the NCOP Select Committee should be viewed in the context of trying to find amicable solutions to the challenges faced by the Education Department in the Eastern Cape .

3.2 Briefing by Adv M Maanya: Head of Department, Department of Education, Eastern Cape

Adv Maanya drew the Committee’s attention to the challenges faced in the Department as follows:

The department has developed an implementation plan with all the terms of reference of the intervention. In the implementation of the intervention, the department is essentially implementing the turnaround plan as approved by the Executive Council. These are also being reinforced by various Executive Council, MEC and the Executive management resolutions taken as a result of a number of subsequent reports and recommendations of the Legislature.

At the opening of the schools in January 2011, the Department faced challenges in four key areas, namely; the termination of temporary educators, delivery of the stationery to section 20 schools, the suspension of the scholar transport programme and the problems of the implementation of the school nutrition programme. The causes of the problems are set out hereunder:

3.2.1 The finalization of 2012 school post establishment/Employment of Educators – the post establishment for 2012 was completed on time and a total of 64 752 posts were declared for the 2012 school year. A total 63 331 posts were provided and distributed to schools. Based on the 2012 post basket of educators, a total of 8 269 new vacancies were created whilst a total of 6 715 educators became additional to the post establishment at various schools.

The movement of teachers is one of the most important elements to the successful implementation of the 2012 post provisioning. The movement of additional educators has not been completed. To deal with this challenge, 1 910 temporary educators were appointed against 2013 vacancies. All the 1,910 temporary educators are properly and professionally qualified and include Funza Lushaka bursary graduates. A total of 1, 098 of the identified educators have since been issued with placement letters, and placed. The placement of teachers has worked well in areas where there were no additional educators, despite the fact that temporary educators were meant to be an interim measure pending the permanent filling of the substantive vacancies.

The relevant delegations were issued to district directors in August 2011 to fill substitute posts. The department also made provision for a maximum of 500 substitute posts in the 2012 post provisioning model as approved by the MEC on 30 September 2011. This process has been delayed by the lack of consensus in the interpretation of the agreement that was reached with organized labour on the re-instatement of temporary teachers. A mediator has been appointed to help with the interpretation of this agreement.

3.2.2 School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) –All feeding schools have received four (4) tranches for feeding and spending. A business plan has been developed and approved for ILIMA AGRI PARKS, an intergovernmental and inter-institutional initiative to promote local production and community involvement in the National School Nutrition Programme as part of the provinces war on poverty campaign. A process is underway to obtain required approvals from Treasury and Department of Basic Education and finalizing the participation of other departments.

The first phase, which will start in April 2012, will cover 500 schools in the Districts of Fort Beaufort and Dutywa, where Agri-Parks have been established through support of the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. The development of procurement and control systems of this initiative is also underway and the deadline for the project is April 2012.

As part of the school readiness, plans were put in place for feeding to resume in all targeted schools in the 2012 academic year. Monitoring is taking place mainly by the district staff that is often faced by challenges of lack of capacity. A task team which is comprised of Department of Education, Office of the Premier and Provincial Treasury was established to strengthen amongst other things, monitoring systems. A project plan was also developed and only awaiting approval of heads of Departments for Education and Provincial Treasury.

The NSNP has been decentralised in the province and approved by the Executive Council and Department of Basic education in the 2010/2011 financial year and this target has been met.

3.2.3 Scholar Transport – A decision has been taken that the Department of Education remains responsible for determining requirements and the Department of Transport for physical transportation of learners. The new model makes provision for applications by learners and verification of routes which were done in 2011. The function shift to the Department of Transport was completed successfully on 1 April 2011. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with clear roles and responsibilities between the two departments was signed in August 2011 and is being implemented.

A safer more reliable programme resumed, which was first limited to farm school learners whilst the planning for 2011 was completed. The programme was fully resumed on 18 July 2011. For 2011, 614 schools and 56 461 learners are participating which is within the R206 million budget that was made available by the Department of Education to the Department of Transport. Through a partnership with the department, the Department of Transport and the Chamber of Eastern Taxi and Bus, local economic development is ensured by contracting operators on a rotational basis (7000 operators at a time). A steering committee was established and it includes the department of education, the service provider and the department of transport.

As part of the 2012 school readiness, scholar transport programme resumed in January in all approved routes. The programme was fully rolled out on 18 July 2011 according to the budget limitation of R206 million that was made available by the Department of Transport. The total number of learners currently benefiting is approximately 53 461 at 614 schools. Verification of the actual 2012 number of learners is underway and was completed by 27 January 2012 at the same time that admissions in schools were completed.

3.2.4 Supply of Stationery and textbooks / Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM)- The department allocated a budget of R881 million for LTSM to schools. An amount of R164 million was spent on stationery and the balance was spent on textbooks. In the 2011/12 financial year there were 4480 section 21 schools and 1,132 section 20 schools. The procurement for 2012 has already commenced and all section 21 schools received their transfer payments timeously and have accordingly purchased both stationery and textbooks directly from the book sellers before December 2011. The stationery has already been delivered to all of the 1,100 section 20 schools that placed orders. A total of 18 section 20 schools did not need any stationery for 2012 due to late delivery of stationery in 2011 which is being used for 2012. The delivery of the stationery has occurred for over 95 % of section 21 schools and others received theirs in February 2012. A Provincial Steering Committee comprising the LTSM officials, district directors, publishers and booksellers has been established to meet monthly and deal with all the impediments to the timeous delivery of the LTSM to schools, an agreement with regard to this has been reached on a wide range of issues.

After an internal review of the process, a new proposal was accepted to ensure that procurement and delivery of books was done on time for 2012. This included section 20 and 21 schools as well as grade R classes and special schools. The new process was necessary as the department was no longer intending to procure through a general tender with manufactures but rather through usage of accredited local small medium and enterprises across the province.

There was a delay in the provisioning of workbooks in 2011 and this was due to the Department of Basic Education not providing the Department of Education in Eastern Cape with the additional workbooks requested. The provision of the workbooks and their delivery to schools in the province is the responsibility of the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The Eastern Cape Department of Education received the information from the Department of Basic Education that delivery of workbooks to schools started from 11 January 2012. In terms of the schedule received from DBE, delivery was completed before the end of January 2012.

All districts and schools have been directed to fully implement the retrieval policy. Monitoring systems have been developed as part of the improvement in the control environment for the 2012 school year onwards. A report on compliance will be done on a quarterly basis in 2012 as part of regular monitoring by districts and the department.

The Department of Education in the Eastern Cape is working with Provincial Treasury in reviewing relevant capacity and procurement systems and practices to ensure that they are compliant and sustainable.

3.2.5 School Infrastructure Development Programme-Priority mud and unsafe schools- The department has put in place a rapid infrastructure plan to provide 400 temporary classrooms and address 52 of the 114 storm damaged schools. Approximately 388 of the 400 classrooms have been completed and occupied. Tenders have been awarded for the balance of 62 storm damaged schools and are scheduled to be completed by end March 2012.

The 2012/13 project list has been completed and submitted to the Provincial Treasury on the 27 January 2012. Based on the final staff establishment, 15 214 additional classrooms may be required to meet the curriculum needs of schools for the 2012 school year. The department is finalizing a needs assessment to prepare for the 2012 school year.

Industrial Development Trust (IDT) was instructed to provide water, sanitation and fencing to 92 schools. Tenders have already been awarded and work is expected to be completed by 31 March 2012.

The Department of Education is working with the Department of Roads and Public Works and Treasury to address management issues and reinforce a 2008 Executive Council resolution for the Department of Roads and Public Works to lead and direct infrastructure development in the province.

A meeting was held with DBE on 18 January to secure agreements on the acceleration programme and budget adjustments to facilitate refurbishment of schools. Regular fortnightly meetings are being held with the implementing agents to monitor expenditure performance and to establish more reliable cash flow projections.

Accelerated Infrastructure Delivery Initiative Programme is aimed at eradicating mud structure schools in the province. The programme is funded and managed by the Department of Basic Education. DBE established that site handovers to contractors on all 49 mud schools took place on 12 and 13 January 2012. The completion date for these schools has been delayed from end March 2012 to end August 2012. The provision of basic services, water, sanitation and electricity was underway.

4. Stakeholder Meeting at the Mzontsundu Senior Secondary School , King Williamstown

The meeting was officially opened by Hon M W Makgate, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation. The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain progress made since August 2011, when the Select Committee visited the schools.

4.1 Progress made since the last visit of the Select Committee

The following were the challenges that were raised by the principals of various

Schools in the King Williams town area:

The Principal of the school made a presentation and reported as follows:

4.2 Schools Nutrition Programme: it was reported that the school was currently running the programme since beginning of January 2012. One of the classrooms had been converted into a kitchen.

4.3 Scholar Transport : The school is still faced with the same challenge. Learners walked long distances to and from school. The school had been applying for this programme since 2007. Some learners walked approximately 17 and 24 kilometers to get to school. This led to learners being victims of rape. The scholar transport policy specified the criteria taking into consideration the age of learners. The school had approximately 65 learners who qualified to be transported and the number has now decreased to 36. The district office determines the routes. The Department of Transport indicated that no new routes would be introduced in the current financial year. Verification of learners was done and some learners did not qualify. The department saved approximately R 500,000 .00 after the verification process was completed. The district was not allowed to channel funds to other programmes.

4.4 Substandard school Furniture: The school had old furniture. Even though there was enough furniture, the school would appreciate getting new furniture.

4.5 Temporary Teachers: The school appointed a temporary teacher in October 2011; however the contract of that teacher was terminated in December 2011, now the teacher is currently doing voluntary work at the school.

4.6 Discipline: The teacher that was on sick leave for three months when the committee visited the school in 2011 is back and teaching. The other teacher was mentally challenged and has since been put on special leave due to health reasons. Absenteeism is a challenge amongst learners. The principal had regular meetings with management and a leave registry was developed.

4.7 Learner Teacher Support Material: LTSM was delivered before the end of 2011 and the school received textbooks on time. The school ordered textbooks late as there were challenges with the supplier. There are still outstanding textbooks that must be delivered by the supplier.

4.8 Infrastructure, Laboratories, Water and Sanitation: the ablution facilities have since been fixed and toilets are in a good state. In 2011 the school had one tap and now there are two taps and a water tank. The officials from the provincial department of education visited the school in 2011. Measurements were taken and sent to the infrastructure directorate. The school has since received a science kit, and used its own money to procure same. A submission for the building of a laboratory has been made to the district and the intention is to begin construction of the laboratory before the end of March 2012.

4.9 Curriculum: The head of the department and the principal hold monthly meetings. The monitoring tool is used to evaluate the classroom performance. The district has since roped in subject advisers to the school. The schools are clustered due to the fact that it was not possible to have subject adviser of each school due to vastness of the district. The criteria the district is using to identify schools that need assistance is to identify those with results below 65%.

5. Engagement at Mgcawezulu Senior Secondary, Zwelitsha

This school was situated in the small township of Zwelitsha in the King Williams Town District. This is a section 21 school. Amongst the challenges the Select Committee identified during its 2011 oversight visit was the following:

o School Nutrition Programme:

o Learner Teacher Support Material

o Scholar Transport

o Infrastructure

The committee discovered that nothing has been done in this specific school with regard to the above mentioned challenges. The department made a number of undertakings during the 2011 visit of the committee and none of those were fulfilled.


On Thursday, 15 March 2012, the delegation visited the Walter Sisulu University , Potsdam Campus, in the Eastern Cape . The Committee held meetings as follows:

The purpose of the oversight visit was to get progress reports from all the relevant stakeholders and the University Administrator on the following:

o The status of registration for 2012 in the University;

o Turn around strategy of the University to overcome challenges;

o Plans and mechanism in place to improve enrolment planning so as to produce graduates, and

o Report on NSFAS application process, number of students that have received the loan.

At the end of the programme the delegation toured the University and observed the status of the residences, sports facilities, clinics and the infrastructure of the University.

1.1. Report by Professor Van Staden, Administrator Walter Sisulu University .

1.1.1 Overview of the University: The University is situated in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape and depends on the infrastructure that is available. It’s a comprehensive University and it offers traditional and University technology programmes. The university focuses on health and education, science and engineering with special focus on the socio-economic needs.

The health programmes offered by the university include amongst others MBCHB and other health related fields. The medical doctors are all fully accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa. The health and law faculties are offered at the main campus at Nelson Mandela Drive (Former University of Transkei).

The university has campuses in Butterworth (Ibika) and Mthatha (Zamukulungisa). These two campuses run programmes on electrical and mechanical engineering. The university has just been accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa.

1.1.2 Status of the Registration for 2012 at the University – the University has developed an enrolment plan. The plan is in line with the Human Resource Development Strategy. The registration for 2012 has been running smoothly. Approximately 6,300 first year students have been fully enrolled. The university boasts an enrolment of 1,300 students for post-graduate programmes. A total of approximately 24,000 students have been enrolled for the 2012 calendar. It was anticipated that the university was likely to exceed the 24,000 mark as registration was still in progress during the committee’s visit. The university aims to enroll 30 % of students in science and technology for the 2012 calendar year.

1.1.3 Turn around strategy –after it was discovered that the university was in financial trouble, the Minister of Higher Education and Training intervened and the university was subsequently put under administration. The administrator was appointed to ensure good governance and administration. Currently there is no management as the council was dissolved and the technical committee took over. The vice chancellor was released from his contract early, as his contract was only due to end in December 2011.

1.1.4 Progress made since the Universities merged: The report was that there has been very little progress since the universities merged. Although the universities have merged, the three institutions still function the old way. There has not been an integration of the three universities. The time tables are still different and the institutions are still on separate payrolls.

1.1.5 Review of the statute: A process to review the statute has been initiated. The three campuses of the university are bankrupt. The university does not have a revenue stream income. It relies on a government grant. It is estimated that the current student debt is approximately R 300 million. There is also unnecessary traveling between different campuses. Student governance is also in the process of being reviewed. The Student Representative Council (SRC) has been dissolved and an interim structure has been put in place. The processes to review all the lease agreements the university has entered into have been started.

1.1.6 State of University Finances and National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS): I t was reported that in the past two years the university has spent approximately R50million on outside rental. The amount includes transporting students from the residences to the campuses. An amount of approximately R260 million has been allocated to students. The university increased fees dramatically. It was reported that part of the reason for increasing fees was due to the fact that the university has been charging low fees for a number of years. The university was looking at collecting approximately R196 million from students. As part of the NSFAS an amount of approximately R105 million was processed for students. The university started issuing application forms since September 2011. The cut -off date for the submission of NSFAS forms was December 2011. The SRC requested for an extension and the university accepted the request, hence the dates for submission were extended to end of March 2012.

1.1.7 Status of the residences: The Administrator gave a brief report on the status of the residences and indicated that the detailed information is available on the Higher Education Sector Committee that was appointed by the Minister of Higher Education to review the status of university residences.

The total number of university beds is approximately, 7500. 4, 700 of those are private residences which the university has leased. Nelson Mandela Drive , the main campus of the university has approximately 8,300 students with 2000 beds. Zamukulingisa campus, Mthatha has 700 beds with approximately 5000 student enrolment and Ibika (Butterworth) has 7000 students.

1.2 Presentation by the SRC Representative and worker unions:

The representative of students highlighted the following:

o Information and Communication Technology : The ICT has not been administered well, students continued to experienced challenges with results loaded in the ICT.

o Debt collection : students who have long settled their accounts continued to receive letters from universities debt collectors.

o Procurement processes : University employees doing business with university, this poses conflict of interests.

o Student fee increase : no proper consultation was done to increase fees. The university students come from poor backgrounds and others can not afford to pay school fees ranging from R6, 500 to approximately R13, 000. Student fees have been increased by 150%.

o Resources: the university laboratories are not up to standard, inadequate equipment and lack of resources. The university does not have proper lecture rooms. No proper furniture or computer facilities at the university. The environment for teaching at the university is not conducive due to lack of basic resources. The morale among university staff is at the lowest level.

o Good governance: it was reported that students are committed to ensure good governance within the university. There was also no objection to the implementation of National policies. The policies on expelling students for poor performance should also address poor performance on lectures and make provision for adequate resources. The university was spending 80% of the allocated budget on non-academic programmes. The students and worker unions welcomed the forensic investigations that have been instituted by the administrator.

o Staff development: the university did not have a programme in place to develop its staff. University lecturers did not get an opportunity to visit other universities for best practices and exchange programmes.

o Admission/registration process: Student representatives and unions were not happy with the manner in which the registration process has been managed. Late applications by students cause delays to academic programmes.

1.3 Challenges

The following are the challenges that were raised by the administrator of the WSU:

o Poor managements of the University loan book;

o High rate of HIV and Aids;

o Poor management of the university finances;

o University libraries: open for half day.

o Lack of properly qualified academic support/ lecturers;

o Insufficient lecture rooms

o Maladministration of university finances

o Lack of proper ICT infrastructure

o Too much use of consultants/ outsourcing

1.4 Responses to the challenges

Members of Parliament, Members of the Provincial Legislature and Officials from the administration team deliberated on the engagement and responded as follows:

  • It was reported that the university has a relationship with overseas universities. The relations were forged in terms of research programmes. The university has also entered into a library programme with the university of Fort Hare.

  • It was acknowledged that part of the challenges faced by WSU were mainly on funding. Proposals have been submitted to the Department of Higher Education and Training. The plan is aimed at introducing Masters Programmes to solve socio-economic challenges in the region.

  • The university lecture room capacity was 17000 since merger. An amount of R400 million has been received by the university. The money is allocated to build projects and a master plan has already been developed.

  • The term of the administrator and the technical team was 24 months; it was not a permanent structure. The term can be extended by the Minister of Higher Education and Training

  • The campuses have been using different pay rolls. The administrator was looking at merging the payrolls and having only one payroll system. Executive management had its own payroll.

  • It was acknowledged that the ICT system of the university was two versions behind normal expectations. Plans are at an advanced stage to upgrade to the latest version. The ICT would also be used to track list of creditors of the institution.

  • The university received audit qualifications with matters of emphasis in 2011 financial year. The plan is to ensure clean audit with no matters of emphasis in the next financial year.

  • The university has not completed an investigation on maladministration allegations. It was acknowledged that amongst the challenges was the fact that 80% of the budget was spent on salaries. A process of verification of staff was initiated. This process requires staff to submit copies of their qualifications. The report was not yet ready.

1.5 General Recommendations

Having been briefed by the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDE) and having conducted an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape (EC) and Walter Sisulu University, and interacting with various role players and stakeholders, including the Eastern Cape MEC for Education; the Chairperson and Members of the provincial Portfolio Committee of education; the HOD and officials of the EC Department of Education (ECDE); the Administrator of the WSU ; officials of the EC Department of Roads and Public Works; various education teacher unions as well as principals educators, representatives of students in the Eastern Cape, the Select Committee on Education and Recreation recommends as follows:

  • That the Eastern Cape Department of Education should continue to work hand in hand with the Department of Basic Education, with a collaborative approach to bring about a sustainable turnaround and to ensure efficient and effective delivery of educational services in the province;
  • That the Eastern Cape Department of Education should submit a plan to address the challenges faced by two schools in King Williamstown, namely Mgcwawezulu and Mzontsundu Primary School within 14 days;
  • The Department of Basic Education should submit a report to the Council on the ASIDI programme for the Eastern Cape ;
  • That Council should continue to monitor the intervention regularly and make further recommendations to the national executive if and when necessary;
  • WSU should engage the Engineering Council of South Africa and Institutes for Chartered Accountants to ensure that students are accredited on completion of studies
  • WSU should develop a plan to address the financial challenges faced by the university;
  • The WSU to submit a master plan to attend to the provision of proper building infrastructure
  • There is a need for improved communication channels between the administrator and all the university stakeholders including unions and students representatives.


The delegation, led by Ms M W Makgate MP, thanked the Members of the Provincial Legislatures, Provincial Departments of Education and the Administrator of the Walter Sisulu University and his technical team for the support given during the oversight visit.

Report to be considered.


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