Dr. Allan Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
071 682 6806
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Speaker of the Northern Cape Legislature, Jacobus Van Wyk, requesting a debate in the Legislature on the poor audit outcomes from the Provincial Department of Education. The Education Department has received its third qualified audit in as many years.
The Auditor-General in his report cited the inability “to obtain appropriate audit evidence for immovable assets in the process of transfer in terms of Section 42 of the Public Finance Management Act reflected as R149 422 000”, as the reason for giving the department a qualified audit opinion.
It is deplorable that the Provincial Department of Education has only achieved 23% of its planned targets for the financial year! The DA is of the express view that this warrants serious questions about the ability of the MEC, Grizelda Cjiekella, to lead this Department and is an indication of just how the provincial government is failing the school children of the Northern Cape.
The DA finds it unacceptable that the Education Department’s management have still not reconciled an amount in excess of R255 137 000, in unauthorized expenditure. Also according to the A-G, the amount of irregular expenditure incurred by the department amounted to R1 071 306 000, that’s just over R1 billion, and is an indictment on the Department’s Senior Managers.
The departments mishandling of processes related to overdue accounts, saw the Education Department unnecessarily incur over R 1 017 000 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It is the DA’s view that ultimately the buck stops with the Education Departments MEC, Grizelda Cjiekella, and her Head of Department, and their silence on whether any disciplinary action will be taken against poorly performing Senior Managers is ominous. This once again confirms the AG’s assertion that there is a “lack of consequences for non-performance” and a “lack of commitment from leadership resulting in commitments not being implemented”. The mismanagement of the Department of Education is failing the province’s many poor school children, for whom a good education is their most sustainable chance to break the cycle of poverty.