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Equal Education to Picket Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

On Monday, 5 March 2012 at 15h30, Equal Education (EE) will hold a picket outside the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Independence Avenue, Bhisho. The picket will draw attention to the education crisis in the Eastern Cape the day before MEC Phumulo Masualle delivers his provincial budget speech.

The crisis in the Eastern Cape education system cannot be denied. The majority of schools in the Eastern Cape do not provide adequate infrastructure for learning. In the province 66% of schools have unreliable to no access to water and 40% of schools have unreliable to no access to electricity. Of great concern in the province are the nearly 400 mud schools. These dangerous, unstable structures are not suitable for learning and pose a serious risk to learners and teachers. In the 2011/2012 financial year R700 million was allocated for the sole purpose of eradicating these mud schools and repairing infrastructure in schools. The money was meant to be distributed using the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, but as of yet, none of the money has been spent by the Eastern Cape Government. Of a larger grant of R968 million that was allocated, the Eastern Cape Government has only spent 19%. Because of this misspending learners in the Eastern Cape continue to suffer under unacceptable conditions.

This picket forms part of EE’s larger campaign for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. The Eastern Cape government needs to be held accountable for the manner in which it spends grants – especially those intended to remedy its education crisis. EE calls on MEC Masualle explain why the grants have not been spent and to ensure accountability in the Eastern Cape.

For more information please contact Yoliswa Dwane/072 342 7747 or 021 387 0022/3 or Lukhanyo Mangona/082 595 8600 

Carla GoldsteinEqual Education to Picket Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature