27 October 2020
Media alert: Equal Education members will be picketing at Parliament and at National Treasury tomorrow at 8am against drastic education budget cuts as Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tables the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)
Tomorrow at 8am, Equal Education (EE) learner members (Equalisers), post-school youth members and parent members will be picketing at Parliament in Cape Town, and at the National Treasury in Pretoria, to demand that the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, reverse budget cuts made to the basic education earlier this year. These cuts continue a trend of deprioritising basic education – and the consequence is that the right of learners to basic education is compromised.
The National Treasury continues to fail to prioritise basic education and has demonstrated this through the Supplementary Budget tabled in June, by taking R2.1 billion from the overall Department of Basic Education (DBE) budget. A total of R1.7 billion was cut from school infrastructure grants alone, and a further R4.4 billion has been reallocated within these grants to cover Covid-19 expenses.
These cuts have resulted in 1 938 school construction projects – funded through the Education Infrastructure Grant (EIG) – being stopped or delayed! Our schools have been forced to use their already overstretched budgets to provide Covid-19 necessities – which means they are unable to maintain infrastructure and unable to buy school furniture or even textbooks.
We are calling for Minister Mboweni to:
- Ensure that basic education funding grows (and keeps in line with education inflation);
- Ensure that National Treasury increases funding for school infrastructure;
- Ensure that the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) has the money needed to feed every one of the learners who qualifies for it – while our schools are open and in cases where learners are not in classrooms every day;
- Classify the Department of Basic Education as a frontline department in the fight against Covid-19.
When: Wednesday 28 October 2020
Where: Parliament in Cape Town and National Treasury in Pretoria
For further information, contact:Jay-Dee Cyster (Equal Education Communications Officer) firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 924 1352