Latest News

Media statement: Equal Education to host roundtable to assess the performance of the sixth administration in addressing the education injustices in the Eastern Cape

3 April 2024

Media statement: Equal Education to host roundtable to assess the performance of the sixth administration in addressing the education injustices in the Eastern Cape

#FixOurSchools 

On Tuesday 9 April, Equal Education (EE) in the Eastern Cape will host a roundtable discussion to reflect on the effect of the education budget on school infrastructure. In addition, the roundtable will discuss school infrastructure backlogs in the province throughout the term of the sixth democratically elected government. The roundtable will bring together EE members, representatives from the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE) and civil society organisations who share a vested interest in improving school infrastructure conditions.

The education system in the Eastern Cape continues to let learners down, with the province  accounting for a huge share of the national school infrastructure backlogs. The injustices faced by learners include dangerous and inadequate infrastructure – a result of the legally binding deadlines in the Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure for safe toilets, buildings and classrooms, electricity, libraries, and laboratories still not having been met. In various engagements with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the ECDoE they have blamed the slow progress of eradicating school infrastructure backlogs on the lack of adequate funding to tackle the multitude of problems faced in Eastern Cape schools. 

EE understands the allocation of the budget as a function that is inter-departmental in nature.  It is therefore important we interrogate the leadership of our national government and not merely the ECDoE. 

In 2019, both President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, pledged to prioritise basic education. However, these political promises have not reflected in how the budget has been allocated and spent. Despite overwhelming infrastructure shortages, the Eastern Cape provincial government has spent less than R380 million on new infrastructure assets since the 2020/21 financial year. To put this into perspective, the province received R2.3 billion from the Education Infrastructure Grant and the School Infrastructure Backlogs Grant this year alone. 

Download and read our full statement here.

Leanne Jansen-ThomasMedia statement: Equal Education to host roundtable to assess the performance of the sixth administration in addressing the education injustices in the Eastern Cape