DA discovers thousands of textbooks destroyed in the Eastern Cape

A DA inspection of an Education Department district warehouse in Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape, has discovered thousands of textbooks lying burnt in and around the premises.

Most of the books are mathematics texbooks. “We have written to MEC Mandla Makupula demanding an explanation as to how valuable public resources for Eastern Cape children were allowed to be destroyed in this irresponsible way” said Edmund Van Vuuren from the Democratic Alliance.

“In other parts of the warehouse, boxes of books still in their packaging were discovered. It is unclear how many boxes are being housed there as some parts of the premises were not accessible to us.

The Department needs to account for how many boxes of books remain inside the warehouse and when these will be delivered to schools”, added Van Vuuren.

Given the massive shortages of both textbooks and workbooks in schools, every single book that does not reach a school will have an impact on a child’s ability to learn.

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It is also clear that the claims of Basic Education Department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi that chronic book delivery problems are limited only to the Port Elizabeth distric, are false.

The destruction of these books raises serious questions about why proper care was not taken to ensure that they were delivered to schools on time at the beginning of the year.

The DA has reiterated their calls for all outstanding books to be delivered to schools without delay and for the government database on book shortages to be published for public scrutiny.

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