Policy and Budget Speech by Mec for
Education, Siphosezwe Masango, Presented to the Mpumalanga
29th June 2004
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier, TSP Makwetla
Esteemed Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Legislature
Our Dear Parents, Educators and Learners
Organised Teacher and Learner Formations
Members of the Business Community
We are on course, to educate the nation!
As all compatriots would be aware, our Department remains
driven by the vision articulated in the Freedom Charter,
1955, that “the doors of learning and culture shall be
opened to all”.
I now have the singular honour to inform this august
House, that our Department will eloquently give expression
to this injunction by making education accessible to all.
As we journey from the First Decade of Freedom into the
Second Decade of Freedom, it is our considered imperative
that our education must deliver a new learner cadre and a
new intelligentsia, truly moulded and baptized in our
This has to happen and must happen, because South Africa
and Africa have to produce a truly patriotic intelligentsia
which will be the unapologetic disciple, adherent and
proponent of the African Renaissance and the New Partnership
for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Although we are now ten years in a democracy, and are a
free people, it has been unfortunate to discover that some
people in our communities, particularly the learners don’t
know or understand what the national symbols represent.
The national anthem, for instance, must be sung properly
with the dignity, solemnity and sobriety it so richly
Madam Speaker, I am happy to inform this House that, two
weeks after our assumption of office, the Honourable MEC for
Culture, Sport and Recreation, Mr Madala Masuku and myself
conferred on this matter, and I then issued a directive to
the schools that the learners must be taught to sing the
National Anthem properly.
In the ANC 2004 Manifesto President Mbeki has reminded us
and directed that “Democracy and equality before the law are
entrenched in our constitution.
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Women, workers, youth, professionals, people with
disabilities, traditional leaders, religious communities,
business people and rural communities, all have the right to
utilize opportunities that have come with freedom”.
To ensure that the education enterprise is everybody’s
business, we will convene, for the first time, before the
end of July, 2004, a consultative meeting with the
Traditional Leadership of the Province.
More often than not, traditional leaders interact with
most issues affecting their communities, except education,
because education is perceived to be a specialized domain,
not worthy of their attention.
Three Regional Education Summits will be held in July /
August, 2004, wherein a plethora of stakeholders will
participate; such as the political, civic, church, youth,
women, organized labour unions, traditional leaders and
business, precisely because the education enterprise is too
important to be left in the hands of the Department of
It must be driven as a collective national effort as part
of ensuring that…”all have the right to utilize
opportunities that have come with freedom”.
After these Regional Education Summits will culminate
into a Provincial Education Summit to be held later in
To this end, we have already convened on the 11th May,
2004 a successful meeting with public sector unions, learner
organizations including parents organizations.
We will further mount a sustained campaign to ensure that
the parents reclaim their schools and therefore
uncompromisingly support the learners and educators.
Madam Speaker, we are indeed hard at work to implement a
people’s contract to educate the nation.
Improvement of Results in All Grades
Madam Speaker, as alluded to above, I have already met
with the organized Learner and Teacher formations to discuss
issues related to the improvement of education and the
results in all the grades.
It is unfortunate to observe that the nation is struck by
a sense of shock only when grade 12 results are bad.
It is important to monitor the system every step of the
way to check whether we will produce quality products. It is
our firm view that there must be quality teaching and
learning in all the grades sothat we can expect good
We wish to inform this House that we are spending R2
million on Winter Schools, which commenced yesterday, in all
our regions targeting grade 12 learners.
Madam Speaker, I have already held three fruitful
regional consultative meetings with school principals to
exchange views with them on their role in the management of
schools, and the improvement of results.
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The Revised National Curriculum Statements [RNCS] have
already been delivered to all our educators. Training
workshops on the further implementation are taking place.
This House should also take note that during this winter
school recess, educators will be in the various centres
continuing with the preparations for the implementation of
the RNCS in 2005.
Further Education and Training (FET) Institutions
This year the FET colleges will concentrate on reviewing
their curricular so that they can provide our learners with
courses that are responsive to needs of our various
industries in the Province and the country.
These colleges are critical in the skills development of
our youth and therefore play a vital role in ensuring that
our youth have skills to create employment for themselves,
by gaining access to programmes like Umsombovu, National
Development Aid [NDA], Intsika and other institutions and
enable them to start their own business.
Madam Speaker, an amount of R92 million has been
allocated to this endeavour in the current financial year.
Human Resource Development
The Department undertakes to spend R34 million on Skills
Development and Learnerships.
In the previous financial year an amount of R861 564,91
was spent for bursaries for full time College and University
student teachers and departmental officials.
To this end, for this financial year, that amount has
increased to R960 000.
Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)
To push back the frontiers of illiteracy, and low skills
level, Adult Basic Education and Training remains a top
priority linked to the Expanded Public Works Programme. To
that end we have set aside R51,29 million.
During the current financial year, an amount of R9,493
million has been budgeted for the transfer payments to 85
The Department is ensuring that it gives grants or
subsidies to these institutions as well as develop clear
policies governing them and monitor compliance with the
provision of quality education.
Early Childhood Development
Pre-school education is an important foundation phase and
to carry out that responsibility, R25 million has been set
aside to service the current 715 sites and to ensure that an
additional 285 sites are instituted by March 2005.
Currently there are 330 ECD trainee practitioners, while
a total of 670 ECD practitioners will have been trained by
the end of this financial year.
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Bridging the Digital Divide
Our endeavour to bridge the digital divide is on course.
Quite clearly, this House will agree with us, that it has
become extremely important to produce a learner who is
schooled in the technological advancement of the modern
An amount of R8,5 million has been set aside to provide
computers for 708 needy schools in 2004/2005 financial year.
Madam Speaker, it is heartening to inform this august
House that on the 29th July, 2004 the department will be
launching the MTN Schools Connectivity: 10 Schools from
rural areas would each benefit from this initiative.
These schools will each receive 10 Computers, a server,
pre-loaded learner content on the server, a multi-functional
copier, scanner, fax machine, science, maths and English and
a GPRS modem which utilizes the MTN network to provide fast
access to the internet.
The other priority area is “making the system work”. In
realizing the above objective and ensuring that the poorest
of the poor learner is not unduly excluded, we have set
aside R66 million. This brings our spending level to R625
per learner on transfer payment to schools.
Learner Support Material
An amount of R300,560 million has been set aside for the
purchase of learner support material and stationery in this
In an ongoing effort to improve access and ensure that
the learners who live within deep rural communities benefit
from the fruit of this freedom, the Department provided
scholar transport to 24 444 learners in the previous
financial year and has increased that number to 28 174 at a
tune of R63 million in 2004/2005.
In this area the Department notes a shortfall of R11
million to address the remaining 251 routes with 7 852
learners. This is a serious challenge that the Department is
facing to fulfill its mandate in this regard.
In his State of the Nation Address, 2004, President Mbeki
has enjoined all of us that, “by the end of this financial
year, we shall ensure that there is no learner and student
learning under a tree, mud-school or any dangerous
conditions that expose learners and teachers to the
By the end of the current financial year, we expect all
schools to have access to clean water and sanitation”.
From its equitable share the Department will build 477
classrooms, 23 administration blocks, 21 special rooms, 483
toilets, fencing for 76 schools, water supply to 8 schools,
13 schools to be electrified and 16 schools to be renovated
at an amount of R95,55 million.
To hearken to the President’s injunction, we shall spend
an additional amount of R87,773 million to renovate 47
schools, build 387 toilets, electrify 37 schools, put 42
water connections and fence 125 schools.
Madam Speaker and Members of the House, I am glad to
announce that in our recent Strategic Planning Workshop,
held in Badplaas, we have decided to drastically reduce the
toilet backlog in all the schools in our Province. To this
end we are spending an additional R6 million to restore
dignity to our compatriots who did not have these
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Public Private Partnership
The business sector is committed to invest in the
development of Education in the Province. In this financial
year, the Mpumalanga Education Development Trust (MEDT),
will spend R13 million in Tubatse Municipality to build a
Technical High School which will further enhance our
commitment to skills development in the Province.
The MEDT will provide 8 additional classrooms at Leonard
Ntshuntshe School in KwaGuqa at a cost of R900 000.
BHP Billiton Company will build a school at a cost of
about R4 million in the same area.
The Super Group Auto Parts Company and Eco-Link will join
hands and build classrooms for Amanzi Primary School, which
is in a terribly hazardous condition. The amount to be spent
is R306 000.
Specialised Schools and Inclusive Education
The South African Teachers Development Project [SATDP],
has played a vital role in the finalization of the
introduction of inclusive education in various schools
within the Province and to this effect the project was
piloted through the Gert Sibande Region whereby 80 schools
were trained on OBE and Inclusive Education.
Quality education to all learners in special schools is
being phased in through the development of an adapted
curriculum within the framework of the RNCS.
An amount of R20 million has been allocated for this
programme in the current financial year.
During the past financial year, 201 learners were placed
in special education, 39 learners were registered for home
education and 37 Grade 12 learners were granted concessions
for the final Grade 12 examinations.
National School Nutrition Programme
Honourable Speaker, the National School Nutrition
Programme [NSNP] from the Department of Health has been
successfully transferred to the Department of Education.
We have also managed to create a post-establishment for
staff to serve on NSNP. During this current financial year
we have increased the number of beneficiaries from 460 000
to 491 362 in all the schools in the Province.
Proper monitoring and evaluation programmes have been put
in place to ascertain that the actual supplies and correct
menus are offered. An amount of R64 029 million has been
budgeted for that.
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HIV and AIDS
In order to build a healthy nation, a comprehensive
programme to defeat malnutrition, TB, malaria, HIV/AIDS and
other diseases is being put in place.
The allocated conditional grant for the purpose above is
The Department will continue to ensure that there are
elected and functioning School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and
Representative Councils of Learners (RCLs) to realize a
participatory governance of our schools.
The Department offers training to the SGBs, RCLs and
School Management Teams.
As indicated earlier on, I am intent on mounting a
sustained campaign to ensure that parents reclaim their
schools, support learners and educators, and that it will be
compulsory for principals to convene parents meetings to
give a State of the School Report. This must happen at least
twice a year.
Madam Speaker, I humbly request this august House to
favourably consider the allocated amount of R5 090 billion
for the Department of Education to fulfill its mandate.
Madam Speaker, allow me to express my profound gratitude
to the two outstanding cadres of our glorious Movement, who
did a sterling contribution in building the foundation of
education in Mpumalanga, during the First Decade of Freedom.
Cde. D. D. Mabuza, virtually assembled this Department
from the fragmented and moribund structures of the apartheid
departments in 1994. I salute you!
Cde. Craig Padayachee, moulded and further consolidated
this Department into a functional entity from 1999. I salute
I want to thank the members of the Portfolio Committee on
Education, Culture, Sport and Recreation for their
insightful guidance and valuable contributions.
Most importantly, I also wish to thank my colleagues in
the Department of Education for their unwavering commitment
to educate the nation.
Finally, Madam Speaker, let us drink in the wisdom of our
most famous statesman, Nelson Mandela, who uttered the
following words on the occasion of his inauguration in 1994;
“We shall build a society in which all South Africans, both
black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear
in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human
dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the
Maqabane, Mayihlome, Ifunde!
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