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Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, Deputy Minister, Mr Enver Surty, and North West Education MEC, Mr Sello Lehari have welcomed a report given by Administrator, Mr Nkhono Johannes Mohlala at a meeting held in Rustenburg today. The Minister was pleased with the immense progress reported in many areas of the Section 100 (1B) intervention into the North West Department of Education and Sports Development.

Engagements and analysis have been completed with each branch in the department, and focus is now on interventions to address specific problems identified.

There has been significant progress made in terms of curriculum coverage, especially in some schools that were affected by service delivery protests. The Province as also finalised plans for Spring camps which will ensure learners get additional tutoring during the spring holiday period. The delivery of machinery and equipment to technical schools is now underway, and the province will also be converting two schools into specialised agriculture focus schools, this process has already started.

Progress has also been made in relation to the implementation of the planned activities for ensuring the procurement and timely distribution of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) ahead of the November 2018 deadline. This is critical as LTSM is the largest cost driver after the compensation of employees. 91% of text book orders have been placed, and delivery of stationary is underway for the coming academic year.

Human Resource challenges have been a huge concern for the intervention team however immense progress has been made in this area as well.

The processing of 31 critical posts (subject advisors and education specialists) has been completed with the assistance of a human resource team from the national office. 73 Senior Education Specialists and 29 Deputy Chief Education Specialists, 1 District Director, 71 Principals, 88 Deputy Principals and 305 HODs have been appointed. 638 HODs, 146 Principals and 158 Deputy Principal’s posts have also been advertised This is will assist in bringing much needed capacity, especially at the district level. In addition a team has been established to audit appointments made during 2014-2018, supported by DPSA.

The provincial department is making progress towards full implementation of the new organogram, as well as affordability through a careful look at the salary bill, prioritisation and filling of critical posts.

Engagements with the unions in the education sector regarding the implementation of the new organogram have already begun and steady positive progress is being made in this regard to ensure by-in of all stakeholders. In addition a focus on addressing issue relating to infrastructure procurement, litigation, scholar transport and school feeding is yielding positive results.

There are still some challenges that persist however, these include progress in addressing irregular, unauthorised, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure matters raised by AGSA is slow due to a lack of capacity in the department, however key vacancies in the Budget office have since been filled.

Out of the R1.1 bn irregular expenditure raised by AGSA, R343m relating to procurement of LTSM has been identified for clearance.  Internal Audit is also currently investigating the root cause of AGSA findings in order to ensure they are throughly addressed.

The Minister, Deputy Minister and MEC indicated that they were pleased with the steady progress being made in key areas of education delivery.