Does corruption reign in the Department of Education?

6 July 2017

The ink has not even dried since SADTU penned her disgust and dismay on the uncovering of corrupt practices in Umzinyathi District of the Department of education in KwaZulu-Natal; we have further discovered other glaring dirty transactions at the Harry Gwala District situated in Kokstad. It appears that employees exiting the system are targeted by unscrupulous fellow colleagues tasked with assisting them to access their hard earned deposits.

SADTU had raised an issue of an employee who allegedly fleeced a retired employee substantial amount of money in return of him finalizing the employee's pension pay-out. This is corruption of the highest order within the offices of the employer that robs workers of their hard earned incomes for which they had toiled for years. This is the most immoral act which seeks to deliver the retiring worker to abject poverty when out of work and incapable of caring for himself after years of hard work and savings.

SADTU views this as extended exploitation through sophisticated looting of the very last earnings of a fray worker who is consequently caused to arrive back home poorer thus subjecting a broader family to undue financial suffering. We are relieved that the employer has acted correctly in suspending the concerned employee and we call on the employer to quickly dispose of the investigations so that the matter is closed rationally.

In the same District, Harry Gwala, over 1350 learners mainly from farm schools had been deprived access to nutritional meals introduced to help them cope with studies when the supplier discontinued supplies of food to all schools. SADTU was pained to discover that officials of the department were very much aware of this injustice perpetrated against the children of the most vulnerable sector of our people, the farm workers. SADTU's intervention led to the resuming of the suppliers to these poor schools amid baseless resistance from some officials who are otherwise duty bound to ensure uninterrupted delivery of food to schools.

In the same District, many farm schools lost almost R500 000 of their financial allocations when their schools forfeited allocations because of late placement of orders by the District. This shall translate to an under expenditure by the department at the expense of learners whose academic prospects shall be hampered by the lack of resources in these poor schools.

It is clear that the current financial woes of the employer are self-inflicted and worsened by sheer inefficiency and lack of consequence management within the Department. SADTU calls on all workers to honestly fulfil their roles and to refuse to be lured to defraud the poor. SADTU lost one of her leaders, Nkosinathi Zondi, who diligently fought corruption and we shall, in honour of his noble work, continue to fight corruption fearlessly whenever it rears its ugly head.

Issued by the Secretariat on behalf of the Provincial Executive committee

Nomarashiya Caluza
Provincial Secretary
082 611 7027

Bheki Shandu
Deputy Provincial Secretary
082 611 7028