Relationship between Minister Motshekga and EduSolutions needs to be probed
Nothing short of a full investigation is needed into the relationship between Minister Angie Motshekga and a shady company contracted to deliver textbooks.
I will be submitting parliamentary questions to the Minister asking for details on all her dealings with EduSolutions and why she promoted their business with the Limpopo Education Department despite a history of fraud and incompetence.
At the centre of the textbook crisis in Limpopo is a politically connected company called EduSolutions. Minister Motshekga has been working with this company since 2008 when she was still Gauteng Education MEC.
The Limpopo government irregularly awarded a R320 million contract to EduSolutions for textbook provision to Limpopo schools. The evaluation and specification committee was ignored at the time the contract was awarded.
This contract was due to be cancelled as soon as the national intervention team arrived in the province to run the Education Department.
Limpopo Education Administrator Anis Karodia now claims that the Minister initially obstructed the cancellation of the contract, preferring for government to continue doing business with EduSolutions instead.
Motshekga made this call even though textbooks were late to Gauteng schools back in 2008 when the Minister was Education MEC in Gauteng and doing business with EduSolutions. EduSolutions is also implicated in a fraud scandal for charging government R13 a pencil.
The obstruction by the Minister continued for a month and a half, according to Mr Karodia, before Motshekga finally agreed that books could be ordered directly from publishers.
While this was happening, Minister Motshekga was promising the public that all learners would receive their books when schools opened in Limpopo. This was said at the announcement of the matric results on 5 January.
What the Minister didn't tell us was that with just over a week before schools were due to start, not a single book had been ordered.
The South African public must be told the full truth about the nature of the relationship between Minister Motshekga and EduSolutions. The textbook crisis Limpopo learners are facing cannot be allowed to happen again.
Statement issued by Annette Lovemore MP, DA Shadow Minister for Basic Education, June 24 2012
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