NEWS & ANALYSIS

Students suffer due to financial and political bankruptcy – Mariette Pittaway

DA FState MPL says students are being suspended because of the non-payment of bursaries

Students suffer due to ANC-run Free State government's financial and political bankruptcy

8 October 2019

The ANC-run Free State Provincial government, while being politically bankrupt for the past decade, now also appears to be financially bankrupt.

To date, the DA have submitted several questions and written letters to the MEC regarding the non-payment of bursaries granted by the Free State Provincial Government, however, albeit very vaguely so, only the Premier deemed it fit to answer.

The Premier replied to DA questions that payments to institutions has commenced. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be true as the DA is aware of many bursaries still not being paid since the beginning of the year.

Students are being suspended because of the non-payment of bursaries and are not able to complete their academic year as a result.

Urgent correspondence directed to the MEC, Tate Makgoe, is still being ignored. Parents are also complaining that their letters are being ignored.

Ironically the Premier promised in her 2019 SOPA that: “… bursaries provide opportunities to our young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, to have equal access to higher education. This is a lifetime opportunity that gives them the chance to change their life circumstances. We will continue to provide bursaries to deserving students…”

The Provincial Government’s financial obligations continue to escalate whilst becoming over-indebted to its creditors.

As the Free State Provincial Government comes under increasing financial pressure, evidence suggests that this political rhetoric of empty promises is used as bait by the ANC to solicit votes.

In the meantime, our students are being deprived of deserving opportunities to further their education, and use their gained knowledge to navigate their lives out of poverty and help benefit tomorrows generation.

The DA in the Free State Legislature shall be raising the issue of lack of accountability by the MEC for Education in the Rules and Orders Committee Meetings within the Legislature, as it reflects poorly upon our seat of democracy within the province.

The DA cannot afford to be obstructed in our attempts to implement the constitutional mandate to conduct oversight and hold the Provincial Executive accountable for their failures.

Issued by Mariette PittawayDA MPL and Whip of the Official Opposition in the Free State Legislature, 8 October 2019