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Over a 1000 march in Limpopo textbook protest - DA

Desiree van der Walt calls for eradication of corruption in book ordering process

DA leads mass protest march to Limpopo Education Department to deliver demands

Note to editors: The following is an extract from the speech delivered by DA Limpopo Education spokesperson Desiree van der Walt during the DA's protest march in Polokwane.

Today the DA led a protest march of over a thousand people through the streets of Polokwane to the front door of the Limpopo education department.

We marched in solidarity with children at over 5000 Limpopo schools who have gone six months of the year without textbooks.

A society that is not willing to stand up for the rights of its children fails to take ownership of the future.

Today's protest is part of the continuing struggle to ensure that Limpopo children are afforded the opportunity to determine their own destinies through access to knowledge. We must fight to own the future!

We are here to demand that:

  • All textbooks for 2013 be delivered to schools no later than 30 November 2012;
  • all learners in Limpopo have access to all the textbooks they need;
  • all corruption be eliminated in the book ordering process through an automated quote-sourcing system from a database of approved suppliers;
  • a public record be kept of the number of books ordered and their titles per school; and
  • a system of redistributing books between schools be put in place to deal with the over or under-supply of books.

These demands are not unreasonable. In fact, the DA successfully does every single one of these things where we govern. We challenge the ANC-governed Limpopo to provide the same level of service to learners and schools.

The DA welcomes the imminent appointment of Professor Mary Metcalf, the former director-general of Higher Education, to assist with the textbook verification process. We call for her terms of reference to be established as a matter of urgency and her appointment finalised so she can begin in earnest.

Top of her agenda should be to tend to the schools the DA verified had not received any textbooks, received the wrong books or had not received enough books as per our online list.

The Limpopo Education Department must now show some respect for the constitutional right of children in this province to a quality education. We will be monitoring them closely every step of the way.

Statement issued by Desiree van der Walt, DA Limpopo Education spokesperson, July 2 2012

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