#RollingBlackouts: DA calls on MEC to brief Legislature on DoE’s contingency plans
21 October 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will today write to KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC, Khwazi Mshengu to call for an Executive Statement at Thursday’s Sitting regarding measures in place to ensure that Eskom’s rolling blackouts will not affect matric exams in the province.
The call comes after a lack of contingency plans saw those who sat last week's Computer Applications Technology exam made to remain in affected exam centres until the electricity returned before they could continue.
The DA remains deeply concerned by the prospect of ongoing load shedding on those who will write their papers in 1 700 public centres and a further 63 independent schools. The urgency of an Executive Statement cannot be over-emphasised with national Senior Certificate examinations [NSCE] already underway and the rest of the matric exams set to continue in earnest this week.
The reality is that the woes of ESKOM remain a threat to the examination process, not just in KZN but in the whole country. While the province’s Department of Education (DoE) cannot be held directly responsible for the failed management and political oversight by their ANC principals, MEC Mshengu must brief the provincial portfolio committee and the Legislature on how he will ensure that all is smooth-sailing for the examination process including meticulous details of a contingency plan - if they have one at all.
The DA will also write to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala in this regard and urge him to consider this as a matter of great provincial importance. To express words of encouragement to matrics is simply not good enough and we expect him to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.
The DA expects both the MEC and the Premier to give serious consideration to our request and to brief the Legislature at Thursday’s Sitting around measures this ANC-led government will put in place - or has planned - to ensure that Eskom’s ongoing failures will not sabotage exams and ultimately the futures of so many young people.
Issued by Imran Keeka, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education, 21 October 2019