Motshekga must table 'Jobs for Cash' report in Parliament – Gavin Davis

DA says report contains far-reaching recommendations that the Minister has yet to explain

Jobs for Cash’: Motshekga must table report in Parliament 

31 August 2016

I have today written to Minister Motshekga requesting her to table the ‘Jobs for Cash’ report in Parliament. This is crucial for Parliament to do its job in exercising oversight of the Executive.

The ‘Jobs for Cash’ report, released in May this year, contains damning findings against teacher union, SADTU. It illustrates a flagrant power abuse as a result of SADTU domination that has, in no small way, directly contributed to the basic education crisis in our country.

Given the far-reaching implications of the report, it is vital that Parliament plays its role to ensure that executive action is taken, and that any action is subject to parliamentary oversight and scrutiny.

We believe that Minister Motshekga is obliged to table this report in Parliament. According to the National Assembly Guide to Procedure: 

Section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution requires members of the Cabinet to provide Parliament with full and regular reports concerning matters under their control.Papers aimed at complying with this requirement are those papers which are considered by the Government to be of interest to Parliament but whose presentation is not necessarily required by statute.

It is unclear why Minister Motshekga has not yet tabled the report and whether or not she plans to do so. Indeed, we are disappointed at what appears to be her somewhat feeble response to such a damning report.

On 27 May, Minister Motshekga failed to appear before the Portfolio Committee to discuss the report’s findings. Furthermore, she is yet to set out her position on the recommendations contained in the report despite being given the opportunity to do so in Parliament last week.

The report contains far-reaching recommendations that the Minister has yet to meaningfully pronounce upon. These include: 

- Preventing teachers and education officials from being office bearers of political parties; 

- Prohibiting principals and education officials from occupying leadership positions in Teacher unions;

- Creating separate unions for teachers and education officials; and

- Abolishing the practice of cadre deployment in our schools and in the education system more broadly.

The tabling of the ‘Jobs for Cash’ report in Parliament will ensure proper parliamentary oversight over its findings and recommendations. Once the report is tabled, the Speaker will refer it to the Basic Education Committee for the committee to consider. The Committee will then produce its own report containing its response to the findings and recommendations, which will then be referred to the House for a final decision.

We sincerely hope that Minister Motshekga accedes to our request to table the ‘Jobs for Cash’ report in Parliament. Minister Motshekga may have commissioned the report, but it is not her report to do what she likes with. 

Dealing comprehensively with the ‘Jobs for Cash’ report will require the political will to act decisively against SADTU. At this point, it is not clear that Minister Motshekga has the political will. It is therefore up to Parliament to take steps to root out this systemic bribery and corruption in our school system.

Issued by Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, 31 August 2016