Response to the order of the North Gauteng High Court delivered on 4 October 2012 on the matter between Section27 et al and the Minister of Basic Education et al
5 Oct 2012
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) wishes to state that the decision by Section27 to litigate on the perceived non-delivery of Grade 10 textbooks, which were reported as shortages by school in Limpopo, was unnecessary and a waste of valuable time and resources.
Section27 had hoped that the North Gauteng High Court would grant an order against the department and the Limpopo Department of Education for failing to comply with the two previous court orders, directing that:
- the delivery of Grade 10 textbooks for 2012 be completed by no later than 31 October 2012; to the procurement and delivery of textbooks for Limpopo schools for 2013 to be completed by no later than 9 January 2013
- the DBE report monthly on its progress in complying with this deadline; and
- there should be an independent verification process to be undertaken of the 2012 delivery process.
In fact, the Court did not attribute fault to the department for the incomplete nature of the delivery of books to Limpopo. The Court indeed accepted that it was not the fault of the department.
While there has been considerable coverage in the media regarding the so-called failure of the department to meet the delivery targets, there has been little or no effort on the part of the media or indeed by Section27 to acknowledge the enormous nature of the task. In fact, it is important that the media should inform the public of the steps taken by the department to procure textbooks not only from within South Africa, but also from beyond our borders. The facts are: