The organisation believes that the budget cuts undermine the education sector and this compromises the right to basic education.
Equal Education is now calling on Minister Tito Mboweni to increase the funding that the National Treasury allocates to the Basic Education sector.
The organisation has also called for Treasury to ensure that the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) has enough money to feed all learners who rely on it.
In June, the National Treasury cut the Basic Education budget by R2.1 billion. This reduced the department’s budget from R25.3 billion before adjustments to R23.2 billion.
Treasury then cut the budget further by R4.4 billion to cover Covid-19 expenses.
These budget cuts have affected nearly 2 000 school infrastructure projects, leaving many schools with little to no money for textbooks and school furniture.
“The state of public education in this country is not one that is acceptable because the DBE has been missing deadlines. In 2016 we were supposed to have eradicated pit latrines and mud schools and schools that are made of improper infrastructure.” said Chwayita Wenana
Wenana raised the issue of schools in the Western Cape struggling to maintain infrastructure and a safe environment for learners.
Minister of Education in the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer recently released a statement speaking out against budget cuts for the education department. Schäfer said the budget cuts would mean the department would have less money to provide quality education to learners.
“Budget cuts mean we cannot build enough schools for the additional 18 000 learners added to our province’s schools each year, so there will be a major struggle to find school places every single year.”
Another request that Equal Education has is for the government to classify the Department of Basic Education as a frontline department.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé