Basic Education has failed to meet infrastructure targets in schools

Rights group Equal Education has filed court papers against the Basic Education department for failing to implement the norms and standards for public schools that will hold government accountable for infrastructure provisions.

Equal Education has been particularly critical about the condition of mud schools in the Eastern Cape.

Charlotte Kilbane (standing in for Stephen Grootes) spoke to basic education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga to find out why the norms and standards deadline has not been met.

Mhlanga says there are a variety of reasons.

One of them is the fact that the companies we contracted to do the work - some of them collapsed, some of them could not deliver.

Elijah Mhlanga, Basic Education Department spokesperson

We also have to work with other government departments who have their own plans and priorities.

Elijah Mhlanga, Basic Education Department spokesperson

Community structures wanted to be involved as well, and he says these have also contributed to delays.

Mhlangu acknowledges that Basic Education Department has contravened its mandate to meet the deadlines to fix basic school infrastructure problems, but says they set ambitious targets.

Work has been done he insists, though he agrees it needs to be done faster.

474 schools were identified in 2014 which had serious sanitation problems and by last month 408 had been resolved.

1031 schools needed electrification, and half of that number now have electricity.

Listen to Mhlanga discuss Basic Education plans going forward...

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