The Limpopo Education Department says it will ensure that it is better prepared in future after the late delivery of stationery to some schools.
The department says says it has delivered all books and stationery needed at schools that had been left short of teaching materials at the beginning of this year.
However, Public interest law group Section27 says it has heard of some schools that still had stationery shortages this week.
On Wednesday we had heard of at least one school that had absolutely no stationery delivered and at least one five schools in three different districts that had only partial delivery.— Kate Paterson, Section27 attorney
Section27 attorney Kate Paterson explains that the department reduced the stationery tender to one manufacturer and only awarded it in December - when stationery was meant to be delivered already.
Paterson says that the issue was not the that reduced number of manufactures, but rather the late completion of the tender process.
It's almost impossible to deliver stationery by the date school start in January, if you award a tender a month before.— Kate Paterson, Section27 attorney
She says the department needs to arrange earlier delivery, conduct a needs audit on the 4 100 schools and improve communication.
Meanwhile, Limpopo Education department spokesperson Naledzani Rasila advises that the logistics between issuing new contracts brought about new delays.
Rasila maintains that the department apologises and has guaranteed to avoid the same issue in future.
Take a listen to Section27's Kate Paterson:
Take a listen to department spokesperson Naledzani Rasila: