Cosatu is “appalled” at Cassel Mathale’s Limpopo Provincial government’s “failure” to provide textbooks to the Province’s schools despite the North Gauteng High Court order on 17 May 2012 to do so.
The labour federation has since called for Mathale’s dismissal, and those of MEC for Education and all the directors implicated in this scandal. “If the ANC is serious about organisation renewal, this has to be where it starts, with one of the very worst examples of gross incompetence which is endangering the futures of thousands of children,” said the labour federation spokesperson Patrick Craven in a statement today.
Craven said “it was bad enough” that the province was compelled through a court order to do what it should have done in January this year. “It is even more outrageous that a month after the order was issued, it had still not been complied with. Heads must roll!”
He congratulated SECTION27 – a non-profit organisation that took the provincial government to court – for its “stubborn determination to pursue the matter through every means possible”.
But last week visit to the schools found that no books had been delivered as per court order nor had there been any communication from the Limpopo Department of Education or the DBE as to when they would receive books, said Craven. He said this failure “illustrates starkly why we [as Cosatu] still need civil society groups like SECTION27 to monitor state bodies and if necessary take them to court to ensure that South Africans receive the level of service to which they are entitled by the Constitution.”
Calling it a “crisis of institutionalised mediocrity and incompetence”, Craven said this was the “price that the working class and the poor have to pay for the ongoing divisions and factionalism within the [ANC] movement”. “It makes it more urgent than ever to change the whole mindset of our public representatives and officials and insist that service to the people is the top priority above all else”, he said.
Cosatu has come out strongly criticising government – especially the ANC – on many issues, including its reluctance to act on corruption. This week it criticised government’s “firewall” donation of R16.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund, even calling for its reversal.