President Jacob Zuma has appointed a task team to look into the causes of the delays in delivering textbooks to Limpopo schools, the Presidency said on Wednesday. The five-member team will map out remedial action and make recommendations.
"Members of the task team will investigate the causes of the non-delivery and delays to affected schools and make recommendations to prevent a future recurrence.
"The President has directed that all who are found to have played a role in delaying or stopping the delivery of books should be held accountable and face the consequences," the Presidency said in a statement.
Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene will chair the team, which also comprises Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty; Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Obed Bapela; Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Yunus Carrim and Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo.
Yesterday, Zuma met with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, who briefed the President on the situation.
Last year, national government intervened in several provincial departments in Limpopo, such as Roads and Transport; Health; Public Works; and Provincial Treasury, in terms of section 100 (1)(b) of the Constitution. No legislation to cover interventions
The Presidency said on Wednesday the intervention in Limpopo had been made difficult by the fact that there was currently no national legislation regulating interventions in terms of section 100 of the Constitution.
To address this, the Presidency said the Department of Cooperative Governance has developed the Monitoring, Support and Intervention Bill to fill this gap and to regulate interventions in terms of section 100 as well as all interventions in terms of section 139.
"The President has directed the Presidency and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to prioritise the finalisation of this crucial legislation," said the Presidency.
It added that the President had also directed that while the legislation was being finalised, a special protocol must be developed to manage relations between the spheres of government and ensure that service delivery was not affected.
The President also instructed the Education Ministry to complete the current delivery process, and also to work with the National Treasury and the province to ensure that adequate resources were made available and planning was done for the timeous procurement and delivery of next year's textbooks in Limpopo.