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Media Release

24 October, 2002

WCED budget 2002/03

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

In May 2002, the WCED projected an estimated saving of approximately R20 million. This projected saving was based on the assumption that the amounts discussed below would be carried by the Treasury, as it had done in the past.

However, because of decisions that were taken at national level, the WCED is currently projecting an over-expenditure of R56,672 million on its budget for the current financial year. These decisions include:

  • Additional costs for the improvement of conditions of service as a result of the increase of 9% instead of the 6% provided for in the budget; which was not fully funded by the Treasury,

  • The payment of R850, in lieu of the rank and leg promotions, to every member of staff below the senior management service level; and

  • The increase in the homeowners' allowance because of the increase in interest rates. A one- percent increase in interest rates can result in a 12 million rand increase in homeowners' allowances to be paid per annum.

A variety of steps will be implemented to ensure that the least possible disruption will be experienced in terms of learner education. If the shortfall is not addressed by National Government, the department plans to deal with the situation by implementing the following measures to save costs:

  • Relief educators (R 6 million): Analysis of the actual number of relief educators indicates that with strict application of policy the allocated number of posts can be reduced by 75.

  • Posts for curriculum redress (R7,0 million): The activation of these posts will be postponed.

  • The Cape Teaching Institute (relief) posts (R3,5 million): 100 posts have been budgeted for relief educators to act in the posts of educators attending in-service training courses at the institute. To save on costs only 50 posts will be utilised.

  • Redeployment (R3,5 million): This saving has already been realised as the result of a recent special attempt in this regard.

  • FET colleges (R1,5 million): The filling of the managerial posts at the newly amalgamated FET colleges will be postponed from 1 October 2002 to 1 January 2003.

  • Office furniture (R0,06 thousand): The furniture intended for the office of the Ministry will not be purchased.

  • Employee Assistance Programme (R0,5 million): The full implementation of this project will be postponed.

  • Learning support material (LSM) (R4,8 million): The rollover funds will compensate. Additional funds that the department achieved in the previous years and that the Treasury has now made available will be used to ensure that no reduction in any schools allocation takes place.

  • EMDC equipment (R1,0 million): The EMDCs are currently poorly equipped. R3,0 million has been allocated for office and library equipment, among other things. The purchase of equipment will have to be downscaled.

  • Literacy development (R1,0 million): R1,0 million has been allocated for additional readers for schools. The purchase thereof will have to be postponed.

  • Computers for administration (R4,0 million): R4,0 million was allocated for this purpose from rollover funds to improve administrative service delivery. No further purchases will be done in this financial year.

  • EMDC posts (R2,5 million): The EMDCs' posts are currently approximately 60% filled.

  • Transport of learners (R4,67 million): The current policy, that learners are transported if they live further than 5 kilometres from the nearest school, will have to be strictly applied despite political and other pressure to provide transport where learners have to walk alongside major roads or through bush. Routes that do not comply with the policy will be summarily suspended. However, it should be noted that Minister André Gaum will be having discussions with Minister Tasneem Essop regarding relief measures that could be implemented.

  • Mathematics and Science Academy (R2,5 million): The Academy is intended to promote mathematics and science for learners especially those from previously disadvantaged areas. The adaptation and maintenance of the buildings will have to be downscaled. The project will be implemented over a longer period.

  • Forums (R2,0 million): R2,0 million has been allocated from rollover funds for forums. The erection of the forums will be postponed and downscaled.

The rest of the shortfall will be compensated by a number of smaller savings, which will be made at head office.

It should be noted that none of these measures materially affect the quality and effectivity of education.

Projects and Funds which will not be reduced or affected:

  • The savings discussed above have been made in such a manner that schools' basic services are not affected.

  • ABET and ECD

  • Examinations

  • Safe Schools programme

  • Textbooks for learners

  • Khanya and EKOM

  • Small schools and poor communities will still receive support through measures such as financial allocations and bursaries

  • Capacity building of schools.

As a department we have to work within our budget to provide the best education possible for all the learners of the province. We are committed to accomplishing this task regardless of the many challenges facing us.

Media inquiries:
Ruhan Robbertze
Cell: 082 577 6551
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