Johannesburg - Textbooks have already been delivered to Eastern Cape schools for the 2014 school year, basic education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said on Thursday.
“We are using a new method, and there is a 100 percent delivery of textbooks. We have already delivered 2014 textbooks two months ahead of time,” he said.
“Eastern Cape is leading the country in terms of textbook and workbook delivery.”
Lesufi was speaking after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that basic education director general Bobby Soobrayan had failed to exercise the necessary diligence and leadership in ensuring workbooks were delivered to Eastern Cape schools.
Madonsela urged Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to hold Soobrayan and the province's head of department Mthunywa Lawrence Ngonzo accountable.
Madonsela said their actions and omissions had resulted in the “failure to prevent, contain, and solve the national school books crisis”.
The omissions of Soobrayan and Ngonzo constituted improper conduct and maladministration.
The Public Protector's report “Learning Without Books” follows investigations into complaints lodged in August 2012 by Edmund van Vuuren, a member of the Eastern Cape provincial legislature and Democratic Alliance spokesman, about workbook shortages in the province.
According to Madonsela's findings, which were released in Pretoria on Thursday, the education department failed to provide enough school workbooks to Eastern Cape schools on time.
“We have noted what she said about the minister being vindicated,” Lesufi said.
“The minister was not responsible for the textbook debacle. During the textbook thing, many people were quick to say the minister must resign.”
He said the minister would need to take action against Soobrayan.
“The Public Service Commission is already investigating him.”
Lesufi said the only problem he had with Madonsela's report was that she had misunderstood the difference between a textbook and a workbook.
“She uses both interchangeably. When we receive the report, we will notify her of it. We accept her report,” he said.