Department of Basic Education commits to pay outstanding stipends
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is aware that many education and general assistants were not paid their monthly stipends in December, and has convened an urgent meeting with the nine education departments on Tuesday.
A media statement by the department stated that as part of urgent steps being taken to assist all provinces in the delays experienced in the payment process, the DBE convened an urgent meeting of chief financial officers of the nine education departments across the country on Tuesday.
Last year, the department recruited around 300 000 education assistants in 26 000 schools across the country. It was reported that they would earn a monthly stipend of R3 500 on a contract basis, from December 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.
However, according to reports, thousands of them are still awaiting payment, which was expected to be made on December 22.
According to DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, some provincial education departments had experienced challenges in processing the December stipends, due in part, in some instances, to incomplete paperwork, which had to be returned to the affected schools to be rectified.
Mhlanga said this had happened at a time when schools were busy dealing with the administration of end-of-year exams and preparations for the 2021 academic year.
"Provincial education departments are aware of the non-payment of some of the December stipends and are working with education districts to ensure that all necessary requirements are met, in order for everyone who qualifies to receive their payments," said Mhlanga.
The department also encourages all education and general assistants, who are yet to be paid, to contact co-ordinators in their respective province.