Mathanzima Mweli when he was unveiled as the Director General of the Department of Basic Education by Minister Angie Motshekga in 2015. Picture: Masi Losi / African News Agency / ANA
Mathanzima Mweli when he was unveiled as the Director General of the Department of Basic Education by Minister Angie Motshekga in 2015. Picture: Masi Losi / African News Agency / ANA

80 000 poor quality masks worth R1m sent back to suppliers in three provinces - DBE DG

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Sep 1, 2020

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Cape Town - Pupils at public schools will be issued with masks every three months, the director-general of the Basic Education Department told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

Mathanzima Mweli, the DBE DG, said three provinces had sent back to suppliers over 80 000 defective or poor quality masks worth nearly R1m.

He said the education departments at the provincial level had measures in place to ensure that schools did not run out of masks and that there was regular monitoring by the department.

Mweli revealed that 26 000 masks, valued at R62 000, were of poor quality and were returned to suppliers in KwaZulu-Natal.

A further 54557 masks from Limpopo, to the tune of R876 069, were also returned as was the case to 2244 masks valued at R56100 in Mpumalanga.

Meanwhile, Mweli said there had been a marked decrease in the disruption and vandalism of schools since they re-opened.

Briefing the basic education portfolio committee, Mweli said there have been 1280 disruptions at schools that were taking financial resources from the education sector.

These had ranged from break-ins, class space, surge in Covid-19 cases, business people wanting tenders, protests by Sadtu, Cosas, school governing bodies as well as community protests over screeners and cleaners.

"Ever since we came from the break, disruptions have gone down," Mweli said.

He noted that in some provinces SGBs, unions, faith-based organizations and others formations have helped to mobilise society to support schools provide quality education.

Mweli also said vandalism has also decreased after 2290 schools were vandalised during the lockdown.

"It has really taken a toll on many schools and caused major disruption. Vandalism has gone down since we came from the break," he said.

Political Bureau

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