Director-General in the Department of Basic Education Mathanzima Mweli leads a press briefing of government’s Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster in Pretoria on Thursday. PHOTO: ANA

Pretoria - All orders for additional textbooks made by different provinces across South Africa are being attended to, and deliveries have already commenced, government’s Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster said on Thursday.

Addressing a press briefing in Pretoria, Director-General of the Department of Basic Education, Mathanzima Mweli, accompanied by director-generals of other government departments, said government is paying particular attention to ensuring that study material for physically challenged learners is also fully provided ahead of the 2018 academic period.

“All provinces have reported that orders for top up of textbooks for the 2018 year have been placed and deliveries have already commenced in all provinces. The department [of basic education] introduced new literature textbooks for Grade 12 this year, and provinces were urged to pay particular attention to ensure that adequate top ups were done with regards to these books,” said Mweli.

“Provinces were requested to pay particular attention to the provisioning of braille and sign language LTSM (Learning and Teaching Support Material). Sign language will be written as a Grade 12 subject for the first time in 2018 and it is important that provinces ensure that those learners are equipped with the requisite LTSM.”

With regard to the workbooks that the DBE developed, Mweli said the department has completed the printing of volume 1, and Grade R for the 2018 school year.

Regarding school admissions, Mweli said the admission of non-citizens into South Africa’s education system continues to be “a pressure point” as the department of home affairs is struggling with the large numbers of applications for citizenship. He said the DBE however continues to work closely with department of home affairs.

Moving on to transport, Mweli said the festive season period in South Africa continues to be characterised by high traffic volumes and major accidents on the roads, caused by religious pilgrimages and mass events, as well as alcohol and substance abuse.

“It remains unacceptable that 14,000 people perish on South Africa’s roads yearly from road crashes. Government will heighten road safety education and awareness through media campaigns, community walk-abouts, information distributions, as well as numerous other activities during this, our busiest period. During this season, government will deploy over 18,000 traffic officers with a specific focus on hazardous routes and monitoring traffic offences such as speeding, and overtaking on barrier lines. Over one million vehicles will be stopped to check vehicle and driver fitness,” said Mweli.

“Government will also be conducting multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations to ensure the safety of road users. Pedestrians' safety is a critical part of the road safety programme. Our roads will be monitored and ensure that people are not jay-walking and no freeway crossing, particularly in informal settlement areas. The focus will also be on drinking and walking to ensure the safety of pedestrians.”