Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: @DBE_SA/Twitter

Johannesburg - Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty paid tribute to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, describing her as the most effective leader.

Surty said, during a breakfast briefing to honour the country's top matric achievers of 2018, that Motshekga has been remarkable over the last decade she has been at the helm of basic education.

Former president Jacob Zuma appointed Motshekga into her position in 2009, when he introduced the department. It had been one department with higher education before that.

Zuma handed higher education and training to Blade Nzimande, whom he axed in 2017. Zuma himself was booted out by his party, the ANC.

There have been several controversies during Motshekga’s tenure; the worst being the failure to deliver textbooks to Limpopo learners in 2012.

Motshekga stood her ground that she could not be blamed, at one time saying she does not drive delivery trucks.

She insisted it was the responsibility of the provincial department to ensure pupils had textbooks.

“She's been a wonderful leader and a wonderful partner,” said Surty, delivering a vote of thanks at the breakfast.

“I've worked with her for 15 years. We've been extraordinary partners.”

Turning his attention thereafter to 2018's best performing matrics, Surty said: “You are indeed the product of the attempts by the minister… to provide quality in education.”

He said Motshekga’s tenure has seen performance of girls improving. “We can celebrate the fact… we've ensured that our girl learners outperform our boys.”

He said this has brought about gender parity. “Again, we have the minister to thank for that.”

Surty said he was paying tribute to Motshekga now because he did not know what the future holds.

The deputy minister evidently had the upcoming national and provincial elections in mind.

“We don't know where we're going to be next year,” said Surty.

Surty said he can only wish Motshekga the best for the future.

@BonganiNkosi87

The Star