South Africa 7.11.2014 02:59 pm

Unpaid bills at Tshwane schools a cause for concern – MEC

FILE PICTURE: Eskom staff repair a collapsed pylon, 29 July 2014, near Slovoville. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Eskom staff repair a collapsed pylon, 29 July 2014, near Slovoville. Picture: Michel Bega

Electricity and water disconnections at some schools in Tshwane over unpaid bills are of great concern, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s office said on Friday.

“The affected schools are Section 21 schools, special schools, and independent schools that are in arrears to the tune of R21 million,” spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane said in a statement.

“What is of extreme concern to the MEC is that this is happening at a crucial time when learners are busy with exams.”

The department would pay the R10m arrears for Section 21 schools, which are funded by the department but managed their own finances, by the end of the month.

Section 21 schools are responsible for ordering their own stationery, textbooks, paying water and lights accounts, and undertaking their own maintenance.

The affected special and independent schools were encouraged to settle their power and water bills.

“We would like to apologise to our learners, educators, and staff at schools for the inconvenience caused by the power cuts,” Sekhonyane said.

“The MEC is seeking an urgent meeting with the executive mayor of Tshwane to discuss how future disconnections can be avoided as well as rates and taxes charged at schools.”

The Times reported on Friday that around 38 schools, mainly those in townships, had already had their power supply cut.

Sapa

 

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