“Limpopo education MEC Thembisile Nwedamutswu visited warehouses last week to monitor progress and she was satisfied with the work currently going on,” spokesman Paena Galane said in a statement.
“The department will continue to ensure that every learner in every school has a textbook.”
However, an AG report released last Thursday showed the provincial education department had failed to acquire half the books needed for the 2015 academic year.
“The root causes are that non top-ups were made since the 2013 academic year, a lower rate on book retrieval, and the delivery of books was not based on schools orders,” Auditor General Kimi Makwetu’s report reads.
The report was titled “Synopsis on AG’s Limpopo Department of Education Management Report”.
It said the department, which was under administration, had also failed to follow an internal management plan for the procurement and delivery of “learner teacher study material”.
The department failed to deliver textbooks on time this year, despite being run by administrators for the past three years.
Furthermore, many schools in the province faced delivery problems in 2012, when pupils only received their textbooks towards the end of the year.
In 2012 both the Limpopo and national basic education departments were compelled by three different court orders to deliver textbooks to the province’s schools.
Despite previous delivery problems, Galane said the deliveries were currently being made on the basis of information given to the province by schools.
“The deliveries are being done against orders (provided via CD and hardcopy) that have been signed off by the school principal, circuit and district managers.”
However, due to the migration of pupils, the verification of textbooks would only be conducted when schools open next year.
“Migration affects learner enrolment in schools and this could lead to additional deliveries,” said Galane.
Failure to retrieve the textbooks meant the department was unable to provide it at the commencement of the school calendar year.
He urged schools to inspect the textbooks and report shortages to the department to enable the prompt delivery.
The department assigned the SA Post Office (Sapo) to deliver textbooks to schools, which, Galane said, was committed to the prompt delivery of the learning material.
“The deliveries are being done by the Post Office who have committed since increased capacity to ensure that the work is completed before end of the year.”
However, the AG report states that Sapo provided incorrect information on the quantity of textbooks delivered to the schools.
In one case, it recorded that 5700 books were delivered to Izikhali School while only 25 were signed for.
The report detailed how the department had overpaid Sapo by R3.3 million during the 2013/14 financial year, had incurred R332m irregular expenditure, and a combined R130m fruitless and wasteful expenditure.