Enquiry on school furniture intended to be delivered to schools in the Eastern Cape Province

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OUR REF. ECBF/TR.1/5


30 JUNE 2021


THE SUPERINTENDENT GENERAL
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
BISHO


Attention: HOD MR DALUHLANGA MAJEKE


Dear Sir


RE: ENQUIRY ON SCHOOL FURNITURE INTENDED TO BE DELIVERED TO SCHOOLS IN THE EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE


Following our correspondence dated 24th June 2021, I hereby wish to ask you if you do know anything about the standing court order in respect of judgement against the Department of Education by one NGO based in Grahamstown called “LRC” which has been monitoring the lack of School Furniture in the schools of the Eastern Cape Province for more than ten years ago?


  1. At some stage there was a contempt of court application against the MEC of DoE and Ministry of Basic Department of Education national because the department was reneging in adhering to implementing requisition of schools in the Eastern Cape in terms of that court order.

  2. This court application was instituted more than ten years ago during Mr Ngonzo’s tenure as HoD and since then till to date the DoE has been mismanaging school furniture procurement. In some instances in the middle of a period contract the Department would issue a tender for refurbishment of school furniture to new service providers whereas it was already provided in SLA of the same school furniture period contract and get unnecessary hiring of warehouses to keep the refurblished school furniture of which we found it to be unnecessary to do so. From time memorial, whether you are a manufacturer of school furniture or refurbishing broken or old furniture you have to deliver straight to schools with all transport cost included.

  3. When the department tried to comply with that court order, suppliers contracted were directed to deliver to the warehouses instead of delivering fully assembled furniture direct to schools, components of school furniture were kept in various warehouses in Botha Sigcawu building, factory warehouse in Vulindlela Heights in Mthatha and Dagama warehouse factory in Mdantsane unassembled against the school furniture tender conditions wherein it was stated that furniture must be delivered to schools fully assembled. This surprised us who have been in school furniture industry for sometime and we reported the matter to the then Provincial Treasury and the late MEC Hon Mr Maku pula for investigation. As a result of the complaint, forensic audit firm Gobodo And Ass, together with Hawks were contracted to investigate that misnomer and the report was completed and submitted to Treasury.

  4. I must also mention that even that furniture delivered in components form in Mthatha Botha Sigcawu building, and other factory warehouses were suddenly moved to other Provinces like Northwest and Mpumalanga although having been paid by the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

  5. Our bone of contention and question is that if the school furniture was a critical issue then to the extent that an NGO had to go to court to protect the rights of children in schools, how much more now under Covid-19 regulations where social distance in the classroom is emphatically stated.

  6. To this end it is our quest to know whether the National Treasury reimbursed the Eastern Cape Treasury in respect of the furniture paid by the Eastern Cape Department of Education?

I hope that you would make a follow up even though you have not yet acknowledged the receipt of my previous correspondence.


Yours sincere


BONSILES. NKOLA
(CHAIRPERSON)


Contact: Email address: Nkola@ecbonafides.org.za & bongilefmmc@gmail.com
Cell No: 0832847197


Cc: CHAIRPERSON OR PORTFOLIO COMMIT ILE FOR EDUCATION: HON. MR M SAZIWA
CHIEF DIRECTOR CLIENT SERVICES IN THE OFFICES OF SG, MR MBULELO MPUPU

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