Minister Angie Motshekga: Update on infrastructure progress within Education Sector

Statement by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, on the progress made in delivering school infrastructure in terms of the Regulations Relating to Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public Schools infrastructure

Good morning and thank you for attending this briefing which intends to provide an update on the progress made on infrastructure roll out in the basic education sector.

You may be aware that the education sector has been plagued with infrastructure challenges as we seek to not only accommodate the huge gains made in terms of access to basic education but also to deal with inappropriate or inadequate infrastructure.

Despite many challenges, progress has been made due, in part, to the immense political will and the efforts of those officials who have been working tirelessly to address the backlogs.

You may recall that in November 2013 we published the Regulations Relating to Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public Schools Infrastructure.

This was the first time that Government had set itself targets of this nature in terms of school infrastructure.

When considering these regulations we were aware of the immense task we had ahead of ourselves, but at the same time knew we could not allow the status quo to continue where schools did not have access to water, electricity or sanitation.

With this in mind and along with a determination to shake the sector into action we set ourselves very ambitious targets.

These in the main included the provision of water, sanitation and electricity to all schools as well as the eradication of inappropriate structures, such as mud schools, asbestos schools and the "plankie" schools.

In acknowledging the backlogs and in a bid to fast track the provision of school infrastructure, a multitude of programmes specifically targeted at the provision of infrastructure have been undertaken by Government.

Infrastructure programmes

The sector provides infrastructure through two programmes namely: the provincial infrastructure programmes as well as the Accelerated School infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI).

The Provincial Schools Build Programme is implemented by provinces and it targets the provision of basic services, new schools, additions to existing schools, new and upgrading of services and maintenance.

It is funded through the Education Infrastructure Grant and the Provincial contribution through the equitable share.

Each Provincial Education Department (PED) is required to submit its infrastructure plan to the Department of Basic Education on a set of scheduled dates. Each PED identifies its targets in terms of the 3 year Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and progress is monitored and reported on Quarterly.

The Accelerated School infrastructure Delivery Initiative is a programme driven by the DBE to address schools infrastructure backlogs on all schools that do not meet the basic safety norms and standards. It is funded through the Schools Infrastructure backlogs Grant.

The purpose of the programme is for the eradication of schools made entirely of inappropriate structures and the provision of basic level of water, sanitation and electricity to schools that did not have these services.

The two programmes are jointly responsible for the attainment of the targets set in the Norms and Standards.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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