Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
21 May 2020
12:06 pm

Lesufi rubbishes rumours surrounding Bidvest’s school cleaning contract

Kaunda Selisho

'The accusations that are circulating are hopelessly misinformed and devoid of truth,' says the MEC.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks at the Gauteng department of education's press briefing on the Parktown Boys' High drowning debacle, 24 January 2020. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

In response to the concern caused by the circulation of a Whatsapp message regarding school-cleaning protocol, Gauteng MEC for education and youth development Panyaza Lesufi has had to clear up a misunderstanding about the nature of the appointment of the company contracted to clean schools.

“Again Bidvest..? What for..? What’s going on in this country..? Where are small-medium black companies to do this kinda work..?” asked ANC veteran Tony Yengeni after tweeting a screenshot of internal communications between staff at an unidentified school.

The message, which contains further instructions on how to prepare the school grounds to be cleaned, reads: “Dear Principal, Bidvest Prestige is the appointed service provider that will be sanitising your school.”

This tweet was one of many questioning Bidvest’s perceived monopoly in a number of areas.

“It’s not true. Bidvest made a donation to clean previously disadvantaged schools free of charge as part of their social responsibility programme. The Gauteng department of education has transferred funds to all schools to hire local businesses beyond the Bidvest’s donation,” tweeted Lesufi in response along with images of a letter drafted by Bidvest and addressed to the province’s education department.

“The accusations that are circulating are hopelessly misinformed and devoid of truth,” added Lesufi.

According to the letter, the Bidvest group’s subsidiary, Bidvest Prestige, would be able to sanitise 577 schools ahead of the 1 June re-opening date.

The company also offered to donate sanitisers and stands/dispensers which would be used by the Grade 7 and 12 learners upon their return.

The company further committed to donating thermometers for the screening of students along with a technology platform to assist employers in ensuring workplace health and safety compliance and monitoring of movement and attendance in line with the appropriate restrictions.

Lastly, the company offered to co-fund production costs for the curriculum to be aired on the SABC Education channel in the hopes of reaching as many students as possible.

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