The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Limpopo wants the province’s premier, Stan Mathabatha, to relieve education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe of his duties after the province came last out of nine provinces in the recent matric exams.
The EFF branded the province’s dismal performance as a sign Kgetjepe was sleeping on the job.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in her results announcement that apart from Limpopo, all provinces managed a pass rate of over 70%.
Limpopo replaced the Eastern Cape, which came last for seven consecutive years, as the worst performer, with a 69.4% pass rate, despite improving on the previous year’s 67.4% pass rate.
“This dismal performance by Kgetjepe leaves much to be desired,” said EFF provincial leader Jossey Buthane yesterday. “The EFF calls for his dismissal today – not tomorrow.
“If we continue to keep him in the system, the province will become the laughing stock of the country.”
Buthane said the performance was proof the department had no leadership.
“This also proved beyond any shadow of doubt that MEC Kgetjepe lacks the necessary skills and capacity to run the department and that the MEC does not inspire confidence,” he said.
“Instead of improving the culture of learning and teaching, the department and its own political principals are fighting for tenders.
“The EFF wants to put it on record that its presence in the province was and is aimed at fighting corruption to the core and improving the lives of our people for the better.
“Kgetjepe is nothing close to that.
“We want him gone as soon as possible so that the province can be mentioned in the same breath as those that flew the flag of the country high in the matric performance”.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) premier candidate for Limpopo, Jacques Smalle, and DA shadow minister of basic education Nomsa Marchesi, conducted an oversight inspection at Senwane Secondary School in Ga-Molekwa, Bakenberg.
The school is one of three in Limpopo that achieved a 0% matric pass rate.
The DA said the primary objective of the visit was to assess the underperforming school’s readiness for the new academic year and whether the staff had made the necessary arrangements for the pupils’ return today.
Kgetjepe’s department has, however, given him the thumbs up for having improved the province’s pass percentage with 3.8%.
Limpopo education spokesperson Sam Makondo said the EFF was barking up the wrong tree.
“The MEC serves on the behest of the premier. The department is now stabilised and its audit opinion has also improved.
“We believe we have done well as we managed to improve matric results from 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“Instead of criticising the MEC, we should be giving him accolades,” Makondo said.