Limpopo education gets biggest slice of budget after storm damage

A total of 32 schools were damaged, making it difficult for learning and teaching to resume.

The Limpopo provincial Treasury has allocated R200 million to the Department of Education to help rebuild schools destroyed by a storm last year.

The storm left many of the province’s government buildings damaged, electric poles and trees uprooted while access roads to schools and towns were left in a state of despair.

About 300 families affected by the storm were provided aid such as food and blankets. Some families were displaced.

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The affected districts, according to social development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale, were Mopani, Vhembe and Waterburg.

A total of 32 schools were damaged, making it difficult for learning and teaching to resume at the beginning of the academic year.

Some schools had to send pupils home as there was not enough space for teaching and learning.

School materials such as text and stationery books, furniture and teaching aids were lost.

At the time, the department made 108 mobile classrooms available.

Now, four months after the storm, finance MEC Seaparo Sekoati announced during his budget speech that the provincial Treasury had set aside R200 million to address issues related to storm-damaged schools.

Sekoati said education was allocated the fattest slice of the budget.

“I am allocating R36.445 billion for education,” he said.

“The allocation includes R882.4 million for Presidential Youth Employment Initiatives; R35.3 million for the Sanitary Dignity Project; R100 million for e-education; R200 million for storm-damaged schools; R320 million for additional compensation of employees of teachers; R3.2 billion for conditional grants; and R696.4 million of own revenue.”

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Sekoati added that the allocation “will also include R316.8 million for early childhood development and R184.9 million for the early childhood development grant”.

The education department said it was elated with the budget allocation.

“The MEC will give an account of how budget for current year was utilised, and outline how allocations for 2022-23 will be spent during her budget speech on 29 March, 2022,” said the department’s spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene.

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