An additional R30 million has been allocated for Covid-19 related expenses at several schools in the Northern Cape.
AN ADDITIONAL R30 million has been allocated for Covid-19 related expenses at several schools in the Northern Cape.
This was according to the MEC of Education, Zolile Monakali, who presented his R7.14 billion budget speech this week.
Monakali said the current pandemic has placed tremendous unbudgeted strain and challenges on the department.
He said the pandemic resulted in the department being forced to use additional unbudgeted resources and manpower to assist in the fight against the spread of the virus in schools.
“It must be noted that, like other departments, we were compelled to reprioritise our limited resources in response to the challenges posed by Covid-19, particularly in our schools.
“In this regard, we had to defer infrastructure projects from the 2020/21 financial year to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) cycle. We had to absorb a budget reduction of R189 million in the 2020/21 financial year. However, we had to create a Covid-19 compliant learning environment resulting in additional expenditure, specifically the cost of Covid-19 essentials, amounting to approximately R30 million per annum,” he said.
He said the appointment of screeners and cleaners at the schools in the Province cost the department more than R130 million.
“In order to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations, we had to engage the services of cleaners and screeners who were not budgeted for, and in the current context this continues to place considerable pressure on the finances of the department,” Monakali said.