The Limpopo Department of Education (LDE) has noted the concern by the South African Human Rights Commission regarding the delay in the delivery of stationery to schools in Limpopo Province.
The department is however perturbed by an outcry that some schools have not been provided with textbooks. This year the department is not delivering new set of textbooks but only top-ups as well as new syllabus for setworks (with deliveries currently being done to about 222 schools).
With regard to delivery of stationery, the LDE is acutely aware of the constraints faced by the learners who have not yet received stationery and we are currently trying by all means to ensure that the delivery is completed by the 26th January 2017. When the previous contract for the stationery expired in 2016, the LDE intended to participate in the contract arranged by National Treasury in preparation for the academic year 2017. However, due to some delays in finalising the participation, the LDE had to come up with a contingency measure in October 2016 and commenced with the arrangement of a Provincial contract which was awarded to African Papers Products (Pty) Ltd in December 2016. It is also worth mentioning that the bid could not be awarded to more than one supplier due to the material price difference and forgo a huge savings. Splitting the award among more than one supplier could have gone against the principle of cost-effectiveness as this would have resulted in additional spending of at least R150m.
The LDE is committed to complete the delivery of stationery to all schools by no later than the 26th January 2017. Currently the supplier updates the LDE at least once daily on progress made in order to clear any backlog in an effort to fast-track delivery. To date delivery to more than 60% of schools has already been completed.
The term of the awarded stationery bid is three years, and the SLA signed with the supplier provides for deliveries for the next two academic years to be done by June of the preceding calendar year.
The LDE is, furthermore, considering a longer term procurement model to ensure continuous and uninterrupted delivery of scholastic stationery and textbooks to circumvent recurrence of this challenge in future. It is hoped that these efforts will also contribute towards the improvement of matric results in the Province.
Source: Government of South Africa