The department of basic education has attributed delays in improving infrastructure at schools through its Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programme to "limited resources". This includes supplying basic services such as electricity, running water and sanitation.
"The challenges are always and consistently much bigger than available resources," spokesperson Troy Martens said.
Parliament's basic education portfolio committee revealed on Wednesday that:
- 620 schools still remained without electricity;
- only 3% of the 265 schools earmarked for sanitation facilities had received them;
- only 10 out of the 280 schools earmarked for running water had received it; and
- only 16 schools have been built out of a target of 59.
"ASIDI is not the only programme through which government provides school infrastructure. All provinces have their own projects for school infrastructure and a lot of work has been done in this regard," Martens said.
"We will continue to set targets as they help measure the work we do and the challenges we face [until] we are able to put in place interventions to accelerate delivery of much-needed resources," she added.
The Democratic Alliance accused government of failing to follow through with promises made through the ASIDI programme. The party will be submitting questions to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in Parliament about alleged gross mismanagement of the ASIDI programme.
"The minister must answer fully [as to] why she allows children to continue to be subjected to shocking learning conditions," the DA said on Wednesday.
The party has vowed to continue visiting schools throughout the country to show the collapsing Basic Education Portfolio Committee "just how terrible the situation is".
"Our children cannot be expected to excel and build bright futures when they have been deprived of their right to a safe and conducive learning environment," it said.