By Staff Reporter
The Eastern Cape Executive Council (EXCO) had approved an interim budget relief of R90 370 million to help the departments of Transport and Education provide scholar transport to learners in 2024.
According to a communique from the provincial communications spokesperson, Khuselwa Rantjie, the approved budget includes “payment of accruals to just over R11 million.” Rantjie adds, “The additional budget brings over R1 billion of the provincial government’s investment on this programme, which is aimed at improving access to education for thousands of learners mainly in rural poor communities.”
The additional funds come after budgetary constraints for scholar transport, leaving many learners in various parts of the Eastern Cape stranded and unable to attend schools.
According to Rantjie, “EXCO provisionally approved the extension of the service from 90 917 to 103 000 learners.” Rantjie adds that the extra funds require reprioritisation across the province’s administration.
“The approved budget will ensure that the program remains operational and adequately funded, enabling continued access for thousands of learners depending on this service,” says Rantjie.
In the media statement, Rantjie adds that the two departments should work with the Provincial Support Unit (PPSU) to identify models for the programme’s sustainability. Rantjie also states that the partnership should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to consider placing learners who travel more than 40km daily.
In addition to the budget increase, EXCO has approved the use of software to monitor the service to ensure that children who need transport in the Eastern Cape will not have their studies disrupted.