ANC is failing learners at Bonela Secondary School

by Zwakele Mncwango – DA KZN Premier Candidate

Today, together with other DA public representatives, we inspected Bonela Secondary School as part of our rolling assessment of school readiness to mark the first day of the 2019 school year.

The DA’s inspection of Bonela was informed by the need to understand the underlying problems affecting the school’s poor matric results. The recently announced matric results showed that the school experienced a 15% drop to its matric pass rate when compared with 2017. Mathematics and English appear to be the primary subjects where learners are performing poorly.

We were able to establish that the school faces a myriad of challenges, ranging from late application for places by parents to inadequate infrastructure. Damage to existing infrastructure occurs frequently and the Provincial Department of Education has been slow to react to appeals for help from the school authorities.

In one case, classrooms that were burnt 7 years ago have still not been repaired, leaving learners to sit in cramped and uncomfortable spaces.

Worse still, security to protect available infrastructure is abysmal as the school cannot afford to pay for night duty security guards.

The DA has, therefore, resolved to bring the sad state of affairs to the Provincial legislature’s education committee. We will notify the committee that urgent steps need to be taken to stop the rot at Bonela and ensure that the learning environment is able to provide quality education to learners.

A DA government will ensure that school infrastructure is prioritized in order to enable learners to have equal access to quality education for all.

Failing ANC has left Nagina at the mercy of criminals

by Zwakele Mncwango – DA KZN Premier Candidate

Today the Democratic Alliance visited a 66-year-old grandmother [name withheld to protect her from further victimisation] of Tin Town informal settlement who lives alone, and has been a victim of several house burglaries. She currently has a protection order against her neighbour whom she accuses of being responsible for these robberies.

During the visit, the DA learned that this area is plagued by a drug problem, which the under-staffed and under-resourced SAPS is unable to combat. The area has become a crime paradise with hijackings, murders and house burglaries as a daily feature. The increase in illegal bottle stores is another concern, has also contributed alcohol-fueled lawlessness.

All of this leaves vulnerable members, like the elderly, of our society at risk of being a victim of crime. We also learned that only two police vehicles are operating in the area which makes crime reporting and curbing, impossible.

The DA will therefore write to the Provincial Police for Commissioner, on behalf the community, to demand reasons why how an area with an estimated population of 25 000 is serviced by only two SAPS patrol vehicles. We would also like to know how he is going to deal with under-resourcing and understaffing at Nagina Police Station in order to protect the old and vulnerable members of our community.

Our most vulnerable communities suffer daily. It is clear that the failing ANC is unable to maintain order and keep our people safe.

A DA-led government will prioritise the safety of our people and communities  by introducing an honest and professional police service, that is well-staffed and resourced. This is the kind of change the enable us to build One South Africa for All.

#MncwangoforPremier: Mncwango kicks off Premier Campaign

Tomorrow, 08 January 2019, DA KZN Premier Candidate Zwakele Mncwango kicks off his campaign trail for 2019 by officially opening the DA Provincial Contact Centre.

The Contact Centre staff is the party’s operations nerve centre for the election campaign. During the visit, the Premier Candidate will make calls to voters and interact with the Contact Centre staff.

The Premier Candidate will then proceed to Tin Town informal settlement where he will visit an elderly lady whose house has been broken into by drug dealers, despite a restraining order in place. Mncwango will be accompanied by councillor Marlaine Nair and Dianne Kohler Barnard.

The Premier Candidate will end his day with a public meeting in Mayville. He will be accompanied by councillor Warren Burne and Haniff Hoosen.

The DA is ready and waiting to unite South Africans behind a vision of change that builds One South for All.

Details of the event will be as follows:

 

Date: 08 January 2019

 

Event details: Call Centre opening

Venue: Intersite Avenue, Umgeni Business Park

Time: 11:00 -12:00

 

Event details: Granny visit

Venue: Tin Town Informal settlement, Grassmere Drive, Nagina Phase 2

Time: 14:00-15:00

 

Event details: Public meeting

Venue: Gracewood 50 Retirement Village, 30 Rose Avenue, Mayville

Time: 18:00-19:00

The people of eThekwini’s money doesn’t belong to the ANC

by Zwakele Mncwango – DA KZN Premier Candidate 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the eThekwini City Manager Sipho Nzuza requesting details regarding the reports that eThekwini is planning to splash out more than R20 million on ANC statues.According to the reports, the statues will be unveiled later in the year.

Whilst the DA acknowledges the important role played by former President Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo for our liberation and we believe they must be celebrated, this current project raises reds flags around the people’s money being spent on an ANC project.

This money, which belongs to the people of eThekwini and KZN, would be better spent on speeding up service delivery and opening fair access to real, long-term jobs, not an ANC vanity project ahead of elections they set to lose significant support in.

In our letter, we request Nzuza to outline which line item of the 2018/19 budget and what vote number was used to approve this expenditure. The failing ANC cannot do as it pleases with the people’s money.

The time for change is now, change that puts the people first. Only the DA can build One South Africa for All that stops corruption, speeds up the delivery of services and opens fair access to real, long-term jobs.

KZN 2018 Matric Results: Manufactured marks continue to fail thousands of learners

 

Dr Rishigen Viranna

by Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL

KZN 2018 Matric Results: Manufactured marks continue to fail thousands of  learners

The Democratic Alliance congratulates the province’s matric learners who have passed their National Senior Certificate Exams. In particular we congratulate those who have done so despite facing numerous challenges, including that of an often dysfunctional schooling system.

With a 3.3% increase in the province’s pass mark, taking the figure to 76.2%, many of KwaZulu-Natal’s matrics will be in a celebratory mood. However, the reality is that of the approximately 250 000 learners who began Grade 1 in 2007, only 157 000 wrote matric this year. The figure is even worse nationally, with almost half of the learners who enrolled in Grade 1 in 2007 not writing matric in 2018.

To add to this, KZN also recorded the highest number of progressed learners country-wide for 2018 with 35 534 learners – an increase of 7 881 over the previous year. This figure raises serious questions when it comes to the quality of education our province’s learners are receiving.

The DA regards these factors as an indictment against KZN Education MEC, Mthandeni Dlungwane and his Department. They have failed to deliver on their promises and raised the hopes of thousands of learners. If ever there was proof that the ANC only cares about Education as a pre-election tactic, then this must be it.

It is clear that our young people are being failed by an ANC-led education system – one that only cares about the matric pass rate while thousands of learners fall through the gaps on the way there.

Without a Grade 12 these young people have little hope for the future. They make up what is fast becoming a ‘missing generation’ – young people who are missing from society, missing out on opportunity and missing the chance to escape an ongoing, devastating cycle of poverty.

This speaks volumes about the state of education in our country. This is the true measure of what we are facing. The question is – what will become of them as the ANC continues to deny its responsibility for their futures?

Apart from the high drop-out rate, another very serious issue which must be addressed by the MEC and his Department is the modularisation of subjects in terms of the newly adopted Multiple Exam Opportunity (MEO).

Administratively the system also does appear to work with no results forthcoming from the June/July 2018 exams. If these learners aren’t finishing their exams, they are just being dropped from the system to inflate provincial pass rates. So, not only are learners dropping out or getting stuck before matric, we now have the potential to lose thousands of learners who don’t complete the MEO.

The DA is aware of some KZN schools are implementing this method simply to attain higher pass rates. We have also been informed that many parents and learners are also confused by the system as a result of a lack of consultation.

Within some schools, those so-called academically weak learners are simply being told that they will not be writing all their subjects while there are also reports of a shortage of resources to help them when they do try to prepare to write outstanding subjects at a later stage.

A DA-led education department in KZN would tackle the following urgent challenges head on by;

- Refusing to tolerate SADTU’s ongoing strangle-hold over education within our province which has allowed politics into classrooms to the severe detriment of learners
- Implementing youth skills from foundation phase level in order to produce good matric results. It is shocking that, according to PIRLS, 78% of Grade 4s in our country are functionally illiterate and
- Ensure proper teacher training in literacy & numeracy. The DBE’s annual report showed that it had not achieved 50% of its training targets with almost 25 000 teachers that should have been trained in numeracy and literacy not trained.

These are obvious interventions yet MEC Dlungwane and his Department do not seem to be fighting for the rights of our learners. In the DA-run Western Cape, we continue to keep learners in school and maintain the lowest dropout rate in the country. We will keep fighting for learners to have the best possible start to adult life, unlike the failing ANC which simply drops struggling learners to inflate their pass rate.

A good quality, timely matric qualification is essential for school leavers to further their education and training and secure jobs to put an end to the cycle of poverty.