The DA is asking Parliament how EduSolutions came to be awarded a R200-million contract to deliver tablets, laptops and e-learning materials to Gauteng schools.

The company, which was implicated in the 2012 Limpopo textbook crisis has won a lucrative Gauteng e-learning contact, and DA shadow deputy minister of basic education Desiree van der Walt says this should raise loud alarm bells.

The DA will ask Parliamentary what penalties are in place to ensure that EduSolutions will deliver on time, as per the contract; and also that the record of decision in the granting of the contract to EduSolutions be made public.

“In 2012, under Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, the department failed to deliver thousands of textbooks to schools in Limpopo which directly encroached on the rights to basic education of thousands of children in the province,” Van der Walt says. “This incident and subsequent investigations found that there were vast disparities in textbook delivery between provinces and the department was taken to court to force them to deliver the desperately needed textbooks.

“EduSolutions also have close ties with President Zuma and the ANC. Serious questions were raised in 2012 about these links and seem to point to the company’s political connections having a big influence on it receiving a number of state contracts,” she adds. “It was reported that African Access Holdings, the holding company of EduSolutions, was a key donor to President Zuma’s RDP Education Trust and that EduSolutions founder, Shaun Battlemann, had links to President Zuma through this education trust.”

Van der Walt says that the use of technology in schools will enhance opportunities for our young people and play an important role in getting children ready for the working world. “The Department has a responsibility to ensure that the contracts to supply this technology are fulfilled, especially considering that the company which won the contract has a history of non-delivery and political links to the ANC.”