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Schools support staff starving as Government fails to pay school fees for OVCs

Wednesday, 14th October, 2020

MBABANE: Support staff workers in schools are starving and some have lost their jobs as Government delays paying school fees for Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC).

Support staff in the various schools include cooks, secretaries, grounds men and security guards employed as support staff have gone for six months without salaries. 

Lady-Howard Mabuza, the Minister of Education and Training, when reached for comments on the matter said she doesn't know what to do now about this matter before referring this publication to the Deputy Prime Minister\'s Office.

Speaking to this Swaziland News , Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers ( SNAT) expressed his concerns about the matter. 

"It is very painful for one to work and never get paid at the end of the month. We have been calling for the incorporation of these workers to be Government employees, but it all fell on deaf ears.  Head teachers have tried to keep these workers at work with the hope that Government will pay the fees for OVCs, but nothing has come from the Deputy Prime Minister's office,” said the  SNAT President. 

Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku who Ministry is responsible for the payment of OVCs had not responded to our questions at the time of compiling this report.

Reached for comment by this publication, Welcome Mhlanga, the President of the Eswatini Principal's Association  (EPA) said Government's delay disturbs operations in schools. 

 “We merely survive from fees paid by parents. We have retrenched some of the support staff workers because schools are broke.It is very hard for administrators to run schools as parents are also reluctant to pay. Government has been delaying the payments even before COVID-19. The Government pays E1900 per learner in high school, which is way too little because learning materials are now too expensive” said the EPA President.

Schools support staff starving as Government fails to pay school fees for OVCs
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku