Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier says the province’s public and no-fee schools paid a total of over R36 million in bank charges last year.
That figure averages out at nearly R23 572 per school.
“This average obscures a number of significant outliers: 40 of our schools have reported paying over R100 000 per year in bank charges, with the top 10 highest bank charges alone totalling over R1.5 million in 2021,” said Maynier.
Alarmingly, one no-fee school reported paying over R100 000 a year in bank charges, with a further eight no-fee schools paying more than R50 000.
“While account holders must pay for services rendered, we would like to ensure that school funds are primarily spent on learners’ education, especially where our no-fee schools are concerned,” explained Maynier.
The department has since written to the ten fee-charging and nine no-fee schools with the highest charges for their input regarding the expense to brainstorm a way forward on how they can reduce the charges.
“We have also reached out to senior managers of some of the major banks on an informal basis to discuss the situation.
“I appreciate their willingness to examine the issue to find ways to reduce the costs. I will formally engage with the major banks for their assistance once all of our data is collated,” Maynier promised.
*This is a developing story
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney