E Cape to save R90-million by exorcising ghost pupils

The Eastern Cape education department will save R90.9-million after 101 000 ghost pupils were uncovered in a school audit, the Dispatch Online reported on Monday.

Department superintendent-general Modidima Mannya said the number could grow, with two of the province's five quintiles yet to be audited.

According to the audit, 2 020 158 pupils were enrolled in ordinary public schools, costing the state R900 a year per pupil.

Mannya said the audit was a breakthrough, with 83% of schools in the province not paying fees, which placed budgetary pressure on the department. He said the department had identified 128 schools to which funds would be reallocated next year.

The Sterkspruit district seemed to have the highest number of culprits, with 139 schools inflating pupil numbers. The Dutywa district was second with 91, followed by the Ngcobo district with 63, reported the Dispatch Online. -- Sapa

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