In 2004, former president Thabo Mbeki made a promise to eradicate all mud schools in the Eastern Cape, saying that “by the end of , we shall ensure that there is no learner learning under a tree, [or in a] mud school.” But almost a decade later, such a promise is yet to be fulfilled. A team of Rhodes Journalism School TV students set out to investigate the reasons behind the delay in the eradication process, and whether Motshekga’s latest promise of 2015 will not merely be another broken commitment.
The investigation takes place primarily in two districts of the Transkei, namely Dutywa and Libode. These two districts have been effected differently by the eradication process, with Libode being more prioritised than Dutywa. As the investigation uncovers various reasons for the delay in progress, such as road works, contractors, material shortages and mismanagement of funds, the department of education is attempting to fast-track the eradication process through a programme known as the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI).
Report by Tassyn Munro, Jack Kaminski & Kirsten Allnutt, School of Journalism and Media Studies , Rhodes University