Mliswa urges government to allow Nssa to take over BEAM

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By Audience Mutema

GOVERNMENT should turn to the National Social Security (Nssa) to fund social safety nets such as the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), Independent Norton MP, Temba Mliswa has said.

Mliswa said this Tuesday while contributing to debate on the Education Amendment Bill.

“The issue I raise does touch on every Member of Parliament, especially the aspect of education being the right to every child. They (MPs) are inundated with the parents who come to us begging for help with payment of school fees because government has failed to honour its obligations through BEAM.

“So moving forward, can we then have Nssa (taking over) because it already has the money. We must take away Nssa administration from the Ministry of Public Service.

“There is no point in us embarking on programmes when we know that the government has no money, already we sit here in Parliament underfunded. We do not want to have a situation where kids are also underfunded and their future to be destroyed because of a clause in the Constitution which is not supported,” said Mliswa.

Mliswa said government must be alive to its constitutional obligations around the issue of provision of education.

“I am also talking about having to comply with the Constitution which provides that education shall be mandatory. However, that is not being done. We know very well that the government is overwhelmed by responsibility to a point where I indicated that even the Parliament is underfunded.

“Legislators sitting here are alive to the fact that there are many constitutional provisions which have not been adhered to and complied with,” said Mliswa.

BEAM is a government initiative aimed at providing assistance to poor and orphaned children with school fees payment. However, there has been a continuous failure to honour payments to schools by central government to school s that are now owed millions in unpaid fees.