'SHOCKED': Western Cape ANC chairman Marius Fransman said he had donated books to black schools in the province. Picture: THE TIMES

The education crisis in parts of SA has been turned into a political football, with the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape yesterday claiming that some schools in the province had not received textbooks halfway through the year.

The claims come as the national government is battling to get to the bottom of the Limpopo textbook crisis, which has dominated headlines in recent weeks.

The latest saga has shades of the toilet crisis in Cape Town's Makhaza township and in Ficksburg in the Free State last year when the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA) traded accusations of providing uncovered toilets to communities.

Earlier this week, President Jacob Zuma appointed a task team to look into causes of the delays in delivering textbooks in Limpopo and to make recommendations.

This was the third task team after Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga also ordered a probe to be led by former Gauteng education MEC Mary Metcalfe.

Limpopo province has set up its own team to look into the crisis.

Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman said yesterday he was "shocked" to find out that many pupils in the province were yet to receive textbooks.

Mr Fransman said he had led a delegation to donate textbooks to the "disadvantaged learners in poor black schools" together with the South African Democratic Teachers Union.

"The DA is today again stripped naked and debunked as a hypocritical double standard party. It hosts protest marches in Limpopo and other provinces for cheap political point scoring, shouts foul to the high heavens about shortages of school books in those provinces, (yet) in its own backyard, it is also at (fault)," Mr Fransman said.

Earlier this week, the DA marched to the offices of the Limpopo education department in protest against the late delivery of school textbooks. This was after the department had scrambled to deliver the books to the affected schools by last Wednesday's deadline.

In May, the Gauteng North High Court ordered the department to provide Limpopo schools with textbooks by June 15, saying its failure to deliver violated the constitution.

Lobby group Section 27, which had brought the court application, met the department after the first deadline had expired, and it was agreed to move it to June 27.

However, indications are that the department had failed to meet last week's deadline.

The Western Cape education department said yesterday the ANC's claim that some schools in the province had not received textbooks was "a political ploy to divert the attention of the media and the public away from the ANC's failure to deliver textbooks in Limpopo".

"These claims are completely false. The four schools visited by the ANC have received textbooks in the order of more than R1,2m," said the department's spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey.

"The fact is that these schools have reported to the department that they do have the required textbooks," Ms Casey said.

phakathib@bdfm.co.za