Schools' 48-hour deadline
About 1 000 Gauteng schools were this week given 48 hours to order their textbooks for next year or forfeit the money allocated to them for the purchases .
High and primary schools were told at a meeting on Monday to place orders with EduSolutions by today.
Gauteng department of education spokesman Charles Phahlane said it was cheaper for books to be ordered in bulk through EduSolutions than for schools to order from publishers individually.
He admitted that the schools were given "a short time in which to order the extra books".
"The department does not want a situation in which schools are without books when they open in 2013."
In an audit, the department found that 631 primary schools and 378 secondary schools had not ordered enough textbooks for next year .
Phahlane said some of the schools did not have sufficient funds allocated to them for books for the new curriculum for Grades 4 to 6 and Grade 11.
The department stepped in this week to provide extra funds to ensure that schools had sufficient books. But some of them were given order forms without catalogues from which to choose books.
EduSolutions said it intends to start delivering on November 16.
The company, whose CEO, Shaun Battlemann, makes donations to President Jacob Zuma's education fund, was at the centre of the Limpopo textbooks scandal.
The company's contract was cancelled by the national government in April, citing "breach of the law". However, the company still has contracts to distribute education material in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
EduSolutions said yesterday that it was capable of capturing orders and distributing textbooks.
It said that its 99% on-time delivery track record in Gauteng over the past three years was "testament to this fact".
Zuma has denied links to the company, saying many people made donations to his trust fund.