The Gauteng Department of Education has announced that the number of unplaced Grade 8 learners for the 2020 academic year in the province has been reduced to 619 as at Friday afternoon.

All qualifying Grade One applicants have been placed.

This is a significant reduction from the more than 9 000 applicants that were unplaced a week ago.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona thanked principals for cooperating by increasing capacity in their schools.

He says majority of the unplaced learners are from Alberton, Springs, Krugersdorp, Randfontein, in Tshwane its Pretoria North and Soshanguve.

He says: “We are confident that all these learners will be placed. We wish also to commend all our principals, more especially in the high pressure areas, who willingly assisted the department.”

Mabona also extended an apology to parents.

“We are actually indebted to parents, who patiently were waiting to be placed. We want to convey our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.”

“We are fast-tracking the process of provision of mobile classes and replenishing some of our resources in the schools, more especially the high pressure schools, just to make sure that they are in a position to accommodate all the learners that will be coming.”