A parent has criticised the policy of the after-school care programme of Milnerton Primary School in Cape Town as harsh, drastic, unfair and lacking ubuntu.

This after his 10-year-old daughter was banned for life from aftercare because her parents were late in picking her up on more than three occasions in a year.

The after school care programme at Milnerton Primary allows parents to be late three times per year. The 10-year-old’s parents admit they were late on six occasions, by a few minutes.

The father, Nathi Fokazi, says he’s concerned about the safety of his daughter who must now be at home alone as both parents are working.

He suggests a year’s ban would be punitive enough and could be acceptable. Fokazi says it’s unfair for the child to be punished for the transgressions of the parents.

“I wish the child could be reinstated to the aftercare facility. I heard from other parents that it has happened before and we’re not saying we are not at fault. What we are saying is for the school to reconsider their position because it’s not the child’s fault that she was picked up late and other aftercare facilities around here are very pricey and we cannot afford them, we rely on the aftercare that is provided by the school,” says Fokazi.

He says they are now being bombarded with calls from other nearby aftercare facilities offering their services but they charge at least three times more.

There won’t be any intervention from the Department of Education in the Western Cape. It says the school governing body regulates the after-care service.

“The Western Cape Education Department was informed that there was a letter sent to the parents that the learner would be disqualified from taking part in this aftercare facility because of transgressions in terms of the policy. The policy stated it clearly that if there are transgressions in terms of late coming three times, they will have to inform the parent that the learner can no longer attend and in this specific case it was six transgressions and it was decided by the SGB to stop the contract between the two,” says Department Spokesperson Bronagh Hammond.

The parents have approached the South African Human Rights Commission for assistance.