Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer says the province is ready for the start of the new school year. She says about 450 grade one learners and over 2 000 grade 8 learners however still have no schools.
Schafer says they are working on the matter.
“The districts are working hard to ensure their placement as soon as possible. I appeal to parents to keep their phones handy so that they don’t miss a call from our officials. Parents who have not yet applied, they must please contact or visit the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) district offices in the area in which they reside.”
“So that they can be added to the placement list. The department is in a better position than last year and will continue to work hard to place all learners as soon as possible despite new applications coming in,” explains Schafer.
KZN to delay reopening
Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education says 11 schools at KwaNyavu under the Mkhambathini Local Municipality in the midlands will not open on Wednesday after educators received threats.
The department says it decided to delay the reopening of all 11 schools after some community members threatened teachers not to enter school premises.
It is said that the issue is in relation to an ongoing legal dispute over the local traditional leadership in the area.
The area also made headlines during the 2021 local government elections when the community blocked people from voting.
KZN education department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa says, “As we tried to prepare for the schools reopening for the 2022 academic year, there are certain members of the uMkhambathini community who have been threatening school principals not to open schools.”
“[When] principals tried to open [the schools] they receive random phone calls, anonymous phone calls threatening their lives. As a department, we have decided to delay school reopening for those 11 schools by at least one day. So come Thursday those schools will reopen as normal,” adds Mthethwa.
In the video below, Department of Basic Education announces a “staggered” calendar for school opening dates for 2022:
Weather conditions damaging infrastructure
Earlier, the inclement weather conditions also had a negative impact on school infrastructure.
KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu says in KwaZulu-Natal there are 90 schools that require mobile classrooms.
“We have been experiencing inclement weather conditions in the province and 186 schools were affected, 90 of them were severely affected and they will require mobile classes. But everything by next week will be ready including the provision of PPEs.”
Mshengu says the cutting of the department’s budget with more than R6 billion last year crippled its programmes. He says they need R1.3 billion to avoid the retrenchment of teachers.
“Indeed we still need R1,3 billion at least to be quite certain that we don’t go back again to possible retrenchments. As we start the new financial year 2022, if we don’t get that, we will be forced to enter into the debate of possible retrenchments.”
KwaZulu-Natal residents count their losses after a storm: