DA to visit 'mud schools'

The Democratic Alliance will inspect one of the seven ‘mud schools” in the Eastern Cape that have launched legal action against the state to provide them with adequate resources, the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

DA education spokesperson Wilmot James said he would visit Nomandla Senior Primary in Mabhalen this Friday.

The seven schools, all in the OR Tambo district, are suing the Eastern Cape education department, the national government and the OR Tambo district municipality to provide them with proper resources. The schools want the state’s failure to provide adequate school facilities to be declared unconstitutional.

According to the court papers the schools filed in August, six of the schools have classrooms built from mud and one has classrooms made from cinder blocks.
They all say their facilities are unusable and massively overcrowded.

Their affidavit also claims that pupils at all seven schools rely on tanks to catch rain water but often have to walk long distances to collect water during the dry winter months.

The Mail & Guardian reported last week that the attorney representing the schools, Cameron McConnachie, had received notification that both the department of basic education and the Eastern Cape department of education had indicated they would oppose the court action.

James’s statement on Wednesday added that he would visit “every province to expose under-resourced schools to find out how wasteful expenditure, corruption and poor management are ruining our education system”.

“The campaign aims to use all instruments the DA can muster as an opposition party to improve the quality of our education by exposing bad practises and putting forward working alternatives, especially those that are being incorporated in the province where we govern, the Western Cape,” James said.

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