Section27 calls for end to #EndTreeSchools in Limpopo

Advocacy group Section27 is taking on the Limpopo department of education over the dire state of the infrastructure of a public school in Non Parella, in the Capricorn District.

Representing the governing body of Makangwane Secondary School, a no-fee school serving the surrounding rural community, Section27 will present its case in the Limpopo High Court on Tuesday.

In a press statement released on Monday, the organisation said the poor state of the school’s infrastructure came to a head in January, when the corrugated iron roof of one of the classrooms blew off nearly injuring learners.

Pupils were then moved out of classrooms to learn under trees. Section27’s application seeks to ensure that learners there are taught in facilities which are adequate and safe before the start of the new school term.

READ MORE: No relief for the Komape family


“It is irrefutable that in its current state, Makangwane School poses a severe risk to the safety of learners and teachers at the school and needs urgent intervention,” the statement reads.

In the heads of argument, advocates Chris McConnachie and Nikki Stein, counsel for the school’s governing body, contend that despite being aware of the condition of Makangwane’s infrastructure, the department failed to address the problem.

At the end of May, after the emergency application was launched, the department refuted claims it has neglected pupils at the school in an interview with the Sunday Times.The organisation is seeking an interim interdict requiring the department to implement short-term measures to aid learning.

These measures must include the delivery of at least five mobile classrooms, adequate school furniture to allow all pupils to have their own space to read and write and a catch-up plan to compensate for the gaps in the curriculum as a result of the disruptions in the first half of the year.

Section27 is seeking a further interdict directing the department to develop and begin implementing a plan to attend to the infrastructure problems at Makangwane, as well as an order directing the department to regularly report to the court.

Additionally, the organisation has accused the department of “unilaterally, and without following the mandatory consultative process prescribed by the Schools Act” merging Makangwane with the neighbouring Sephaoweng primary school.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the department’s spokesperson Sam Makondo said, “The school is a small school. It cannot exist on its own … Parents at the school do not want to be moved to a new school. They are denying that the school be closed even though we have provided an alternative.”

While the governing body of Makangwane does not necessarily oppose the merger, they are concerned the current approach to the merger “threatens to compound the rights violations” by presenting further risks to the rights of pupils at both schools.

Makondo did not respond to the Mail & Guardian’s questions, as the matter was already being heard in court.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Related stories

Water ‘wars’ wash over the world

Conflicts have doubled in the past decade, with 26% of these occurring on the African continent

Michael Komape’s family awarded R1.4m in damages by appeal court

Supreme Court of Appeal says the attitude of the education authorities “to be deprecated in the strongest possible terms”

‘We don’t want fanatics here’ — Malema

In his closing address at the EFF’s elective conference on Monday, the party’s leader took aim at delegates for ‘personalising’ their victories

Shoo-in Veronica Mente will be a ‘full-time’ EFF chair

The party’s new national chairperson takes over from Dali Mpofu, who had to recuse himself to allow him to juggle his schedule as an advocate

‘You can’t come into my house and question my security’ — Malema

After a scuffle between a member of the EFF’s security and delegates on Saturday, Malema warned members not to air security concerns in front of media

Malema asks delegates for forgiveness after pepper spray incident

A scuffle involving a member of the EFF’s security unit risked spoiling an otherwise smooth elective conference
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Fake trafficking news targets migrants

Exaggerated reports on social media of human trafficking syndicates snatching people in broad daylight legitimate xenophobia while deflecting from the real problems in society

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday