Today, in Johannesburg and Durban, the Southern African Youth Inter-Council Action Network (SAY-I-CAN) marched in solidarity with Equal Education (EE) for Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure (Norms and Standards). Tomorrow, Monday 17 June, EE will hold marches in Cape Town and Pretoria calling on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to fulfil her constitutional and statutory obligations and publish quality school infrastructure regulations.
In Johannesburg 500 young people marched from Newtown Park across the Nelson Mandela Bridge to Constitutional Hill. In Durban 200 young people marched from King Dinizulu Park to the BAT Centre. “We are here today to commemorate the 176 people that died in the 1976 protests. We, the youth today, are fighting for quality school infrastructure, and although it is a different fight it is a fight nonetheless,” explained Siyabonga Sangweni-Synn, a Durban Youth Council steering committee member.
SAY-I-CAN is an umbrella organisation that links Junior Councils from around South Africa and Zimbabwe. The organisation is comprised of democratically elected Grade 11 learners. They have joined EE’s campaign for school infrastructure regulations which will ensure safe and well-resourced schools for all learners.
SAY-I-CAN’s has an online petition, hosted by AVAAZ, calling on Minister Motshekga to immediately publish quality Norms and Standards. The petition states that they “refuse to accept the basic school infrastructure shortage in South African which has left 46% of schools using pit-latrines, 93% without libraries, 90% without computer centres and 95% without science labs.”
Tomorrow thousands of learners will march in Cape Town and Pretoria for Norms and Standards. In Cape Town marchers will assembly in Keizersgracht Street at 12h00 before proceeding to Parliament. In Pretoria marchers will assembly outside City Hall on Paul Kruger Street at 11h00 before proceeding to the Department of Basic Education.
For more information contact:
Tom Ditchfield (Mayor of the Johannesburg Junior Council) on 073 902 6473
Sam Muskar (SAY-I-CAN Chairperson) on 076 176 6340
Siyabonga Sangweni-Synn (Durban Youth Council Steering Committee Member) on 078 694 7266
Kate Wilkinson (EE Media Officer) on 082 326 5353