Today, in Cape Town and Pretoria, thousands of Equal Education (EE) members will march to demand that Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga publish quality Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure (Norms and Standards). Minister Motshekga has delayed the publication of school infrastructure regulations since she came into office. Over the last four years she has broken 20 promises that she made to learners and the South African public.
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.
Last year, following a two year campaign, EE initiated legal action against Minister Motshekga to force her to publish school infrastructure regulations. She offered to settle the matter out of court and publish Norms and Standards by 15 May 2013. She missed this deadline and is in breach of the settlement agreement. We have renewed our application in the Bhisho High Court on an urgent basis. The matter is set to be heard on 11 July.
According to the South African government’s 2011 National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) report, out of 24 793 public ordinary schools:
– 3 544 schools have no electricity
– 2 402 schools lack a water supply and 2 611 have an unreliable one
– 913 do not have ablution facilities and 11 450 are using pit latrine toilets
– Only 8% have stocked school libraries
– Only 5% have stocked laboratory facilities
– Only 10% of schools have stocked computer centres
A memorandum will be delivered at the marches. It reads: “We are marching on Youth Day for better schools. It is impossible to learn and to teach when there are 130 learners in a class. We have experienced this. It is impossible to learn and to teach when the roof may fall on your head. We have seen this. It is impossible to learn to love reading when there is no library with books. Most schools face this. It is impossible to concentrate when there is no water to drink all day at school. We have gone through this. It is impossible to respect school when our toilets don’t work and we feel undignified. For all these reasons we demand final and binding, quality and serious, Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure now! After 20 broken promises we can no longer rely on promises. We need action. Nothing less will do.”
Brad Brockman (EE General Secretary) on 072 267 8489
Doron Isaacs (EE Deputy General Secretary) on 082 850 2111
Kate Wilkinson (EE Media Officer) on 082 326 5353
Julie Campbell (Cape Town march organiser) on 076 173 1635
Nombulelo Nyathela (Pretoria march organiser) on 076 900 1029