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Alert: 29 November Equal Education #FixOurSchools day of national action

29 November 2017

Equal Education media alert: Equal Education #FixOurSchools day of national action


Wednesday 29 November 2017 is a day of national action for Equal Education (EE), to demand that national and provincial government demonstrate the efficacy and urgency necessary to #FixOurSchools.  Every new school built in South Africa is a victory, but it is still the case that many poor Black learners are in schools with infrastructure that hinders learning, that infringes upon the dignity of learners, and that poses an immediate danger to learners’ safety.


It is illegal for any public school to be without access to water, electricity or toilets, and to constructed of inappropriate materials such as mud, wood, zinc and asbestos. This is thanks to the Regulations for Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, which EE fought for to be promulgated on 29 November 2013.


Wednesday 29 November 2017 is the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the Norms and Standards. This day also marks one year since Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the nine education MECs failed to comply with these legally binding regulations.


EE members in Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Western Cape will be picketing, marching and holding a night vigil on this day of national action. Details of our actions in each province follow below. Use the hashtag #FixOurSchools.


Equal Education Limpopo


Five hundred members and supporters of Equal Education Limpopo will march to the Limpopo Department of Education (LDoE) in Polokwane.


We will be releasing our new report on the provision of water and of decent sanitation in Limpopo schools outside the LDoE. The report contains the findings of our visits to 18 schools in Ga-Mashashane.


Our findings, coupled with an analysis of the LDoE’s various infrastructure plans and publications, as well as the Auditor General’s evaluation of the Limpopo provincial government, reveal that the LDoE is in disarray. It is unable to effectively plan, implement, or maintain urgent water and sanitation projects.  

We demand the urgent provision of a clean and reliable water supply, and safe and dignified toilets, to the 18 schools in Ga-Mashashane. We also demand improved planning, implementation, and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure projects in all Limpopo schools.


Date: 29 November 2017

Time: 12pm

Location: March starts at the park nearby the SABC offices (corner of Excelsior Street and Market Street), then proceeds to LDoE (corner of Hans Van Rensburg Street and Excelsior Street) in Polokwane.


For media queries:

Luyolo Mazwembe (EE Head of National Organising) 073 475 7921

Nicola Soekoe (EE Researcher) 072 853 4232


Equal Education Gauteng


Equal Education Gauteng will picket at Kwadedangendlale Secondary in Soweto, in protest against the failure of the Gauteng Education Department (GDE) and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure (GDID) to fix infrastructure that poses an immediate threat to the safety of learners at this school. In October this year, a Grade 8 learner narrowly missed injury when part of the school’s roof collapsed.


Kwadedangendlale Secondary reported deteriorating infrastructure to the GDE in 2014. In 2015, engineers contracted by the GDID were sent to the school to assess the state of infrastructure, and a proposal was then made that on 31 January 2016 the infrastructure restoration process would begin. To date, construction has not started.

EE members and staff will picket to demand quality infrastructure, and to highlight the following:

  • Infrastructure at Kwadedangendlale Secondary (including a classroom wall) on the verge of collapse.
  • The GDID has failed as a school infrastructure implementing agent in its inability to monitor/oversee that construction work was implemented by contractors.
  • Failure on the part of the GDE in addressing the infrastructure crisis at the school.


Date: 29 November 2017

Time: 10am to 12pm

Location: Kwadedangendlale Secondary School, Bhedla Street, Zola, Soweto.


For media queries:

Kholwani Simelane (EE Gauteng Training and Organising Coordinator) 084 348 0112

Angela Bukenya (EE Researcher) 083 733 7032


Equal Education Eastern Cape


Equal Education Eastern Cape will hold a night vigil at Vukile Tshwete Secondary in Keiskammahoek (outside of King Williams Town). For the most part, Vukile Tshwete Secondary is nothing but precarious wood structures, and the school’s electricity supply is unreliable. The sanitation facilities are ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, and plain pit latrines – despite the latter being banned by the Norms and Standards. The state of the school is an indictment on the Eastern Cape Department of Education, and on school infrastructure implementing agent Coega Development Corporation.


Many public schools in the Eastern Cape are in crisis conditions. The province has the largest infrastructure backlog in the country. In November 2016, we visited 60 schools across seven districts in the Eastern Cape, investigating government’s compliance with the school infrastructure law. The findings were published in this report, which has photographs of Vukile Tshwete Secondary.


“Because I learn in a wood classroom I know how difficult it is and how bad it feels to learn like that. It is unfair that the Norms and Standards won’t help schools that are only partly built of wood before 29 November 2016. Even if it is only one block in a school that’s in a terrible condition and built of wood or mud or stuff like that, it’s not fair that government doesn’t fix it. A school is a school”.

– Vukile Tshwete Secondary learner


Date: 29 November 2017

Time: 4pm

Location: Vukile Tshwete Secondary School, Keiskammahoek.


For media queries:

Luzuko Sidimba (EE Head of Eastern Cape)

Masixole Booi (EE Deputy Head of Eastern Cape)

Amanda Rinquest (EE Deputy Head of Eastern Cape)


Equal Education Western Cape


Equal Education Western Cape members will be marching to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) Metro North District Office. Our members will be marching alongside other learners, and teachers, of Bardale Primary School and Bardale High School, and members of the Mfuleni Education Forum.

The learners of the Western Cape, in Mfuleni, in Strand, and in other communities, learn in container “classrooms”. Bardale Primary and Bardale High consist entirely of containers. While container classrooms, and prefab classrooms, are not banned by the Norms and Standards, they are temporary structures that are not in accordance with the spirit of the law. Our memorandum to the WCED will demand appropriate infrastructure for Bardale Primary and Bardale High, and all other schools in the Western Cape.

While all schools in the Western Cape already have some access to water, sanitation and electricity, there are still 142 schools built of inappropriate materials. Of these, 40 are either in planning or budgeted for replacement in the next three years. A further 31 will be slowly replaced over 10 years, far longer than the Norms and Standards allows, while 50 schools have no date set for their replacement. In addition, there are schools situated on private land that are being disregarded for replacement at any date.

Date: 29 November 2017

Time: 11am

Location: Assemble at Bardale Primary (Parliament Avenue, Mfuleni). March to Bardale High, and then to WCED Metro North District Office (Timmerman Street, Parow) to deliver memorandum.


For media queries:

Noncedo Madubedube (EE Head of Western Cape) 079 170 4656

Ntsiki Dlulani (EE Deputy Head of Western Cape) 073 469 8750

Lungelo Jonas (EE Junior Organiser: Mfuleni Area Head) 060 505 3488

Leanne Jansen-ThomasAlert: 29 November Equal Education #FixOurSchools day of national action