17 July 2019
Equal Education media statement: Equal Education applauds focus on early grade reading in the Basic Education 2019/20 budget vote, but is disturbed by Minister Motshekga’s shameless disregard of the school
Yesterday, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga delivered her 2019/20 budget vote speech
in Parliament. Equal Education (EE) applauds Motshekga for paying due consideration to the
importance of improving early grade learning – but we are alarmed that she continues to feign
ignorance of the Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure and has given herself
another three years to eradicate plain pit latrines.
Motshekga has already failed to comply with the legally binding three-year deadline. When she
promulgated the Norms and Standards in 2013, she legislated the deadline (November 2016) by
which plain pit latrines ought to have been eradicated. How many three-year extensions does
Motshekga need to eradicate toilets that threaten the health and safety of learners? And if
Motshekga keeps shifting the goal posts for the first Norms and Standards deadline, how long will it
take her to abide by the legally binding 2030 deadline – by which date schools must have access to
secure fencing, sufficient classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and sports fields?
While Motshekga waxes lyrical about preparing for the fourth industrial revolution through the
roll-out of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), we are concerned about the
tradeoffs in a context where basic education funding is not keeping up with inflation, and where
there are other urgent and competing priorities.
[To read the full media statement click on the image of the PDF below]
To arrange an interview with an Equal Education researcher regarding this statement, please
Head of Communications Leanne Jansen-Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org 079 4949 411
Communications Officer Jay-Dee Cyster email@example.com 082 924 1352