Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to announce Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit

Home | Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to announce Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit

On Monday, 22 April 2013, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba will host a press conference at his Chambers in Cape Town. He will announce the ‘Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit’ aimed at raising awareness about the school infrastructure crisis and the need for quality Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. The Archbishop, with support from Equal Education (EE), has invited eminent South Africans to visit some of the Eastern Cape’s most desperate schools. The delegates and the names of the schools will be announced at the press conference.

DATE: 22 April 2013

TIME: 15h00

VENUE: 20 Bishopscourt Drive, Bishopscourt, Cape Town

Eastern Cape Schools Solidarity Visit

The Solidarity Visit will take place between 23 and 26 April 2013 in the Mthatha region, Libode Mega District, Coffee Bay and Mqanduli in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape has some of the worst school infrastructure in South Africa.

Out of the 5,676 public ordinary schools in the Eastern Cape:

  • 1,152 schools have no electricity and 116 have an unreliable electricity connection,
  • 1,096 schools have no water supply and 322 have an unreliable water supply,
  • 551 schools have no ablution facilities and 3,160 schools use pit latrines,
  • 5,508 schools (97%) do not have a functioning library and 5,465 schools (96%) do not have functioning computer centres,
  • 395 schools are made out of mud. [SOURCE]

After a two year campaign EE succeeded in getting Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to publish binding Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. These regulations, due to be published on 15 May 2013, will set a minimum school infrastructure standard that all schools will have to meet. If schools don’t meet the standards, communities will be able to hold government accountable.

Archbishop Makgoba has described the importance of the visit: “During the Solidarity Visit the delegation will visit rural and urban Eastern Cape schools. We will visit the most deprived, desperate schools, as well as newly-built schools of which we and the government are justifiably proud. We will see the exceptionally difficult conditions facing students who study in schools with poor infrastructure. We will engage with students, parents and teachers… We hope that this tour will, in a small way, help broaden public awareness of the importance of quality and equal education for every child in our country.”


Eight delegates will accompany Archbishop Makgoba on the Solidarity Visit. They include eminent activists, academics, authors and political analysts. They will witness first-hand the extent of the Eastern Cape’s school infrastructure crisis. They have joined the Solidarity Visit to add their support to the call for equal education and quality Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.

To arrange to accompany the Solidarity Visit please contact Kate Wilkinson on 082 326 5353.

For more information please contact

Yoliswa Dwane (EE Chairperson) on 072 342 7747/ 021 387 0022

Brad Brockman (EE General Secretary): 072 267 8489

Julian Kesler (Solidarity Visit Organiser): 082 908 6949

Kate Wilkinson (EE Media Officer):  082 326 5353/