On 31 October 2014, over 3,000 learners and parents marched on the provincial legislature to deliver a set of demands to the Western Cape MEC for Education. This march was the culmination of months of mobilisation around issues our members identified as most hindering education in their schools: poor sanitation, insecurity at and on the way to school, teacher shortages, discriminatory teenage pregnancy policies, and the illegal use of corporal punishment. While these actions resulted in a number of victories in specific schools, systemic issues remained.

In order to address this,  EE Western Cape launched a social audit. Working with partner organisations, EE audited 244 schools serving 217,388 learners between September and November 2015.

The audit process involved interviewing administrators, recording of physical observations at schools, and having learners complete questionnaires about their experience of education conditions.

Given the large size of the sample – 912 learner questionnaires, 220 administrator interviews, and 229 physical inspections – as well as the similarity between the sample’s demographics and the population of schools it is possible to make strong estimates as to the conditions of schools in the Western Cape.

With the report as a basis, EE members in the Western Cape identified 20 initial demands; requesting urgent feedback from the Western Cape Education Department, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, the Department of Basic Education, and the South African Police Services.