Northern Areas school shutdown: DA questions MEC’s lack of action


The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay has again lashed out embattled Education MEC Mandla Makupula, for “providing lip service” instead of taking action regarding the closure of schools in the city’s troubled Northern Areas.

Most education institutions have been in lockdown since Monday after disgruntled parents prevented their children from attending classes, in protest against the provincial Department of Education’s reported failure to address teacher shortages and classroom overcrowding.

In a statement, DA MPL Edmund van Vuuren said Makupula had been playing politics with the appointment of teachers, and that the department was now paying the price for not taking the matter seriously.

“We are aware that the MEC has availed 1 665 posts to all 23 districts within the province. Unfortunately, we do not know how many posts have been allocated to the Port Elizabeth district and how many of those posts have been earmarked for school in the Northern Areas,” van Vuuren said in reference to the announcement made on Tuesday.

“This department must create opportunities. It is only fair that our schools in the Northern Areas should be allocated enough teachers so that there is a teacher in each and every available classroom”.

He also stated that the party would be submitting a series of proposals to Makupala on ways to end the shortage so that classes could return to normal.