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DA outraged Sterkstroom school demanding fee before learners can enter premises

Jan 18, 2019
DA outraged Sterkstroom school demanding fee before learners can enter premises

The Siyaphakama High School in Sterkstroom is demanding cash from learners, and their parents, before they can start the 2019 academic year, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape alleges.

"This is an outrageous abuse of their constitutional right to education.

"I’ve been informed that the Student Governing Body (SGB), principal, school administration and teachers are refusing learners, who cannot produce R200, access to the school," said Lindy Haggard, a DA Councillor in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality.

"This is a blatant contravention of the South Africans Schools Act.

"More than 40 learners, including matric pupils and their parents, were told that they could not start the 2019 school year if they did not bring the money."

Haggard said that it is not clear what this money will be used for, as some parents say they were told it’s for maintenance, while others say the money will be used to pay teachers appointed by the SGB.

'Some School Governing Board members at the Sterkstroom school don't even have kids there'

"Whilst some parents/guardians went to the school to try and make arrangements to pay at month end, the principal has refused entry to classes up until such time that the money is paid over.

"There also seems to be a problem with the uniforms supplied by the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development for needy children. Some of these uniforms have been withheld by the school since 2018," she described.

"Some of the SGB members do not have children at the school and have been on the board for over 10 years.

"The R200 is money supposedly owed for last year. Those that have not paid have also not received their 2018 reports and remain outside of the school grounds. A further R200 is illegally being claimed for 2019."

Haggard said that she has requested Edmund van Vuuren MPL, DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Education, to take this matter up with Mlungisi Mvoko, the Eastern Cape MEC for Education, and to request urgent intervention.

"MPL Van Vuuren has informed he has already made contact with the District Director in Sterkspruit, who has indicated that he will deal with the matter."

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