Dispute to the detriment of children’s education

Anthony Benadie MPL

Spokesperson – Education

Today is a sad day in the lives of the learners of Trichardtfontein Combined School in Trichardt, Mpumalanga.  A dispute between the landowner on whose land the school is built, and the Department of Education has resulted in these learners not being allowed to attend school today.

Trichardtfontein Combined School is a farm school located on a piece of farmland in the Govan Mbeki Municipality.  It is alleged that the Department of Education has not paid the land owner for the rental of the school since 2012.  This unfortunate incident has now had a direct impact on the right to education of the learners who attend the school.

It cannot be right that the departments inability to effectively manage their finances and pay their dues, result in children having to pay the price when disputes between landowners and department officials lead to interference.

The Regulations under the Schools Act state unequivocally that the landowner may not limit access to the schools premises by a learner, teacher, parent or “a member of the public who has a reasonable interest in the activities of the school.”

The DA would like to call on the MEC for Education to attend to this matter with immediate effect so as to ensure that the children are not withheld from attending their school and gaining an education.