Minister Schäfer “Withholding report cards will not be tolerated”

Minister Debbie Schafer

Western Cape Government, Education

In the coming days, schools will begin to issue to learners their end of year report cards.

I am however aware that in previous years, the WCED has received a number of complaints from parents where the school has refused to release their child’s report cards due to non-payment of school fees.

This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Schools are not allowed to withhold learner results for any reason whatsoever.

Learners and their parents have every right to obtain their official results at the end of the school year.

While I understand and sympathise with many schools who battle to collect school fees from parents, especially when some parents can clearly afford them, discriminating against a learner for the financial decisions or position of a parent will not be tolerated.

I therefore appeal to all parents to report such a practice to their nearest district office should this be happening in their child’s school. I also urge all principals to release to learners’ reports cards on the date specified.

Should the Department receive any complaints of this nature we will investigate them and will take further action, as required.

I would however, like to appeal to parents to try and settle their outstanding fees, if they are in the position to do so.

They are reminded that schools can take legal action parents who owe fees and who do not qualify for exemption or partial exemption. School fees remain an important source of additional funds in public schools and the SGB have every right to take legal steps to recover those fees.

Parents can however, qualify for exemption if the school fees are more than 10% of the parents’ combined annual salary. 

A successful application for fee exemption ultimately means that the parent is exempted from paying school fees. In 2013, 105 124 learners claimed exemption from school fees. This resulted in the WCED paying out to schools over R44 million in fee compensation.

Therefore, there are processes in place to assist parents that genuinely cannot afford their school fees. We are also cognisant of the fact that some parents financial positions can change overnight.

Regardless of the parent’s financial position – our principals cannot discriminate against our learners.

Parents are requested to contact the District Office to lodge complaints.


Location Postal Address Telephone Fax
WCED Head Office Private Bag 9114, Cape Town, 8000 021 467 2000 021 467 2996
Metro Central Education District Private Bag X4, Athlone, 7760 021 514 6700 021 514 6953
Metro East Education District Private Bag X23, Kuilsriver, 7579 021 900 7000 021 903 9484
Metro North Education District Private Bag X45, Parow, 7500 021 938 3000 021 938 3180
Metro South Education District Private Bag X2, Mitchell’s Plain, 7785 021 370 2000 021 372 1856
Cape Winelands Education District Private Bag X3102, Worcester, 6849 023 347 6000 023 342 4138
Eden & Central Karoo Education District Private Bag X6510, George, 6530 044 803 8300 044 873 2253
Overberg Education District PO Box 588, Swellendam, 6740 028 214 7300 028 214 7400
West Coast Education District Private Bag X3026, Paarl, 7620 021 860 1200 021 860 1231