By Khume Ramulifho MPL DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education:
The DA notes Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s intention to consult stakeholders regarding the future of the failed merger between Megatong and Sediba-Thuto primary schools on Monday 11 May in Soweto.
However, it is regrettable that the MEC chose to only invite local ANC branch members and excluded the rest of the community from participating in this crucial meeting.
This clearly undermines transparency and good governance practices, as communities will only support government initiatives after comprehensive consultation.
In 2008, former education MEC Barbara Creecy merged the two schools, but despite the department’s efforts, the practicality of the merger proved difficult.
The DA raised concerns with former MEC Creecy about the merger – which subsequently led to an investigation task team to look into the matter.
As a consequence, stakeholders have to be engaged again.
This merger will continue to remain contentious unless proper consultations are held, and the DA urges MEC Lesufi to ensure that all the stakeholders, including the community, parents, opposition parties and interested groups are invited on Monday.
Education is crucial to creating opportunities for a better life, and the MEC’s refusal to listen to the needs of all members of communities will cripple our democratic ideals.