Dear 'white' schools‚ stop deliberately keeping apartheid alive

A Sunday Times reader‚ inspired by Ashwin Willemse‚ writes an open letter about nonsensical school application policies

25 May 2018 - 07:01
By Times Select
File photo.
Image: 123RF/paylessimages File photo.

Dear White Schools‚

A lot of people in this country will tell you that life in South Africa has changed for the better. The country has transformed since 1994 and there’s a new generation of so-called born-frees who will grow up in a completely democratic and colour-blind Republic of South Africa.

As the parent of a six-year-old in Grade R‚ I believe such transformation is lacking in our education system. Since applying for Grade R in 2017 and Grade 1 in 2018 I have been exposed to a system of what I call “indirect discrimination with racist undertones”. This form of discrimination is enforced by school governing body admissions policies‚ which are empowered by the South African Schools Act.

It doesn’t matter what job you have‚ it doesn’t matter how much money you earn‚ it doesn’t matter how academically qualified you are as a parent‚ or how much you would like to prioritise the quality of your children’s education. All that matters is where you live.

Reading the admissions policy of any school‚ how can there be grounds to push this “indirect racism”? According to the Western Cape Education Department‚ as long as the school’s governing body admissions policies are in terms of the South African Schools Act‚ all is in order.