Government taken to task over schools
Organisation Equal Education will‚ on Wednesday‚ ask the Bisho High Court to compel Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to fix flaws in her department’s rules for school infrastructure‚ which it says have let the government shirk its duties.
After a sustained campaign by Equal Education‚ the minister published legally binding norms and standards for school infrastructure in November 2013‚ which compelled the Department of Basic Education to ensure schools were safe and dignified places in which to learn.
But Equal Education says these obligations‚ detailed in regulations to the South African Schools Act‚ did not go far enough because they allowed the department to break the deadlines they set out.
"The wording of the norms and standards allows the department a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’‚" said the Equal Education Law Centre’s deputy director Daniel Linde. Regulation 4(5)(a) says the Department of Basic Education is only responsible for fixing schools to the extent that other parts of the state‚ such as public works‚ municipalities or Eskom‚ co-operate and make resources available.