Gauteng education department postpones online admission dates

12 May 2019 - 13:25 By Nico Gous
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Simone Kley

The Gauteng education department on Sunday postponed the opening of online application admissions for grade 1 and grade 8 for the 2020 academic year from May 13 to May 20.

“This follows concerns raised in the past few days by the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS), Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU), a union, and other SGB Associations,” Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said in a statement following a media briefing on Sunday.

The new admissions period will be from May 20 to July 22.

The department claimed these stakeholders “pleaded” with provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to delay the online admissions because the provincial education department is implementing the amended admissions regulations and feeder zones for the first time.

“If people are going to put their language above the interest of our children, it will be unfortunate,” Lesufi said on Sunday.

“The battle we are facing, and the reason why people are interdicting us, they believe a certain language is under threat. And I’m assuring them, there is no language that is under threat, but there is no super language. All languages will be treated equally, but if people want to use language to exclude others, we’ll fight that battle.”

AfriForum and Solidarity Movement’s School Support Centre (SCC) said their legal representatives had sent an urgent letter to the department on May 6 about the failings of the online school registration platform.

AfriForum’s Carien Bloem said earlier this week both organisations were concerned about the manner in which the online school registration platform was set up.

They claimed that according to the department, the system made no provision for parents to choose which school their first choice for their children was.

The organisations said the school located geographically closest to the parents’ residential address was simply provided as the primary choice, irrespective of the school’s language medium of instruction, subject selection or even hostel options.