Eastern Cape scrambles to deliver PPEs as two schools say they won't open on Monday

29 May 2020 - 11:35 By Ernest Mabuza
The Eastern Cape education department is pushing to provide protective personal equipment for schools before they reopen on Monday.
The Eastern Cape education department is pushing to provide protective personal equipment for schools before they reopen on Monday.
Image: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Two schools in the Eastern Cape have issued letters to parents advising them not to send their children to classes because the schools have not received personal protective equipment (PPE).

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga last week announced that pupils in grades 7 and 12 will return to school on June 1.

She said before schools open, all facilities would be sanitised and thoroughly disinfected and PPE, including masks, would be delivered.

However, it seems not all schools have been provided with these products.

On Thursday, West Bank Secondary School in King William's Town sent a letter to parents asking them to keep their children at home until further notice.

“The grade 7 and 12 learners will NOT return to school on Monday (1 June 2020) due to the non-delivery of learner PPE.

“The department's Covid-19 regulation is that schools that haven't received learner PPEs wouldn't be allowed to receive learners,” the school said.

Gelvan Park Primary  in Port Elizabeth also said its grade 7 pupils would not return to school due to the non-delivery of PPEs and the facilities not being sanitised or deep cleaned.

The Eastern Cape education department said it was in the process of delivering PPE.

“The department yesterday contracted a further 150 service providers, in addition to the initial 37, to help accelerate the delivery of PPEs in the province,” said department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

He said the full picture of the government's readiness to open schools next week will be outlined when MEC Fundile Gade holds a media briefing on Friday afternoon.


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