Everyone at schools to be vetted - SGB members included: Panyaza Lesufi

28 June 2018 - 15:03 By Penwell Dlamini
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says school governing body (SGB) members will now be vetted to ensure the safety of children at schools.

Lesufi made the announcement when he presented his department’s budget for the 2018/19 financial year.

"Our argument is that anyone that comes close to our children must be vetted. Whether you are a gardener‚ teacher‚ a member of the SGB‚ we need to be convinced that our children are not going to be harmed if they are close to you.

"We are now soliciting various state-owned databases such as the Equality Court...every judgment that is made there‚ we must have access (to it) to make sure that the person (found guilty) is not in our school system...‚" Lesufi told reporters after tabling his budget.

"We also want to ensure that even the service providers that come to our schools are not the ones listed in the databases that demonstrate racism or sexual assault. Our children need to be safe. It is costly‚ it is difficult‚ but we have to do it.”

Lesufi said last week he had negotiated an agreement with the unions for all new teachers to be vetted in the province. Vetting of new teachers in Gauteng will begin from July 1 this year.

In recent years Gauteng has seen a number of incidents of racism‚ sexual assault and violence‚ which Lesufi wants to address.