Panyaza Lesufi says every child will have a school

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi moved to reassure parents.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi moved to reassure parents.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

About 34,000 schoolkids in Gauteng have not yet been placed in their schools of choice, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday.

However, he has assured parents that no child would be without a school for the 2020 year.

“Despite the mishap, we are quite convinced that the matter is under control. We have the spaces, and we are going to negotiate with parents to place pupils at alternative schools. All this will be concluded by the end of November,” he said.

Lesufi said the department had received more than 280,000 legitimate applications since May this year.

He was addressing the media after thousands of parents flocked to district offices over the weekend upon receiving messages saying parents should report to their district office to receive assistance on the placements. The department has since apologised for the messages, which Lesufi said were sent prematurely.

On Monday, hundreds of parents still queued at the district office for help.

Among them was Kgothatso Mosiua, who said she had applied in May and submitted all the required documentation, but had no luck with placement for her daughter for next year.

“I am not sure what is going to happen. I am frustrated because I applied on time and submitted all the required information, but I am told to wait for next week,” she said.

She shared how she had to skip work to make unplanned visits to the department.

“It is frustrating because she [her daughter] is already at the school. [I] have already bought uniforms and school fees all paid up, but there's just so much uncertainty,” she added.

Lesufi said applications were approved using a criteria which included a home address close to the school, whether the applicant had siblings in the school, parents' having a work address within the school's feeder zone and people within a 30km radius.

He urged parents with placement issues to lodge appeals with the department.

“Any person who is not happy, you have the right to lodge an appeal which is available on our website,” he said.

While hundreds of parents experienced issues and called for the online system to be scrapped, Lesufi said there has been no problems with the system.

“We do not have a problem of a system, we have a problem of preference ... Our schools can still accommodate all the learners who applied,” he said.


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