DA demands transport for children who walk for hours to get an education

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This morning, DA leaders walked to school with learners from Ukuthula Secondary in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Each morning these learners must walk 10 kilometres just in the hope of getting an education.
For too long the provincial government in KZN has promised to provide safe and reliable scholar transport but continue to abandon the learners of Ukuthula Secondary and more than 42 000 other learners in the province.
This will be the first of many walks the DA will go on to highlight how these learners are continuously let down, by KZN MEC of Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane, and ultimately by the national Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshegka, who cannot ensure our learners have transport to school.
What is of serious concern is that the KZN Department of Basic Education has the funds to ensure that fewer children are subjected to these long walks that compromise their education.
As of the fourth quarter of the 2016/17 financial year, the department failed to spend a massive 60% of their budget for the current plans in place, which only accounts for half of the learners who need transport. This failure is simply offensive.
We cannot expect our children to perform to the best of their ability when they have to worry about getting safely to school and they are exhausted before even starting their day. Many children also miss school because they do not have transport.
The KZN education department is continuously failing the children of the province by not spending what they have been allocated but more than that, they have also failed to apply for funding so that the 42 000 children not planned for, can get access to transport to school.
A reply to a DA Parliamentary question shows that KZN, along with other provinces, has not applied for additional funding to cover a combined shortfall of R640 million for school transport nationally, which would allow for all children, having to walk more than 10kms to school, to be covered.
Many children risk life and limb daily just to learn and the ruling ANC government is content to turn a blind eye to their struggles.
The DA is firmly committed to ensuring learners across the country receive scholar transport so that they are able to focus solely on learning and developing themselves so that they can have a better future.