Proper vetting of vendors needed at Gauteng Schools

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is demanding the establishment of a proper vetting process for vendors in Gauteng schools to ensure that learners are sold safe, hygienic, and healthy food.

This follows an incident where eight learners from Emfundisweni Primary School in Alexandra, have been admitted to Edenvale Hospital after eating space cookies sold to them by a vendor stationed outside the school premises.

The DA condemns the non-vetting of vendors by School Governing Bodies (SGB) in the province.

We believe that it is the responsibility of the school to vet all the vendors trading outside their school premises to protect their learners from food poisoning and drug dealers.

The DA demands that the Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, urgently establish a functional vetting system. This is in line with the DA’s call to review schools’ safety strategy in the province. In addition, MEC Chiloane must initiate an urgent investigation into this matter.

Gauteng schools also need regular environmental and health inspections to assess the nutrition programmes.

The DA will conduct an oversight inspection at the school on Friday, 9 June 2023. We will engage the school management to establish the facts of this matter and the urgent interventions needed to protect learners.

Lack of readiness in some Gauteng schools will negatively impact learners

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has conducted oversight visits to check school readiness. A high number of learners were unable to start school today because the department has failed to place them on time. 


It is regrettable that the Gauteng Department of Education failed to place all learners who applied timeously before the new academic year started today.


During our oversight, we observed many parents queuing in search of space for learners. Equally, the DA has been inundated with calls and emails from parents desperately looking for space. 


The lack of completion of infrastructure projects compounds the problem. One example is Braamfischer Primary School, where the contractor left the site in October last year. As a result, learners are overcrowded, with more than 60 learners in a class. This school should have been completed in 2020 to accommodate more learners who are still without school.


The DA demands that MEC Matome Chiloane place all learners before the end of the week. Instead of teaching commencing today, many schools have been busy with admission.


The DA urges the MEC to prioritise placing all learners and allocating resources to overcrowded schools. Any further delays will only aggravate the education challenges in the province.


The learners and parents of Gauteng deserve a responsive and caring government to expedite the resolution in admissions and school readiness.


The DA will continue to monitor developments regarding interventions to place all learners. We will further visit schools to confirm whether the MEC kept his promise to deliver mobile classrooms to high enrolment demand schools to avoid classroom overcrowding.

GDE will not meet the demand to place all learners as DID is lagging in building new schools

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will not meet the demand to place all learners who applied for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2023 academic year.

This is because the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) is lagging in building new schools and maintaining the existing schools.

This means that with the high demand for enrolment in this province, many learners will not have access to quality education and a conducive learning environment due to the shortage of schools.

This will result in overcrowding in classrooms, some learners being taught under the tree or in the school hall, and many schools will adopt the rotational learning system to ensure that learning and teaching continue without further disruptions.

There have been unnecessary delays in the construction of the following new schools; Hillcrest Primary School, Mayibuye School Primary, Mogobeng Primary School, Nokuthula LSEN School, Nancifield Primary School, Braamfischerville Primary School, and Rustervaal Secondary School.

The contractors have been terminated, and the planning is underway for the appointment of new contractors to complete the projects.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) MEC, Tasneem Motara, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL). See replies here.

It is unacceptable that seven schools are still incomplete and will not be completed within the stipulated timelines. Delays in the completion of infrastructure projects will result in running over budget.

It is further disappointing that the only action taken by DID against these contractors that have failed to complete the construction of the schools is terminating their contracts.

Contractors who fail to complete the infrastructure projects should be blacklisted and not do business with the government.

The DA demands that both MEC Motara and Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, must fast-track the process of appointing the new contractors so that the construction of schools can be completed and be able to ease pressure on high demand schools. When the DA governs Gauteng in 2024, we will terminate the current agreement between DID and the GDE, to ensure that GDE is responsible for its infrastructure budget and building its own schools.

Lawley Secondary School learners suffer due to the continuous rotational learning system and overcrowded classrooms

The learners at Lawley Secondary School continue to be taught in overcrowded mobile classrooms and still on a rotational learning system, which is not a conducive environment for learners to access quality education.

Lawley Secondary School has a total number of 2200 learners and about 60 learners per classroom.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted an oversight inspection at the school, and we were disappointed to discover that learners are still attending on a rotational basis, losing much of their learning time.

This is unacceptable as the rotational learning system was ended, and all learners must be attending school on a full-time basis.

The school does not have running water and no proper ablution facilities. The chemical toilets are only serviced once every two weeks instead of being serviced every two to four days, which poses a health risk for both learners and teachers.

The school also has electricity challenges, and the furniture is broken.

See pictures here, here, here and here.

The DA demands answers from the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, regarding why this school is still on a rotational learning system. We demand to know when will his department deliver additional mobile classrooms to ease overcrowding in classrooms and to ensure that there are enough classrooms so that rotational learning can end as a matter of urgency.

We also demand that this school must be provided with additional much-needed resources to ensure that learning and teaching take place in a conducive environment.

The DA proposes that MEC Lesufi must conduct a forensic audit into the state of our mobile schools across the province. This will assist the department in prioritising the building of brick-and-mortar schools to ensure that schooling is not compromised due to a lack of adequate infrastructure.

We will not allow our children to suffer due to the department’s incompetency in failing to provide resources to the schools.

Over 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that over 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism have been opened by Gauteng schools since 2019.

This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mazibuko, the schools in Gauteng have opened 721 cases of theft, burglary, and vandalism.

Of these cases reported, the following arrests have been made since 2019;17 for theft, 45 for burglary and 5 for vandalism.

It is very worrying that there is a low arrest rate despite the high number of cases reported.

The DA believes that there are more cases than the 721 cases of theft, burglary and vandalism opened by Gauteng schools as these responses do not include cases opened during the lockdown period.

The fact that there is a low arrest rate clearly indicates an ineffective school safety strategy and that the SAPS are failing to prioritize schools as there is no investigation progress report for the cases opened.

It is concerning that the department continues to lose millions in theft and burglaries while not much is being done to safeguard assets. The department has failed dismally in preventing incidents of theft, vandalism, and burglary in our schools.

Untrained and unarmed school patrollers alone will not be able to safeguard our valuable assets. There is also a need for community members to take ownership of the schools.

We will recommend that the department explores the feasibility of employing permanent security guards to safeguard schools, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate.

The DA calls on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to liaise with the Gauteng Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela to ascertain why there is such a low arrest rate with regards to theft, burglary and vandalism at Gauteng schools.

Commission of Inquiry urgently needed to probe extent of sexual abuse in GP schools

The DA strongly condemns the disgusting behaviour displayed by the Reiger Park High School Principal after videos and photos went viral on social media of him allegedly having sex with learners in his office.

It is an absolute disgrace that a principal who is supposed to be a true leader, a guardian and a shield to protect these learners from abuse within and outside the school premises is engaged in this type of behaviour.

We welcome this sex-pest principal’s immediate resignation from his post. However, he must not go unpunished for stripping these learners of their innocence and needs to face the full might of the law.

This principal must be named and shamed for destroying the future and the dignity of our learners and should be be registered as a sexual offender.

He must also be banned from ever working with children again.

For far too long, the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura and the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi have ignored the DA’s call to establish a Commission of Inquiry to probe the extent of sexual abuse in Gauteng schools and to establish a toll-free line for learners to report sexual abuse in schools.

The DA made this call last year after more than 87 learners were allegedly sexually abused by patrollers in Soweto schools.

This problem is clearly far bigger than what we initially thought and requires greater intervention than the Premier’s task team.

There is no time line and no communication with regards to the findings of this task team and when its investigations will be completed.

Sexual abuse in Gauteng schools goes beyond allegations against the patrollers as it also involves principals and educators. The scourge of violence against our learners has infiltrated every level of our education system.

A Commission of Inquiry is the only way to deal with this pandemic.

The DA also condemns those who are circulating the videos and pictures of the principal having sex with these learners as it violates the rights of these children. Possession of child pornography, as well as distributing it, is a criminal offence and charges should be laid against those who are breaking this law.

Psychological counselling must be provided to the victims and their families.

The DA will continue to put pressure on both the Premier and MEC to ensure that the Commission of Inquiry and a sexual abuse toll-free line is established as a matter of urgency.

Our learners are the future leaders of this country and it is within their rights as guaranteed by the constitution to be protected against any sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child pornography.

Gauteng School ICT Strategy Has The Hallmarks Of Failed Gauteng Online Programme

ICT Strategy in Gauteng Schools

The DA is convinced that the tender specifications for the roll-out of the ICT strategy in Gauteng schools was not followed and is now having a negative impact on learners and teachers across the province.

The DA has visited a number of schools across Gauteng to assess the roll out of the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) ICT strategy.

It is apparent that this program has flaws similar to those experienced by the failed Gauteng online project. Some of the major issues that were noted were the lack of connectivity at sites, stolen ICT hardware, a lack of proper training and the incomplete renovations of classrooms.

Not all grade 12 and 11 learners have smart boards and tablets, despite claims by MEC Lesufi that all grade 12 and 11 township schools have smart classrooms.

The money invested into this project will be wasted if no there is no urgent intervention.

PAIA Application

Many schools which returned the tablets they were using last year are still waiting to receive them back to use in the 2017 academic year.

Equally it is disappointing that many grade 11 classrooms have removed their original chalk boards, without making provision for alternative teaching material. This has been on-going since August 2016.

The GDE refused a PAIA application by the DA to provide all the relevant tender documentation on this project, which the DA has challenged. The DA will ensure that the truth about this project is made public and if there are instances of corruption, action will be taken against those involved.




Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC

082 398 7375

[Image source]

DA Proposes Introduction Of Teacher’s Assistants In Gauteng Schools

Speech by: Khume Ramulifho MPL

“Introducing Teacher’s Assistants in Gauteng schools will benefit the province”

  • Teachers in Gauteng experience high workloads and levels of stress;
  • Introducing teacher’s assistants in schools will help to improve the quality of pass rates in township and rural schools;
  • This proposal seeks to provide support to teachers and in doing so promotes excellence in our schools;
  • Many teachers will support this proposal as it will reduce their work load. The education system will improve and we will receive better outcomes; and
  • The province will benefit as we will be able to produce highly skilled, innovative and talented personnel.

The full speech can be obtained here


Speech by: Glenda Steyn MPL

“Gauteng teachers are over worked and under paid”

  • Our teachers are probably amongst the hardest working members of our community and amongst the least appreciated;
  • A teacher’s assistant in the classroom will plug this gap as well as take some of the huge load off the teacher to enable greater attention be given to the pursuit of excellence in our classrooms.;
  • This proposal has multiple benefits: the teacher will have more time to prepare and present stimulating lessons; the learner will have someone by her side to assist and help surmount obstacles; the teacher’s assistant will get experience in the real world and real classroom;
  • Teacher’s Assistants could be drawn from multiple sectors; and
  • It is not the intention that the teacher’s assistant makes tea and cleans the board before every class. The intention is for this person to assist in the teaching and assessing process.

The full speech can be obtained here


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC

082 398 7375


Glenda Steyn MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on SCOPA

082 456 3252

[Image source]

Gauteng Fails To Register Special Needs Independent Schools

Amazing-K Independent School

The DA will submit written questions to Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, to ascertain exactly how many independent schools are not registered due to the department’s tardiness.

The Amazing-K Independent School in Northwold Ext 15, Johannesburg, has been operating since 2013 without being registered by the Gauteng Department of Education.

Following an oversight visit to the school today, Amazing-K has been trying to register as a school for the Autistic.

Three and a half years have passed and their plea to the department has fallen on deaf ears.

Amazing-K School has no Health Permit, Health Certificate and Occupancy Certificate.

Learners Access to Education

Further to this, Heron Academy in Mulbarton, which caters for learners with ADHD has also been battling to obtain formal registration.

The department should be fast tracking the process to register independent schools especially schools which cater for children with special needs.

Independent schools which relieves the pressure on the department should be assisted and swiftly to afford all learners access to education.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, should ensure that all schools operating are complying with department registration regulations.

MEC Lesufi has a responsibility towards learners with special needs in the province and should act swiftly to assist these schools.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

[Image source]

Lesufi Must Rid Gauteng Schools Of Sexual Offenders

Teacher-learner Sexual Relationships

Growing reports of sexual misconduct by teachers in Gauteng schools has parents fearing for the safety of their children in the classroom.

Despite the Gauteng Education department denying that there had been any cases reported of teacher-learner sexual relationships in the past two years, media reports this morning revealed that a teacher found guilty of breaching the code of conduct by having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old learner may soon be back in the classroom.

This does not bode well for parents having to leave their children to attend a school where a teacher was found guilty for sexual harassment.

Whilst the department claims that the teacher has been “rehabilitated” and will be closely monitored, children who are placed in this persons care may be susceptible to unwelcomed sexual advances that will negatively impact on learning.

Realogile High School

The DA urges Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to investigate all cases of sexual misconduct by teachers in schools and to take a firmer stance when teachers are found to be guilty.

Recently, the DA received messages from whistle blowers who reported sexual offences to schools and district offices but no action was taken to date.

At Realogile High School in Alexander, a parent has approached the district on several occasions but nothing has been done. It is alleged that the teacher involved belongs to SADTU and enjoys protection whilst continuing to victimize learners at the school.

Any information received by the DA from whistle blowers on sexual harassment in schools will be directly sent to the MEC’s office.

We encourage parents and learners to immediately report cases to the department or to the South African Police Services.

It is the duty of the MEC and his department to rid Gauteng schools of any sex pests in schools.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

[Image source]