Human Rights Commission mulls legal action over non-delivery of textbooks‚ learning materials in Limpopo

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Human Rights Commission mulls legal action over non-delivery of textbooks‚ learning materials in Limpopo

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\n TMG Digital | 2017-01-20 11:21:59.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. File photo.\n \n \n \n \n
Image by: Vathiswa Ruselo. © Sowetan/Sunday World\n \n \n \n

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\n The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) wants the minister of basic education “to provide a formal undertaking that all textbooks have been delivered by January 26”.\n

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It said in a statement that it is also “considering legal action” against the Department of Basic Education (DBE) after noting with “concern the non-delivery of textbooks and learning materials in Limpopo Province”.

“The SAHRC regards the noncompliance by the DBE‚ and the consequent non-delivery of textbooks‚ in a very serious light‚” said advocate Andre Gaum.

“The commission would like to emphasise the gravity of the impact of non-delivery on the learners and on the broader community of Limpopo Province.” It wants the Limpopo department “to deliver all outstanding textbooks to all affected schools by January 23”.

The commission statement noted a 2012 high court order “that all prescribed textbooks and learning materials be delivered timeously”‚ adding that the “failure to have delivered prescribed textbooks and learning materials before the commencement of teaching‚ was a violation of learners’ rights to basic education‚ equality and dignity”.

The basic education minister and the Limpopo MEC appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ which upheld the high court order‚ and held that: “The law is clear…The DBE is obliged to provide a textbook to every learner to ensure compliance with s 29(1)(a) of the Constitution. We must guard against those who are most vulnerable. In this case we are dealing with the rural poor and with children. They are deserving of constitutional protection.” Cosatu has threatened a “total shutdown” of Limpopo if the province doesn’t get its education department in working order.

The union’s provincial leaders have demanded an apology from Premier Stanley Mathabatha and education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe for the late delivery of teaching materials and malaise in the department.

“We expect the premier and the MEC to apologise as a matter of urgency‚” said Cosatu provincial Limpopo secretary Gerald Mkhomazi Twala.

Twala said the union would march to Mathabatha and Kgetjepe’s offices on January 26 to hand over a memorandum detailing their expectations for a “quick turnaround strategy” for the ailing department.

“We are saying‚ ‘enough is enough’. We think we must rise up and send a clear message to the department‚” he said.

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