News24

EC mud schools to sue state

2010-08-31 10:26

East London – Seven mud schools in the Eastern Cape are suing the government over their lack of infrastructure, the Dispatch Online reported on Tuesday.

The court application in the Eastern Cape High Court was driven by the Centre of Child Law, which focuses on the delivery of services to children.

Dispatch Online reported that the applicants want the court to declare the failure by the Eastern Cape provincial government and the national government to provide proper facilities unconstitutional.

The conditions at the schools were described in court documents as “appalling” and “among the worst” in the province.

Classrooms at six of the seven schools are built from mud, while the seventh has classrooms made of cinder blocks. They all face a shortage of water, desks and chairs.

The court documents say that the education department policy documents state that the conditions are unacceptable, but the provincial and national governments appeared to have no plans to change this.

The applicants quoted undertakings from former president Thabo Mbeki, former Eastern Cape premiers Nosimo Balindlela and Mbulelo Sogoni, and premier Noxolo Kiviet to eliminate mud schools. This had not happened.

Government had until September 15 to file papers of intent to oppose; otherwise the application will be heard in court on September 23.