Eastern Cape govt forced to upgrade schools
Johannesburg - After being taken to court, the Eastern Cape education department has agreed to spend R8.2bn by 2014 to upgrade "mud schools", the Dispatch Online reported on Tuesday.
This followed an out-of-court settlement with seven schools in the Eastern Cape, who launched a civil suit against the department in August.
Schools in the province, made of mud or cinderblocks, faced a constant shortage of furniture and water, with many pupils having to walk far to collect water. The state of these schools further deteriorated after a storm hit the province in May 2009.
The Centre for Child Law and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) helped back the high court application. The settlement was reached on Friday.
The upgrade drive would begin in April.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday apologised for the "ongoing education crisis" in the province.
This year, subsidised transport for pupils had been suspended, as had the schools nutrition programme, and thousands of pupils were without teachers.
Last month, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union's Eastern Cape secretary Fezeka Loliwe described education in the province as being "on the brink of collapse unless the powers that be take drastic measures to save the situation".