Financial strains may mean some pupils won't find schools in 2018 - Gauteng MEC

Pretoria - The Gauteng Department of Education is under immense financial pressure, which may play a role in students not being placed in a school for 2018.

At a media briefing at the Nokuthula LSEN school in Johannesburg on Sunday, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said, with only 2 017 public schools in Gauteng - of which 402 were already at maximum capacity - 63 456 applicants still needed to be placed before the 2018 school year begins.

This has been exacerbated by the fact that 35 865 applicants have not submitted documents to the schools, as well as the department's financial strain, as Treasury did not increase the budget for the 2018 school year.

"We have received an instruction that we are not going to get a new budget from Treasury, which simply means that there is no new money that is coming," said Lesufi.

"We have to absorb all new children with no new money. The pressure is unthinkable."

READ: Online school admissions system is ready - Gauteng MEC

Lesufi said that as more and more students were coming to Gauteng for their schooling, and because of the financial restraints, there would not be enough teachers and text books to meet the demand.

"It's inevitable that, at the beginning of the year, there might be a learner that says: 'I don't have a text book.' There might be a school that might say: 'The ceiling is falling, we have not fixed it.' There might be a learner sitting on a tin of paraffin instead of a desk.

"I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt that, in January, parents are going to toyi toyi outside my office because they are looking for spaces. We have not closed because we don't want to take them, we have closed because we don't have money to accommodate extra learners."

'We wish all our learners strength'

He said that while his hands were tied, the department would try and place all students where there were spaces, but if the spaces were exceeded, there would be nothing the department could do.

Out of a total of 285 834 students that need to be placed in school, 222 378 (77%) of all applicants had been placed. This figure is a sum total of 123 450 for Grade 1 and 98 928 for Grade 8 learners.

Lesufi said the department was opening new schools every month, but that the demand was huge and just couldn't be matched.

READ: More than 25 000 successful school applications in an hour - Lesufi

Lesufi said applications, which took place online, had closed on October 20, but that the system would open for late applications again between November 1 and November 10.

"No new applications will be processed in January 2018, as schools are full."

He said that because of the strain, budget cuts had to be made, such as the withdrawal of tablets for students.

Now only matric students would receive tablets. He added that they would have to go on credit to feed the children and provide them with transport.

With the 2017 National Senior Certificate Examinations beginning on Monday, Lesufi said he was confident that they would be conducted successfully.

"We wish all our learners strength and success during this stressful period and appeal to everyone to provide the necessary support."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4125 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5000 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.93
-1.8%
Rand - Pound
19.45
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.37
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.70
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,643.66
0.0%
Silver
18.87
0.0%
Palladium
2,073.00
0.0%
Platinum
858.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
-3.1%
All Share
63,417
-2.9%
Resource 10
56,319
-7.5%
Industrial 25
78,436
-1.2%
Financial 15
14,142
-1.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE