A Gauteng parent hoping to appeal her child's placement was left disappointed on Monday morning after she claimed no staff were present to help her at the Ekurhuleni district office she visited, a week before the commencement of the 2020 academic year."A lot of us were told to come back on January 6 but when we got there at 08:00, the gates were closed," frustrated parent Portia Mollo told News24 on Monday.When Mollo enquired with the security officers at the office, she said she was told that there were no employees from the provincial Department of Education in the building."They told us no one was here from admissions. When they got the director on the phone, he said they were only coming back on the 15th," she added.The 2020 school year is due to commence on January 15.The Gauteng Department of Education indicated it would officially begin operating on Monday in preparation for the opening of schools."As the department, we would like to inform parents that the MEC is currently finalising all admissions appeals and responses will reach them by January 14, 2020," spokesperson Steve Mabona said in a statement on Monday.The department, however, announced late registrations for grades 1 and 8 admissions would officially open on January 15, 2020, and close on January 24."It is important to note that only schools with available spaces will be availed on the system during the late registration period. Applicants should also note that they will be provisionally placed at the schools that they have applied to," Mabona explained.'Appeal outcome is final'The department added parent should take note that at this stage, once placement is confirmed - pending the required documents - no objections and appeals would be entertained as there were only limited spaces."We are working tirelessly to finalise the outstanding appeals and responses to all those who appealed and wish to assure all parents that all learners will be placed accordingly. Parents must note that the outcome of the appeal is final."The parents who submitted appeals to other government offices other than the office of the MEC for Gauteng education will not be responded to as the appeals process is clearly articulated in the regulations. It must be reiterated that, only schools with available space will appear on the admissions application system," Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.When News24 contacted Mabona for clarity on Mollo's claim, he referred News24 to the official statement released on Monday.