Parents suspend legal action over Uitzig High School closure

2017-03-17 17:30
(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department and the governing body of Uitzig High School came to an agreement on Friday to suspend legal action in relation to the school's closure, the department said in a statement.

The legal action was brought by the school's governing body to stop the department from removing pupils and teachers from the school after the department declared it unsafe.

The action will be suspended until formal processes required to close the school have been completed, the department said.

The department said it had no choice because vandals were carrying it away "brick by brick".

It had requested parents to find alternative schools for their children as the school would be closed.

In the statement, the department said the agreement with the governing body did not prevent it from continuing with formal procedures to close the school, in line with the SA Schools Act.

School 'generally deplorable'

However, the provincial education MEC requested that the governing body make submissions on why the school should not be closed.

The department said it would not seek to move learners or teachers to nearby schools while this process is underway.

In February the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) visited the school and said it was in a "generally deplorable" condition.

"[We] found inadequate facilities. The building is severely vandalised and only three teachers are available," SAHRC education commissioner Andre Gaum said.

In an open letter, the Congress of SA Trade Unions' provincial chairperson Tony Ehrenreich said the department was deliberately allowing the school to fall into disrepair to justify its closure.

"If they were concerned, they would have fixed the school and put in place proper security to guard the school," he said.

The matriculants there had worked hard to achieve a 75% pass rate, he said.

He also said he previously paid for the repair work on the school's plumbing.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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