Parents from Mneketshe locality in Flagstaff are appealing to the Department of Transport to assist them with scholar transport.
The chairperson of the School Governing Body (SGB), Nkosiphendula Ndlebehagu, confirmed that their children are struggling as they have to cross the Mzintlava River when going to school. He said when it is raining the children stay at home because it is not safe to make the crossing.
“On normal days they are accompanied by their parents, who help them to cross. They are forced to leave home at 04:00 in order to reach school on time. When crossing this river they are forced to take off their uniform so it does not become wet,” said Ndlebehagu.
He added that they were promised that they would get scholar transport this year, but when they followed up in the district office they were told that there was still no feedback about their request. He said they were worried because the number of learners attending school is dropping as parents are taking their children out of the school.
“This year we are planning to open a satellite school at Dikidikini so that those who are doing Grade R to Grade 3 can use it. At least parents are relieved now that we have this initiative but still, those who are doing upper grades will still need government’s intervention.”
Spokesperson for Department of Transport, Unathi Binqose, confirmed that no-one would be forgotten when it comes to scholar transport this academic year.
“We are currently busy auditing the numbers, and those learners who are eligible for scholar transport. Remember some of those who were beneficiaries of scholar transport, have left our system,” said Binqose.
He said some learners had gone to tertiary institutions, some to other provinces and into the urban areas. Binqose added that they cannot run with the same numbers that they had last year.
“We have to audit them and see where we can make some changes.”