More than R30m paid for Cape school fees

Western Cape

Cape Town - More than R30 million has been paid out to Western Cape schools struggling with the costs of fee exemptions, education MEC Donald Grant said on Monday.

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Cape Town - 121016 - Donald Grant announced the closure of schools by the Western Cape Education Department at the Provincial Legislature. REPORTER: ILSE FREDERICKS. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER

“While there have always been parents in our schools who qualify for fee exemption, we cannot ignore the fact that we are living in tough economic times... (and) many more parents simply cannot afford to pay their school fees, thus affecting school income materially,” Grant said in a statement.

Grant said 650 Western Cape schools applied for fee compensation in 2012.

Last week the provincial department deposited R30 147 988 into the schools' accounts.

“It is the state that determines the basis for fee exemptions, and it is questionable to expect other parents to subsidise those that qualify for exemptions without some assistance from the state,” he said.

“It is also unrealistic to expect schools to fund themselves at a significant level if there is no compensation for legally determined fee exemptions.”

Parents qualify for exemption if school fees are more than 10 percent of the parents' combined annual salary, and can apply for partial exemption if the fees are between two and 10 percent of their salaries. - Sapa

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