Equal Education celebrates delivery of buses
Durban - Equal Education celebrated a major victory in the fight for the right to education when the Department of Education delivered buses and taxis to schools in Nquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal on the first day of term two on Tuesday.
The organisation said the victory was the realisation of a Pietermaritzburg High Court consent order granted on November 7 last year in which the KZN Department of Education and the KZN Department of Transport undertook to provide transport for children to 12 Nquthu schools by April 1.
The application was launched by Equal Education (EE), represented by the Equal Education Law Centre.
“Our relentless campaign for pupil transport since 2014, and our legal challenge in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in November 2017, have succeeded in getting the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department to begin to finally deliver buses and taxis to schools in Nquthu this morning,” EE said.
“It is because of the determination of EE members that proper investigations into the extent of the need for government-subsidised pupil transport have been initiated.”
Luyolo Mazwembe, Equal Education’s Head of National Organising, who was in Nquthu yesterday to observe the arrival of the buses and taxis, said pupil transport was a component of the right to basic education.
“Buses and/or taxis should have been delivered to all 12 schools. We have so far confirmed the delivery of buses and taxis to five schools, and we will continue to confirm delivery throughout this week,” Mazwembe said.
“Our work is now to evaluate whether the transport provided is adequate to cater to the needs of all pupils within the 12 schools who are in need of transport.
“The right to a basic education is about more than just receiving an education. It’s also about being able to access a quality education in a safe way.
“EE’s campaign, and the litigation we undertook in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, is about realising this right. We are now working to ensure that there is proper implementation of the commitments.”
Mazwembe said KZN Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane had filed a report with the court on the status of the provincial government’s plans to address the pupil transport backlog throughout KZN.
“We are analysing the report with our attorneys at the Equal Education Law Centre, and anticipate filing a response in May 2018,” Mazwembe said
The Department of Education confirmed that it had handed over buses to 12 schools in Nquthu in terms of the court order.
The department added that 2933 pupils would benefit from the service and that services were obtained via a variation of contracts with current contracted service providers in the province.