Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has filed a notice to oppose a court bid concerning minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.
This was confirmed on Wednesday by the lobby group Equal Education (EE), which is seeking an order to force Motshekga to promulgate the standards.
It claimed in a statement she was supposed to have done so by March 11. Standards included access to electricity and water, ablution facilities, functional libraries and computer centres.
EE is also asking for an order to provide emergency relief for two schools, Mwezeni Senior Primary School and Mkanzini Junior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape.
“These schools do not have adequate infrastructure and have to hold classes in mud classrooms or corrugated iron shacks,” it said.
“At present, schools are not required by law to have access to water, electricity, sanitation, proper classrooms, laboratories and computer centres. Almost 3600 schools do not have electricity.”
The organisation said more than 600 schools in KwaZulu-Natal did not have toilets. Overall 92 percent of schools did not have a functioning library. In the Eastern Cape there were still 395 mud schools.
“If Minister Motshekga prescribed minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure, communities would be able to hold the government accountable for substandard schools,” said EE.
Education department spokeswoman Hope Mokgatlhe confirmed papers were filed on Tuesday. She said Motshekga would provide reasons for her opposition later.
“Our lawyers have advised the minister not to comment until the matter is heard in court,” said Mokgatlhe. - Sapa