Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to give update on re-opening of schools at 6pm

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Johannesburg - Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga is briefing the nation tonight on her department's progress in preparing for the re-opening of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Motshekga was expected to address the country on Monday, but the briefing was cancelled. The minister has been under pressure to come up with a strategy of re-opening schooling to save the academic year and to ensure that learners and teachers will be safe from any possible infection from the coronavirus.

She had previously announced a draft plan which would have seen a phased approach to resuming learning. The plan encompassed seeing some department of education officials returning to workspaces from May 17 to help receive sanitary equipment and also personal protective equipment (PPE) for learners and teachers.

Following that teachers were expected to also return to work from the end of May to prepare for learners. The expected re-opening of schooling was expected to start from June 1. This would see only a few grades return, such as grade 7 and 12 learners. The other grades would be phased in overtime.

The big challenge facing the minister was pressure from unions, which include Sadtu, who have repeatedly stated that schools were not ready to re-open. They also opposed any form of talk about some of its members returning to work without the measures pertaining to sanitation and PPEs were sorted.

Motshekga had previously stressed that the dates proposed were drafts and that re-opening was subject to readiness.

Her address this evening follows consultations with unions, provincial governments MECs and heads of department.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit 

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