MPs back shut down of schools
Cape Town - The portfolio committee on basic education has backed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to shut down schools for a month.
This follows calls by various sectors that the Covid-19 outbreak is set to reach its peak soon.
Chairperson of the committee Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said on Friday the Cabinet and Ramaphosa had made the right decision.
She said parents must put the health of children first.
She said there have been consultations with various stakeholders on the matter.
“I am aware that the Minister of Basic Education and her team have been consulting with stakeholders in the sector. Furthermore, consultations also took place outside the sector as dealing with the pandemic requires a multi-sectoral approach,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.
Ramaphosa said on Thursday schools would shut down from July 29 until August 24. But Grade 12 would return back to school on August 3.
There has been an increase in Covid-cases in the past few weeks with Gauteng now the epicentre. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize also warned that the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had a large number of new infections.
Mbinqo-Gigaba said the minister of basic education had listened to the stakeholders on the issue of schools.
“The Department has clearly listened to all the stakeholders and experts. It is clear the Cabinet and the government have acted on expert advice to ensure safety of all. Government has heard the call of all concerned citizens. In doing so, the lives and health of the citizens have outweighed any other consideration at this time,” said Ms Mbinqo-Gigaba.