A group of community activists and parents gathered at a primary school in Eersterust to raise their objections to various issues, including the online application system, which they said had failed them.
With a memorandum in hand, Pastor William Japhta of the Eersterust Stakeholder Forum said local children deserved preference over children from the outside the community.
“I’m not being racist, but I feel that charity starts at home and it cannot be that children from Mamelodi and surrounding townships get placement over children from this community.
“I don’t have a problem with outsiders, as long as we make sure that the locals are catered for first,” he said.
There were two police vehicles parked at Fred Magardie Primary School (previously known as PSFourie Primary) watching over the group, which presented a memorandum to school management.
Among other points in the memorandum was a disagreement with the online system which, it was said, had inconvenienced some children from Eersterust.
Japhta said that forcing children to take transport to school put them at risk, and the closer they lived to their schools the better. Some parents said they were disadvantaged by the online application system as they did not have computers or internet connections and some did not understand how the online registration system worked.
Sean Erasmus said there were children living with grandparents who did not understand computers and there was no services centres in the area to help them.
Teneal Ismail was frustrated when her daughter Jeantonique, 6, arrived at school, only to find she did not have a class to go to. Fighting back tears, the child clung to her mother’s hand, not understanding why she was being excluded.
Eventually her mother was told to return today to see if she could be accommodated. An estimated 150 children from Eersterust were still to be placed in schools on Wednesday.