Parents in Hammanskraal want answers as to why they were forced to make donations at fee-free schools. Picture: Rudzani Matshili
Pretoria - The first day of school in Hammans­kraal started off on a sour and aggressive note yesterday as parents and pupils sought answers as to why they were forced to make donations at fee-free schools.

Led by the Youth in Action Against Poverty and Unemployment movement, they were up in arms and stormed different schools to confront the principals, seeking answers.

According to some parents, pupils were allegedly not issued their final progress reports as they had not paid the donation. Some claimed that if the money was not paid, their children would not be given study material.

However, the schools clarified the allegations, saying it was not a donation but developmental fees to improve the schools, and that it was not compulsory. The parents expressed their displeasure saying it was sad that they had to dig deep into their pockets even though some of them were unemployed.

The programme started at 8am with the first stop at Makgetse Secondary School, where pupils are supposed to pay R350. Other schools visited included Kgetsi ya Tsie Middle School and Ratshepo High School.

The movement’s president, Lebo Morajane, said they had received calls from both parents and pupils enquiring about the donations they were asked to pay before their children were placed in class or even received learning materials.

He said it had been a burning issue since December.

“Some were denied their children’s progress reports because their children had either misplaced a textbook or hadn’t paid the donation.

“We visited some of the schools we received complaints on to get clarity on the matter, and we brought possible solutions that will not negatively affect the parents’ pockets or the students’ curriculum,” Morajane said.

“The schools said the money was not compulsory as they understood that some parents could not afford it, and in cases where they can’t pay they were required to let the school know.”

Pretoria News