Johannesburg - Parents who failed to complete their applications for the 2024 online admissions for entry into grades 1 and 8 will have to take what they can get.
Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane, during a briefing at Hoerskool Menlopark on the placement process for 2024, said the department had received a total of 270 000 successful applications for the upcoming academic year.
Applicants with complete applications will start receiving offers of placement on September 4.
Chiloane said there were also 35 000 incomplete applications by parents that still needed to be attended to; however, his department would only attend to these after they had placed the successful applications.
"They (the parents) have lost the privilege of choosing a school because the applications were incomplete."
He explained that a separate process would be initiated after the placement of the initial 270 000 applications, whereby the department would reach out to parents with incomplete applications in order to complete their applications and offer them space only where it would be available.
The MEC also touched on the appeals process for applications, which he said was only open to successful applications within seven days of receipt of a placement offer.
While the decision of an appeal is final once it is signed off by the education MEC, Chiloane assured parents that the process remained objective and advised them not to assume that an offer could not be challenged.
"Parents must be assured that the appeals process is quite credible, and it's a process they can undertake if they are not happy with the offers they would have received. The rest, be they incomplete or late applications, have no right to appeal; the space that they are offered is the space that is there."
Appeals will be processed within 14 to 21 days of receipt.
"We know perhaps you wanted certain schools, especially those in high-pressure areas, but they are full. But we're not irrational; we look for immediate schools within the area, as we know that a parent's decision to apply for space in a particular area is informed by socio-economic factors such as work or living in the area, and we are considerate of those factors."
Chiloane did highlight that the department was forging ahead with efforts to speed up the completion of incomplete schools, sourcing more than 2 600 mobile classrooms, and awaiting Treasury approval to approve more funds to continue with the self-build project.
Through the self-build project, 1 176 classrooms over three years have been built at a cost of R 587 million, equalling roughly 39 schools at a fraction of the cost of building a school from scratch, something that normally costs R80 million.