The civil rights organization AfriForum will on 20 November 2019 announce details of a comprehensive campaign aimed at applying pressure on Gauteng’s Premier, David Makhura, to dismiss the province’s MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi. This follows after AfriForum had been flooded with requests from parents who had enough of the MEC’s mismanagement of the current school placement process, as well as many other examples of misconduct.
According to a statement released by the Gauteng Department of Education today regarding the still-unresolved school placement crisis in Gauteng, Lesufi announced that high-volume schools will make room for more learners by acquiring mobile classrooms, and that empty township schools will be filled by adding Afrikaans as language of instruction. These measures neither provide meaningful, lasting solutions to the problems, nor does the MEC accept responsibility for the failure of the online system.
“The MEC believes that schools should merge to create full English-medium schools. However, the matter is not that simple and this will not solve the problem of too few schools in Gauteng in time,” says Carien Bloem, Manager of Education at AfriForum.
“The online application system and school placements are but one of many issues that will be addressed by AfriForum’s campaign,” Bloem added.
Additional complaints include:
- Lesufi’s refusal to take action against the ongoing interference of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) at public schools;
- His repeated disdainful statements about Afrikaans and Afrikaans as a language of tuition;
- His racist statements that polarize communities in the country; as well as
- Misappropriation and corruption allegedly taking place in the Education Department.
Further details of the campaign will be announced tomorrow. Several of AfriForum’s divisions are ready to undertake legal action against Lesufi. Furthermore, the organization is also creating opportunities for the public, especially the parents of children affected by the disastrous placement process, to participate in the campaign that demands his dismissal.
“It is a disgrace that the Premier still allows Lesufi to hold office, despite the damage he has already inflicted on the education system of Gauteng. He is regularly lauded from Government’s side for Gauteng’s excellent matric results. In truth, however, the results can be ascribed to the dedication of outstanding education staff, children and parents in the province, who are performing in spite of his continual ideological interference. The schools, parents and children of Gauteng deserve better,” says Bloem.