AfriForum welcomes the consideration by Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, to abolish the suspension of all extramural school activities, including programmes for non-contact sport. This follows after the civil rights organisation on 22 September sent a letter of demand in this regard to the Department and requested the Minister to abolish the unjustified suspension.
Motshekga said in reaction to AfriForum’s letter the Department proposes that non-contact sport and other activities must proceed provided that everyone involved complies with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The announcement still however needs to be published in the Government Gazette.
AfriForum’s letter of demand follows after the circulation of a memorandum by Cedric Ranchor, the Director of School Sports and Extramural Coordination of the Gauteng Department of Education, to schools in the province regarding the suspension of all sporting disciplines. The Department furthermore in June published regulations regarding the suspension of all extramural school activities, but it has not yet been reviewed, despite the fact that the country is currently on level 1 of the lockdown.
Ronald Peters, AfriForum’s Manager of Sport, says the overall well-being of the youth was not taken into consideration at all during the original decision. “There was no legal, rational and justifiable reason why the suspension of all school activities still had to be applicable. Sport and other extramural activities play an integral part in the overall well-being and development of children.”
“Even though we cannot underestimate the earnestness of the COVID-19 pandemic, research has proven that the virus contains minimal risk for children. The effect on the well-being of children as a result of the suspension of sport and extramural activities could however cause physiological damage and our letter to the Department was aimed at them also taking these factors into consideration,” concludes Peters.