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Media Release

9 May, 2007

WCED investigates farm school route

Statement by Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape

Learners living on two farms near Piketberg may continue using transport provided by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) until the end of the term (29 June 2007).

The learners live on the farms Morawia and Broodkraal, and attend the Carl Shreve Primary School at Wittewater, near Piketberg.

The policy of the department is to provide transport for learners in poor communities who live more than 5 km from the nearest school, and where no public transport is available.

While applying the policy strictly, the department does make exceptions from time to time for special circumstances.

The farms, Morawia and Broodkraal, are situated 2.7 km and 3.9 km from the school respectively.

The WCED informed the school on 25 April 2007 that learners living on the farms did not qualify for transport because they live less than 5 km from the school. The parents have objected, saying that the route to the school is dangerous.

Parents say that learners have to cross a railway bridge if a low concrete bridge across a local river is flooded. The bridge has a footpath for pedestrians. They are also concerned about traffic on the road to the school.

Jannie Beukes, Director of Education in the West Coast Winelands District, said his office would investigate the parents' claims. If they found that learners are in any danger, they would ask the MEC's office to authorise transport.

Mr Beukes ruled on Monday, 7 May 2007, that the learners could continue using the transport until the end of the term, pending completion of the investigation and assessment.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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