Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

25 March, 2011

Expanding access to quality education

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

At the beginning of last year the WCED approached a number of our schools to determine how best to expand access at successful schools.

It was then decided that the most cost-effective and immediate solution was to build additional classrooms at various schools in the Cape Town metropole. However, the schools selected had to have had consistently achieved good academic results, as well as, have a high learner admission rate and demand each school year.

Feedback from our principals and governing bodies on the initial plan was positive, and the WCED then chose 19 schools to participate in the first phase roll-out of the ‘classroom expansion plan’.

The main objective of the classroom expansion plan is to ensure that learners from a diversity of backgrounds, most especially from disadvantaged communities, are given an increased opportunity to gain entry into some of our province’s successful schools, therefore, expanding access to quality education by expanding the necessary infrastructure at each school.

To date, 5 of the 19 classroom expansion projects have been completed, 6 are currently under construction, 3 are in tender stage and the remaining 5 in the final stages of design and planning.

Classrooms at the following schools have been completed:

  • Labiance Primary School in Bellville - 7 classrooms
  • Robinvale High School in Atlantis - 6 classrooms
  • Groote Schuur High School in Newlands - 6 classrooms
  • Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology in Tokai - 5 classrooms
  • Zwaanswyk High School in Bergvliet - 2 classrooms

Once the first project is completed, there will be an additional 112 classrooms, benefiting 3 900 learners across 19 successful city schools.

Funding has been made available to each school to build themselves the additional classrooms, and the Department is closely monitoring and auditing this process.

Groote Schuur High School is one of 19 schools involved in the plan and, together with the school, the Department sought out to build six new classrooms, two new toilet facilities and a new administration block.

The school is phasing in the learners, so that come 2013, each grade will have an additional class.

This year, the school expanded access to learners enrolling in Grade 8 and Grade 10, increasing enrolment numbers by 69 learners. Next year the school will again enroll additional learners in Grade 8 and 10, and then in 2013, in Grade 8. The total increase in number of learners at the school will be around 170.

The classroom expansion plan is an excellent example of a partnership between the department and our schools to fulfill our mutual objectives of providing a safe and secure learning environment for all our learners.

It will also offset some of the need to build new schools and, most importantly, expand access to quality education, thus ensuring that more children are given the opportunity to excel academically.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

Visit our website:

return to: WCED Home page | Media Releases Index page
© 2011 WCED