Minibus taxi strike keeps over 287 000 children home from school
Statement by Minister David Maynier, Minister of Education Western Cape
As a result of the SANTACO Western Cape minibus taxi strike, 287 420 learners have not been able to access their constitutional right to basic education today.
9 508 teachers and staff were also prevented from going about the crucial task of educating our children. The metro education districts were most affected by absenteeism, but challenges were experienced across the province.
Aside from minibus taxis not running, the violence and chaos we saw overnight has resulted in parents keeping children home out of fear for their safety, even if they do not normally travel on public transport.
Schools remain open, but Saturday’s #BackOnTrack classes have been cancelled. This means that the 14 000 learners offered extra classes to improve their learning outcomes will not be able to attend them because of the strike.
We want to make it clear that if we see any acts of intimidation of learners travelling to school, or of our contracted Learner Transport Scheme busses, we will not hesitate to approach the court for another interdict against the minibus taxi associations.
Our matrics are currently preparing for their trial exams, and our schools are working hard to get #BackOnTrack. We simply cannot afford this kind of disruption to teaching and learning.
Thursday afternoon proved particularly problematic for our schools, when the strike was announced with immediate effect, leaving some of our learners, teachers and staff stranded. Leaving children, especially our youngest learners, stranded is unforgiveable.
But even in the chaos and uncertainty of the sudden strike, our schools have once again benefitted from the kindness and responsiveness of our school communities.
- Mowbray residents rallied together to assist 11 learners from Thandokhulu High School who were stranded last night, by providing food and sleeping materials.
- Four learners from Silverlea Primary School and Garlandale High School, who live in Khayelitsha, could not make it home, so our WCED officials sprang into action to put them up in a guest house and arranged meals and toiletries for them.
- At Noluthando School for the Deaf, 16 learners could not travel home out of Khayelitsha, so the school arranged for them to spend the night at a teacher’s house.
- Wynberg Girls High School opened their hostel to learners and staff who could not make it home yesterday. 15 learners and 5 security guards spent the night safely in the hostel.
I have no doubt that we will hear more of these stories in the coming days, and I thank our schools, parents, staff and school communities for their support for our learners.
Spokesperson to Minister David Maynier
Western Cape Ministry of Education