17 June 2020
“The Department of Education needs to close all schools in the townships because they are not ready and we can’t keep closing schools every time there is a Covid case,” said Nophelele Mqikela, South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) secretary from Lower Crossroads, Cape Town.
The statement comes after the organisation closed Vukani Primary on Wednesday.
Thembisa Maseti, a parent, said, “We care about education, but we are not ready to lose our kids. We are also concerned about the teachers because we will still want them after Covid-19 [pandemic], but if the department keeps taking risks with their lives then we are having a big problem.”
“When we watch TV our minister always assures viewers that the department is more than ready and the schools that we saw on TV are indeed ready. This is unlike our schools in townships,” said Maseti.
According to a teacher who asked not to be named, on Monday staff learned that a teacher had tested positive and two more teachers were sent home because they had been in contact and had symptoms.
SANCO member Xoliswa Mxaku said, “We won’t be apologetic for protecting our kids.”
Western Cape education spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the prevention of teaching and learning is illegal. She said the school is open and an area was cordoned off for cleaning. The full closure of the school was unnecessary and cleaning would be done to areas where the person who tested positive had been.