11 August 2017

South Africa: Gauteng Legislature Mediates On Emangweni Primary School Conflict

press release

On Thursday, 10th August 2017 the Honourable Deputy Chairperson of Committees Mike Madlala and Chairperson of the Education Portfolio Committee convened a meeting with the Gauteng Department of Education; management of Emangweni Primary School; and the community surrounding the school.

The meeting is part of Gauteng Legislature's intervention efforts in the ongoing conflict between the school and community.

The Gauteng Legislature, through the Education Portfolio Committee resolved to intervene and mediate the dispute, that negatively impacts the process of learning and teaching at Emangweni Primary School, which is situated in Tembisa.

The dispute is between the school's management and the community around the school, as a result of churches being denied access to the school's facility. The churches in the area previously utilised the school's infrastructure for their weekly services, but have since been denied access due to alleged non-payment of 'rental' fees.

During yesterday's discussions, it was resolved that the mediation process should proceed with the principal, School governing body (SGB) Chairperson, as well as community members (inclusive of the churches affected).

A formal agreement should be reached where a reasonable and fair amount is charged for the utilisation of school premises by any other external structures including churches and political organisations.

The churches were encouraged to take responsibility for cleaning the school on a rotational basis and monitoring the use of school furniture to minimise damage. As part of monitoring this process, the SGB was requested to convene quarterly meetings with all the school's 'tenants'.

In exercising its oversight role on the department, the Education Portfolio Committee has committed to visiting the school for monitoring and assessment purposes on a regular basis. The department will also carry out its mandate and report back to the Committee on the functionality, maintenance, fundraising and spending projects of the school.

Issued by: Gauteng Provincial Legislature

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