South Africa: Rural Community in KZN Wins 20-Year Battle for School


Case goes to the heart of the fundamental rights of access to basic education guaranteed by the Constitution, says judge.

They have been fighting a battle for 20 years, but now there is an end in sight for a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal who have obtained a supervisory court order forcing education authorities to finally build them a secondary school, and to upgrade all other schools in the area.

There has been a long history of broken promises to the people living in the Nkungumathe area, in the district of Nkandla. The community applied for the establishment of a secondary school in 1996, 2002 and again in 2007. But it wasn't until 2010 that the then MEC finally listened and plans were put in place for the construction of the Khuba secondary school, a stone's throw away from the primary school in the area.

The community's elation was short-lived. Nothing happened on the ground and then, in 2017, the decision was reversed. The community, under the auspices of the Mpungose Traditional council and the Nkungumathe community organisation, headed to the Pietermaritzburg High Court where their complaints were aired before Judge Rashid Vahed in a matter which...

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