While thousands of MyCiTi bus drivers set aside their duties to strike on Tuesday, thousands of matric learners, who rely on public transport, were preparing to make their way to their first NSC examination.
Unfortunately, some pupils were left stranded. Bloubergrant High School principal Malcolm Pedro said two learners arrived late for their exam and needed to be accommodated.
“What helped us is that we planned for two sessions for the exams even though we only have 26 learners. We’re speaking to the rector as to what the protocol is to follow if there is a transport strike. We need to put something in place if there are real issues with transport. We don’t want to add to their stress,” said Pedro.
Table View High School also reported a late arrival for the exam on Tuesday and although South Peninsula High school reported no latecomers, acting school principal Zeid Baker expressed concerns over transport strikes during the upcoming exams.
Baker said there were nine public transport buses assisting learners at the school, so the possibility of a strike was always a concern.
“It’s a critical period for our children, it’s their future.
“Why must we arrest our kids’ future. We have had one or two situations with strikes earlier this year that affected pupils. There are communities that have legitimate reasons for protesting but organisers should also see the bigger picture.”
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer and Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said they were concerned about the ongoing reports of Metrorail train delays and how it would affect matric candidates.
“We have discussed these concerns and appeal to all public transport operators to assist us in ensuring that candidates get to their exam centres on time,” the MECs said in a joint statement.