With some 9,000 children still unplaced for the 2020 financial year, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is to tour various areas this week to address the school placement challenge.
The figure is down from 34,000 unplaced learners at the beginning of November.
Earlier this month, angry parents expressed frustration after they were sent texts informing them to go to the department’s offices, only to find the centres short-staffed and incapacitated.
Lesufi said Alberton and Centurion have been identified as problem areas, where most high demand schools have reached capacity.
“So, on 26 November I will go to Laerskool Uitsig, which is in Centurion, at 5am and I’m addressing all parents that have not placed their children. And then, on Wednesday, I’ll go to Hoerskool Marais Viljoen in Alberton.”
Lesufi said he would be frank during talks with parents.
“And that’s the attitude I am taking to those meetings so that parents can see that this is not a deliberate attempt to deny their children access to those schools. But it’s the capacity of the school have been reached and that we need to find alternatives together.”
Lesufi said parents who were dissatisfied with the schools assigned to them can lodge an appeal with the district and that will be processed in 14 to 21 days.
Lesufi meanwhile, accused AfriForum of creating a “smokescreen” to advance its own agenda, following its allegations of irregular expenditure by the GED.
Lesufi was reacting after AfriForum reportedly laid a criminal complaint against him for the irregular expenditure of R900 million.
He said the allegation was not about money being stolen, but rather because he was changing a school placement system that had favoured white children over their black counterparts for years.
“If they want to fight me, they are free to do so. They have been following me. They have been following my children and family. They have tried to attack me. They have tried assassinating me. They have tried to go through my bank accounts. I don’t mind you coming after me, but leave my children and family out of this,” Lesufi said.