THE Gauteng Department of Education has offered the cash-strapped National School of the Arts a R5 million bailout.
In recent months, the National School of the Arts has had to stop all its performances due to COVID-19 lockdown and non-payment of school fees by parents.
The school’s management announced last week that the institution may face closure as 40% of parents were not able to pay for their children’s fees for the 2020 academic year.
The school also said it has approached some of its alumni for assistance in raising the R5 million needed to cover its operations and debt.
Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department would not allow the art school to close.
“The department allocates funding to such schools for them to cover expenses,” said Mabona.
In existence for 50 years now, students have included the likes of actress Charlize Theron, TV personality Lorna Maseko, presenter Jeannie D and actress Moshidi Motshegwa but now, will the school have to close its doors?
“The performances are the backbone of the school,” said Gary Natali, principal at the National School of the Arts told eNCA.
“Children come to the school because they can perform. We also have wonderful art exhibitions. All of that has taken a back seat at the moment. The only other place is where a school can save is on the SGB employed staff members. And unfortunately, we may have to look at possible retrenchments.”
(COMPILED BY INSIDE EDUCATION STAFF)