SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
SECTION27 has noted various unfortunate statements on the text book crisis in Limpopo as well as attack on the legal action of SECTION27 and comments by COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi. Below we set out the facts about how this crisis has unfolded in the last seven months.
We believe there has been a collective failure of many organisations that represent the poor, including COSATU, SADTU, the churches, the ANC, school governing bodies, and civil society in allowing an educational crisis, such as that in Limpopo (and other parts of the country) to develop over months and years.
The most important lesson of the Limpopo text book crisis is a reminder of the need for ongoing monitoring and action to protect and advance the rights of the poor and vulnerable in South Africa, in this case learners.
SECTION27 and the Department of Basic Education released the ‘verification report’ into the delivery of textbooks to learners in grades 1-3 and grade 10 in Limpopo Schools.We thank Professor Metcalfe and her team. Not only have they done a great amount of work in the last two weeks, but they have made a personal sacrifice out of a commitment to the right to basic education.
SECTION27’s intention is not to vilify any particular person. However, we maintain our position that once the National Executive (Cabinet) decided to intervene in Limpopo under s100(1)(b) of the Constitution they assumed, through the DBE, full responsibility for meeting minimum standards for the delivery of basic education services within the Province.
SECTION27 together with the Department of Basic Education will release the report on the verification of textbook delivery in Limpopo conducted by Professor Mary Metcalfe and her verification team at 12h45 today, Monday 16th July, at SECTION27’s offices: 6th Floor, Braamfontein Centre, 23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein.