The policy has been approved and is to be published in September 2015, with guidelines in December 2015. The Department will make funding available to schools from 2017. There are some concerns and issues that are unclear:
- It might not accommodate all learners who need transport
- It refers to “needy learners” but doesn’t fully define this
- It excludes learners living closer to school who are exposed to danger while walking to school
- It provides travel to the nearest ‘suitable’ school which may not be appropriate, particularly for learners with disabilities
- It seems to exclude learners in areas with existing public transport
What is clear is that learners have a right to government support to get to and from school if their parents cannot afford to pay.