In April 2014, SECTION27, representing Basic Education for All (BEFA) made an application to the High Court in Pretoria to force the State to deliver outstanding textbooks to schools in Limpopo. At the time, the Limpopo Department of Education short-delivered at least 793 567 books. SECTION27 and BEFA won this case, but the State has since appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

On 24 November 2015, SECTION27, representing BEFA argued, in the Supreme Court of Appeal that textbooks are an essential component to the right to basic education.

Below are the Heads of Argument:

Textbooks Heads of Argument

Textbooks SCA Heads of Argument

#TextbooksMatter Campaign

Ahead of the court hearing, BEFA kicked off the #TextbooksMatter campaign shining the spotlight the poor state of textbook delivery and the impact on the learners in Limpopo.

#TextbooksMatter called on South Africans to record a short message and share on social media why textbooks matter. Why every child has a right to his/her individual textbooks to take home, study from and have throughout the year? BEFA aimed to create an Education Revolution on social media.

Some of the #TextbooksMatter highlights:

“A textbook in a child’s hands is a confirmation that every child’s education matters. Let us keep the promise of education to each child. It is the route to equality and liberation for all of us.”

Gabeba Baderoon, poet and author

Being able to read – and plan and dream and invent new realities – is the human potential that gives us more access to our creativity.”

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, author and performance artist

“Never again should any child suffer what people over the decades in South Africa have suffered, the inability to take their destiny into their own hands and use textbooks to progress their lives.”

Justice Malala, Journalist, TV host and political commentator

Articles by SECTION27 staff:

Textbooks matter: the state goes to court again – Kate Paterson

Mail&Guardian – It’s best to teach pupils b the book   – Faranaaz Veriava

Daily Maverick – Textbook court case – Faranaaz Veriava

The Conversation – Why textbooks are a crucial part of every childs education journey – Faranaaz Veriava

Polity – BEFA hopes to win textbooks case at the SCA – Faranaaz Veriava

Oxford Human Rights Blog – South African SCA set to hear the Limpopo textbooks case – Faranaaz Veriava

 Sunday Times p1 – Prega Govender

Sunday Times p2  – Prega Govender