Statement: SECTION27 welcomes Minister Motshekga’s forthright comments

25 January 2016, Johannesburg – On 24 January 2016, the City Press reported that the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga recognised the catastrophic state of basic education at an education lekgotla, and stated her intention to “start doing things differently”.

SECTION27 welcomes this pivotal first step from Minister Motshekga. It is a significant marker in a long and arduous road towards fixing the schooling system. In particular, the reported decision not to appeal the Supreme Court judgment that upheld learners’ rights to be provided with their full complement of textbooks before the commencement of the academic year is a major step in the right direction. It will help bridge the gap between poor, black, marginalised learners primarily from rural areas such as in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and other more privileged learners.

We applaud the Minister for highlighting, and being willing to address, the two-tier education system by tackling teacher absenteeism, lacklustre results, financial mismanagement, lack of furniture, poor infrastructure and sanitation and unfilled critical vacancies. We look forward to seeing the Minister’s words translated into action through the finalisation of policy and the improvement of management systems for textbooks delivery to ensure that every learner has a textbook for every subject.

SECTION27 is committed to the achievement of substantive equality, which hinges on a quality basic education being provided to each and every child and we hope to work together with the Department of Basic Education and other critical stakeholders to ensure that it is fulfilled.

We will also continue to monitor textbook delivery together with Basic Education For All (BEFA). We urge all those affected to SMS ‘textbooks’ to 44984 or contact the BEFA secretariat should they experience shortages.

For more information please contact:

Kate Paterson, 073 009 8777,

Ngqabutho Mpofu, 061 807 6443,

For textbooks monitoring, please contact:

Nkhensani Mavasa, BEFA Secretary, 072 865 8651,

Charles Malebana, BEFA Deputy Secretary, 079 226 7862

Or SMS ‘textbooks’ to 44984. This service will not cost you.