Beginning May 2012, SECTION27 embarked on a sustained campaign of litigation, advocacy and mobilisation to ensure that every learner should be provided with textbooks for every subject that required one.

On 24 November 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein heard the appeal in the textbooks case. On 2 December 2015, a full bench of the SCA found that the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) failure to provide learners in Limpopo with their textbooks was a violation of their right to a basic education, dignity and equality. They declared that it amounted to unfair discrimination. The Court also found that the DBE was in breach of previous court orders. The DBE’s appeal was therefore dismissed and Basic Education for All’s (BEFA) cross-appeal was upheld.

This appeal and subsequent judgment was arguably the most important education rights case heard by our courts to date.

One of the highlights from the advocacy campaign was this series of videos from thought leaders, authors, activists and artists about the importance of textbooks in schools.

Here is one such video from writer and activist Sisonke Msimang:

For the full background of our #TextbooksMatter case and campaign, please visit Chapter 21 of our 2014-2015 review.

Catch up on our old articles on the matter here.