Provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: NEO GOBA
Provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: NEO GOBA

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he has been left with no choice but to put pressure on some schools to accommodate more pupils because of a high influx in to the province.

"I’m putting pressure on them to admit more learners. I went to meet the community of Montana and they feel the demographics around the area have changed so that the school has more Afrikaans classes than English, so they asked me to persuade the school to add more classes‚" said Lesufi.

He was speaking at the official opening of Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela Primary School in Braamfischerville‚ Soweto‚ on Wednesday.

The call comes as Hoërskool Montana and Hoërskool Overkruin in Pretoria refused to heed the department’s call to accommodate English-speaking pupils and have resisted instructions to take in more pupils.

Lesufi said there must have been a communication breakdown that led to the two schools interdicting the department on Tuesday night to stop them bringing in more pupils. "We were in discussions with the schools to expand English classes and I don’t know what happened ... the negotiations probably broke down and yesterday we were served with court papers that we must appear in court today‚" said Lesufi.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS) said it was preventing Lesufi and the department from interfering with the statutory preserve of school governing bodies in the determination of language and admission policies applied by the schools they serve. However‚ the MEC said language should not be used to divide children and that this was a ground-breaking court case.

TMG Digital

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