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Today, 765 independent schools are members of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa), the largest body representing private schools in the region. The increase has been triggered by the continued rise in urbanisation, which has placed enormous pressure on the public schooling system. According to World Bank data, 65% of South Africans live in the five major cities now, up from 47% in 1960. "In many ways education is becoming big business," said Isasa CEO Lebogang Montjane. Half of the association's member schools are in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. "Independent schools generally go, as one would expect, with prosperity." Montjane said starting a school was not cheap because of the infrastructure and property costs involved. However, private equity had been pouring into the establishment of independent schools space, which accounted, in part, for the increase in the number of these schools, he said. Funding sources such as the Publi...

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