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12 September 2013

Mr Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) speaking in Pretoria today, said that the Union has been impressed by the excellent work that is being done through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) of the Basic Education Department and that NAPTOSA had hoped that this commitment would be reflected in the new infrastructure regulations. The regulations, however, remain a far cry from what NAPTOSA would like to see in the schools.

Timeframes were absent from the previous draft regulations, however, the timeframes set in these regulations reveal that there is no sense of urgency to provide all our schools with the basic facilities.

The Minister has set two deadlines in these regulations. Classrooms, electricity, water, sanitation and perimeter fencing must be phased in over ten years from the date of publication of these regulations and other aspects of the infrastructure must be in place by 2030.

NAPTOSA welcomes the prioritization of certain items, but water and sanitation must surely be tackled with far greater urgency. According to the Department's own reports there are approximately 2000 schools that do not have water and about 900 that have no toilet facilities. It is unthinkable that schools do not have water and sanitation. We are talking about the basic dignity of learners and educators who are forced to work under these conditions.

The deadline for the provision of libraries, laboratories, sport facilities and electronic connectivity is 2030.  What these regulations are saying is that there are hundreds of thousands of learners who will never see the inside of a school library or laboratory, said Mr Manuel.

Not only do we have distant deadlines, the implementation has a caveat of as far as reasonably practicable   and  subject to the resources and co-operation of other government agencies.  Under these provisos it will not be possible to hold any provincial education department accountable for failing to provide basic facilities, said Mr Manuel.  A dedicated budget is needed to address  the severe backlogs in basic facilities and not the existing budget for new facilities and upgrading of existing facilities.

NAPTOSA will study the document more closely and submit its comments to the DBE.


12 September 2013


MR BASIL MANUEL (President)   079 508 6228

MR HENRY HENDRICKS ( Executive Director)   082 577 9297