After years of campaigning and mobilising led by Equal Education members, the Minister of Basic Education promulgated Regulations Relating to Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure on 29 November 2013. This law sets out the obligations on the State to fix the crisis in South Africa’s school infrastructure.
In 2014 the EELC and EE raised a number of concerns with the DBE, relating to the vague and open ended wording of the Norms and Standards. The Minister asked for time to work on implementation, and undertook to respond to our concerns during January of 2015. As of October 2015, no response had been received, and the provincial plans for implementing the regulations reflected the same worrying vagueness and uncertainty as the law itself.
During August 2015 the EELC assisted EE in analysing the implementation plans, and addressing letters to all Provincial MECs about the inadequacies in the plans. The EELC is now preparing to represent EE and schools in challenging the loopholes in the Regulations, and in seeking an order from the Court that the Minister must take certain minimum steps to oversee and monitor implementation of a binding set of standards for school infrastructure.