Case Name: The SGB of Makangwane Secondary School v MEC Limpopo Department of Education & Others.

The EELC is representing the SGB of Sephaoweng Primary School in court on 26 June 2018 in a matter involving the unlawful temporary merger of 2 schools situated in rural Limpopo.

Due to failing infrastructure at Makangwane Secondary School, the Limpopo Department of Education had taken a decision on 9 May 2018 to move the secondary school on to the premises of Sephaoweng Primary School. This decision was taken without the necessary engagement or consultation with either of the schools, parents or community members; and without the requisite consideration of the best interests of the children.

The LDE furthermore did not formulate any plans relating to how the limited infrastructure at the primary school will be utilised by 2 schools, or how two schools will run distinctly but cohesively on the same property. This forced temporary merger as ordered by the LDE has consequently resulted in multiple grades at the primary school having to share classrooms, the primary school forfeiting the space previously utilised for the school nutrition programme, and added strain being placed on the already limited sanitation infrastructure. This merger is ultimately as a result of the LDE’s failure to maintain the infrastructure of the secondary school and their refusal to investigate viable alternatives to accommodate and assist the secondary school.

On 24 May 2018, Section 27, on behalf of their clients – Makangwane Secondary School SGB, filed an urgent application in the Limpopo High Court in which they sought relief declaring the failure by the Limpopo Department of Education (“the LDE”) to maintain the school, as well as their failure to fix the school as unlawful and unconstitutional. The relief sought further included the provision of mobile classrooms, the delivery of desks and chairs for the learners, the inclusion of the school in the ASIDI programme and the formulation and implementation of a catch-up plan for the learners.