Interim victory for applicant schools in Khula Community Development Project and Others v MEC for Education, Eastern Cape and Others.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAPE TOWN: 22 May 2024

Interim victory for applicant schools in Khula Community Development Project and Others v MEC for Education, Eastern Cape and Others.

On 14 May 2024, an order by agreement between the parties was handed down by Acting Judge Cengani-Mbakaza in an interlocutory application for interim relief brought by the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of Khula Community Development Trust, and the school governing bodies of Mneketshe Junior Secondary School (“Mneketshe JSS”), SeaView Senior Secondary School (“SeaView SSS”) and Toyise Senior Secondary School (“Toyise SSS”) in the Makhanda High Court.

This order requires the Eastern Cape Department of Education to make and communicate a decision on all outstanding scholar transport applications from Mneketshe JSS and Toyise SSS by 30 May 2024. It also requires the Department to assist SeaView SSS in uploading their scholar transport applications onto the SA-SAMS system, and to make and communicate a decision on the uploaded applications by 14 June 2024. It also requires the Department to make an appeals process available to any learner whose application is rejected.

Finally, the order requires that the Department provides transport to successful applicants from Mneketshe JSS and Toyise SSS by 14 June 2024 and to successful applicants from 29 June 2024.

This order will see scholar transport being provided to successful applicants from these schools from the start of the third term on 9 July 2024.

The main application in this matter will be heard by the Makhanda High Court later this year, where further broader relief in respect of all schools around the Eastern Cape Province is sought.

“This is an important first step in providing scholar transport to hundreds of learners at the three applicant schools.  We welcome the state’s decision to cooperate by settling this portion of the case by agreement. We hope further undertakings will be given as the case progresses to limit the number of issues in dispute and ensure scholar transport is provided to all qualifying children in the province as soon as possible.” – Cameron McConnachie, Legal Resources Centre.

Contact details:

Legal Resources Centre:

Puleng Moisa – puleng@lrc.org.za