Cabinet to decide on 3-week close for schools – report

classroom is sanitised

A school is being sanitised. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi Africa News Agency (ANA) Archives.

A three-week close for schools across South Africa is on the table as Cabinet is expected to be advised by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) this week.

According to a media report, this was confirmed by impeccable sources within the teacher unions that attended a meeting chaired by deputy minister of basic education, Reginah Mhaule on Wednesday night.

The report further states that the council will table the recommendation with the cabinet on Thursday, and either basic education minister Angie Motshekga or President Cyril Ramaphosa will thereafter announce the cabinet’s decision.

This comes after mounting pressure from several teachers’ unions calling for the immediate closure of all schools, as many schools reported positive cases among teachers and learners.

On Sunday night, Mhaule and a task team asked the country’s top five teachers’ unions for proposals on why schools should be closed.

The task team comprised five provincial education MECs, Kwazi Mshengu from KwaZulu-Natal, Panyaza Lesufi (Gauteng), Debbie Schafer (Western Cape), Wendy Matsemela (North West) and Polly Boshielo (Limpopo).

In their three-page proposals addressed to Motshekga, unions said schools must close immediately and only reopen at the end of next month, once Covid-19 infections had peaked.

They further proposed that matric learners should return on August 17 and the other grades at the end of August.

*This is a developing story