The decision to keep nursery schools shut under Level 3 of lockdown has been declared unlawful and unconstitutional.
On July 6, the Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of private preschools and early childhood development centres opening immediately. This is allowed provided that all health and safety regulations are followed in terms of Covid-19 measures.
The case was brought to court by Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Social Workers and its School Support Centre (SSC), and was filed against the Department of Social Development.
Judge Hans Fabricius ordered Lindiwe Zulu, Social Development Minister, to pay the case costs. The Department of Social Development had not submitted its court documents or responded by other methods.
Marisa Engelbrecht, sector head of the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers said “We are delighted with the ruling,” explaining that children will be able to receive stimulation and learning. She also mentioned that children who relied on feeding schemes would be able to learn and progress.
“Teachers can resume their duties and the many staff members who also suffered as a result of this senseless silence on the part of the department can now look forward to working in a safe way that does not compromise health,” said Anton van der Bijl, Solidarity’s head of Labour Law Services.