The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) support Equal Education in their campaign for proper norms and standards for public schools infrastructure in South Africa. We believe that quality education is crucial in dealing with a multitude of other socio-economic problems that directly impact uneducated or poorly educated South Africans. It is impossible for children to thrive academiclally in schools with inadequte classrooms, libraries or sanitation facilities.
We are disappointed with the lack of commitment and leadership shown by Minister Motshekga to develop and implement these norms and standards. Equal Education is a movement of young poor learners who, within their constitutional rights, have engaged, protested, organised against the poor quality of education in public schools. These learners are not asking a favour but deserve leadership from the minister of basic education.
We are appalled by the recent racist statements coming from the national Department of Education which seemingly aim to divert focus from the real demands of these learners and to discredit the legitimacy of this movement. This ignorance reminds us of the AIDS-denialism under the leadership of former president Thabo Mbeki and his former minister of health that TAC fought against. The SJC has also experienced similar attacks recently from various levels of governments and political parties in response to it’s campaigns for improved local government service delivery and policing.
Behavior of this sort undermines democracy and stifles attempts to progressively realise and advance the rights of millions of poor and working class people in South Africa.
We ask the minister of basic education to focus on providing leadership on the bread and butter issue of quality education, rather than resorting to personalised and racist attacks.
For further comments, please contact:
Vuyiseka Dubula – TAC General Secretary – +27 82 763 3005
Phumeza Mlungwana – SJC General Secretary – +27 74 417 8306.