Students, teachers and other school staff who must travel to other provinces to get to their respective institutions of learning will be permitted to travel between provincial borders throughout the Level 3 lockdown alert phase.
Speaking at the National Command Council (NCC) briefing on the afternoon of Thursday 28 May, days before the advent of the latest phase of restrictions, Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that some members of the academic community had to travel across borders on a day basis and would be permitted to do so.
District, provincial travel permitted for schools
She said that given that many people have to make daily trips across borders to get to school, they would be given the green light to do so.
“Given that schools will open in phased approach, we will also open travel in between provinces and districts for pupils, students and teaching staff.”
Dlamini-Zuma said that persons travelling for purposes of starting work; moving to a new residence; or caring for an immediate family member would also be permitted on the condition that those people have the relevant permits handy.
The reopening of schools will be done gradually, with other learning groups arriving back in the classroom in batches over the next six weeks.
Education minister under fire
Students in Grades 7 and 12 are expected back in the classroom on 1 June, but many have said that it is too early for them to return.
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has led the charge for the decision to be reversed, but with days to go and Dlamini Zuma giving no indication of a U-turn, it seems like his petition has fallen on deaf ears.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga came under fire on Thursday after visiting a handful of schools in the Gauteng Province, with many saying that she has not sufficiently gauged the degree to which schools are unprepared for reopening.
The majority of concerns surround rural and underprivileged schools where water security is scarce and students may not be able to adequately sanitise and wash their hands while at school.