The Western Cape requires an additional 480 teachers as well as a minimum of 15 new schools to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students, according to the Western Cape’s MEC for Education, Debbie Schäfer.
Roughly 5 700 learners are currently waiting to be placed in schools in the Western Cape. Shäfer attributes this problem not only to the lack of governmental funding but also to the high volume of people moving to the Cape to live each year.
“Last year alone we had 25 000 additional learners and in two years it’s nearly 50 000 additional children. Where do we put them?,” said Schäfer on CapeTalk.
Schäfer expressed her anger regarding the state capture commission and on hearing how billions of rands have been wasted when education needs in the province are not being met.
She said there has been a slight improvement in allocation this year, but the reality is that the province is sitting with many years of backlog that it is still trying to clear.
Schäfer stressed that the fault does not lie in lack of planning, but rather time and a seemingly endless backlog of work from years of unresolved problems due to a lack of funds.
“This is not because we don’t plan, we do plan. We built extra schools and 46 mobile classrooms in areas where there is growth. We have ordered an extra 70 but it is not an overnight process to secure and deliver mobile classroom. We are doing everything possible. The problem is that the leaners do come, but the money doesn’t follow and because of that we keep on having a backlog,” she said.