Statement by the Western Cape Progressive Organisations on the Covid-19 Crisis and the reopening of schools

Progressive Organisations ( Teacher Unions, Worker Unions and Civil organisations ) met to assess the health and safety situation of our learners, parents, teachers and support staff in the Western Cape. This formation agrees that the Western Cape Province has become the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus in South Africa and things have now reached a crisis point. What we have also experienced is that this province is not ready to deal with this pandemic and our poor state of the public health care system in the Western Cape and in particular in the working class areas is a living example.

To date the Western Cape has recorded 66 195 cases, representing more than 50 percent of the total infections in South Africa. Most tragically, is the rate at which the virus is spreading in the working-class areas such as Ravensmead, Du Noon, Khayelitsha, Bishop Lavis, Nyanga and Mitchells Plain. South Africa is the most unequal society in the world.

Considering the above we advise as follows.

– Gr 7 and gr 12 learners to be at school and gr R- 11 students to remain at home until the virus curve flattens. This is the view of COSATU WC, SADTU (WC), NUPSAW ES WC, ANC YL, SACP WC, ANC WL, SANCO, SASCO and YCL.

–  Parents against the opening of schools for learners, BLAC, SOS, Athlone Teachers’ Group and COSAS WC demand that all students stay away from school including grade 7 and 12 students until the virus curve flattens.  

 -we do not support the phasing in of other Grades into the system until the virus curve flattens

– The Formation will monitor the ill-conceived plan to bring back grade 6, 11 and Grade R on Monday 6 July 2020 and will report non-compliance to the Department and Employment and Labour and the Human Rights Commission. The decision of the National Department of Basic Education ( NDBE ) to allow the phasing in of the other grades now will further compromise social distancing, constant sanitizing, and staffing challenges as there would be a need to reduce the class size and accommodation would not allow for this.

-Schools must make alternative arrangements for learners to continue studies at home during the school closure period.

– NDBE to provide all Grade 12 learners with computer tablets and free data.

– When the peak is reached in areas or hot spots all schools should be shut down until its becomes safe to reopen.

-NDBE to deal with transport who are transporting our children to school in an unsafe environment.

– Parents to refuse to let their children commute in unsafe transport.

– We also call on the Government Security Sector  ( SANDF and SAPS ) to refrain from intimidating parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and learners at schools.

This decision was not taken lightly. Many meetings were called and hours of deliberations brought us to this decision.

Issued by the Progressive Organisations Formation in the Western Cape


NUPSAW WC ES: Brian Isaacs :                                               076 834 2807

COSATU: Malvern De Bruyn    :                                              060 977 9027

BLAC: Abdul Karriem                :                                               0786112411

SADTU: Jonavon Rustin            :                                               083 633 5714

COSAS: Sibabalo Mdingi           :                                               074 305 2410

ANC: Ronaldo Nalumango        :                                              079 631 6038

Parents against opening

of schools

 Vanessa Le Roux                        :                                               072 073 8839

ANCYL: Khalid Sayed                  :                                               076 151 5265

Athlone Teachers’ Group:

Clement Meyer                           :                                              0827076891

SACP: Benson Ngqentsu            :                                               082 796 6400

ANCWL: Mrriam Bodiba

 – Dlikilili                                       :                                               065 958 8871

SANCO: Ayanda Ralo                  :                                               071 812 4416

SASCO: Siyabonga Booysen       :                                               078 781 5240

YCL : Lutho Mhlontlo                  :                                               083 495 0736