We are aware of various representatives of political parties currently undertaking visits to our schools as we start the school year, and planned visits for the first day of school.
A number of representatives and activists have also arranged donations of stationery and other back-to-school goods to assist parents and schools in reducing costs, which are appreciated and welcomed.
However, we remind all representatives of political parties of Section 33A (1)(2) of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, and Section 46(B) of the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act of 1997, which state that no party-political activities may be conducted at a school during school time. This includes political campaigning in any form, such as the display of party logos, clothing, and campaign material.
Section 36(4)(b) of the national Act further states that a governing body may not allow any activity on school property that is disruptive to learners or prohibited by the Act. This provision has particular relevance on the first day of school, when learners need to settle into their new classes, and staff have a number of administrative tasks to complete.
We appreciate the interest and involvement in our education system. We ask that such involvement falls within the prescripts of national and provincial law, and is not in any way disruptive to our schools.
Our focus at all times must be on the best interests and wellbeing of learners, and we should allow our schools to start the school year in a calm and positive manner.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Education Department, South Africa.