Schooling in the Northern Cape were generally off to a smooth start for the 2023 school academic with challenges reported in various Districts. Members of the Executive Council, Members of the Provincial Legislature and Members of Parliament visited schools across the Province to monitor the reopening of schools.


In the main, challenges that were reported relate to Infrastructure needs at schools where work is either incomplete or where the need for school furniture exists, because of an increase in learner numbers at a specific school. 


The Department procured mobile classrooms last year for schools where we anticipated a growth in learner numbers. We are currently experiencing a delay in the delivery of school furniture to Kimberley Boys High School, which led to a delay of the return of Grade 8 learners. Currently, these Grade 8 learners are still at home and will only be able to return to school once the furniture has been delivered. We are monitoring the situation very closely and we do hope that the delivery will take place towards the end of this week.


Another challenge which impacted on the return of learners was the situation at Brandvlei Primary School, where the school was damaged towards the end of last year by a storm. The school appointed a contractor to remove the rubble and safeguard the school premises in order to conduct an assessment of the damage. The scope of work was developed and the school is in process of appointing a contractor to repair the damaged infrastructure. We expect the contractor to be on site as from next week so that Grade 4 and Grade 6 learners can return to school.


The Department is busy conducting headcount of learners in preferred schools in the Frances Baard District to determine the available school spaces at these school. Our District office is working tirelessly to place the few outstanding learners towards the end of this week. However, the situation is aggravated by parents who haven’t timeously applied for schooling or demand school spaces at preferred schools where capacity doesn't exist. The Department can confirm that all learners will be placed at a school where school spaces do exist.


The Department will conduct a 10 day snapshot survey following the reopening of schools to address further needs which may arise during this period. The Department will monitor the function of our schools closely and act immediately where our interventions are required.