Scrolla logo

Khayelitsha Special School learners stranded

By Buziwe Nocuze

Learners at Khayelitsha Special School in Cape Town have been missing out on their education since the school reopened after the recent holiday because the buses they take to get to school are all broken.

Parents are outraged and are urging the Education Department to swiftly intervene to resolve the issue. One parent revealed the challenges they are facing and pleaded for help from the authorities.

“Since the schools were reopened, our children have not been able to attend. We wake up early in the morning and prepare our kids for school, but the buses never arrive.”

Parents who pay R200 for the transport service asked the school principal what was happening, but according to them, the principal has not shown any regard for their concerns.

“The principal doesn’t respect us. She has never addressed our concerns, even after visiting the school to get answers,” a frustrated parent lamented.

Zingiswa Gabela, a 45-year-old parent, said many parents have had to take unpaid leave to care for their children.

“We don’t have the financial means to hire people to look after our kids, so we are forced to stay at home. We need help because the principal doesn’t seem to care about our grievances,” Gabela said.

Parents say they recently learned from one of the drivers that the buses are unroadworthy, exacerbating the crisis.

“We were shocked to hear that the buses have expired discs, their brakes are not working, and there has been no communication about why our kids are not being picked up,” said Gabela.

The lack of transparency and accountability has left parents bewildered and frustrated. “The principal should’ve told us the truth from the beginning instead of keeping us in the dark,” Gabela said.

Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond, said the department has supplied the school with buses and provided funding for maintenance, fuel and drivers.

She said the main issue is that of drivers’ salaries.

“The drivers requested a 50% increase last week, and since they are employed by the School Governing Body, they have asked to be employed by the department,” said Hammond.

In addition to the salary concerns, there have been growing worries about the safety of the buses.

“The district informed the head office that the vehicles were sent for testing and an assessment was carried out in June which revealed that management of the vehicles needs to be improved. Checklists have been put in place to enhance accountability and fleet management,” Hammond explained.

But the plight of the Khayelitsha Special School learners continues, with parents seeking answers to ensure their children’s education is not further disrupted.

Pictured above: Khayelitsha Special School learners haven’t been transported to school because of unroadworthy buses, and parents want the Education Department to intervene.

Image Credit: Buziwe Nocuze