The Inkatha Freedom Party calls on the KZN MEC of Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane and MEC of Transport, Mxolisi Kaunda to tackle the challenge of lack of scholar transport as October is marked as Transport Month.
“Every day learners travel many kilometres on foot due to a lack of learner transport; forcing them to endure extreme weather conditions, exposing them to exhaustion, treacherous terrain and even crime. This hampers their ability to learn and progress through the education system. We need to get clarity as to why most of our learners are not benefitting from a service that is rightfully deserved. As we mark transport month government need to tackle the issue of scholar transport. To make matters worse many children are injured or killed because they are forced to travel in the back of bakkies and vehicles that are not suitable for passenger transport,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education, Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa MPL.
“The failure by the Department of Education and the Department of Transport to provide transport violates learners' rights to education as enshrined in Section 29 of the Constitution. We have ordered these Departments to provide urgent time-bound remedies to deal with this problem but nothing has happened. We recommended that these Departments should review their memorandum of agreement regarding the provision of scholar transport to ensure that it's consistent and does not prevent learners from going to school, thus violating their right to education. The IFP believes that no learner should be exposed to violence and crime due to the department's failure to properly spend its transport budget,” concluded Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
The IFP will continue to fight for the right of every learner in every school to have access to safe scholar transport. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their potential through access to quality education which requires a reliable transport mode to and from school. The IFP will therefore table a private member's bill in KZN to regulate and provide scholar transport to all learners walking long distances to schools.
Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education
071 884 3844 / 079 114 3015