34 learners in the Lilly Avenue Informal Settlement stranded without schooling

Issued by Sergio Dos Santos MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Education
24 Jan 2024 in Press Statements

34 children at Lilly Avenue Informal Settlement, situated in Berea, in Johannesburg CBD, are still not at school as the second week of the 2024 academic year begins.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) received a complaint from a community member alarmed that children of school-going age were loitering around the informal settlement with no hope of ever going back to school.

Due to many issues, including a lack of birth certificates and transfer cards from previous schools, the children were not allocated space in schools. The DA discovered this when it visited the informal settlement to address community concerns.

Many children in informal settlements are being denied access to education because of similar issues. The parents of these children claim that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has failed to assist with getting their children’s birth certificates. One of the parents stated that the Home Affairs office in the Johannesburg CBD had instructed her to travel back to the Eastern Cape to get a copy of her and her child’s birth certificate. This is denying learners access to equal education which will impact on their future.

This contradicts the DHA’s policy, which states that a parent or guardian responsible for the child may complete the relevant forms and submit them to the nearest office.

The DA has collected the names of all 34 children and will forward them to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) for immediate action, to avoid learners missing months of schooling. We will also engage the appropriate department to assist parents and learners without the necessary identification.