In 2014, the LRC brought a case, Madzodzo v Minister for Basic Education¸ before the High Court in Mthatha, which required the Eastern Cape Department of Education to conduct a furniture audit of all schools in the Eastern Cape. The Madodzo judgment held that the right to basic education was infringed where basic school furniture such as desks and chairs were not provided. Following completion of the court-ordered audit, the Department of Education was ordered to provide the furniture found to be outstanding no later than 1 April 2017.
The audit has been completed, and can be found here. As yet, no tenders have been issued, and it is not yet clear from where the money to cover the provision of furniture will be taken. It is concerning that there is still no clarity on this matter, as it is suggestive that the school furniture will not be provided by April 1st next year, in contravention of the court order.
The LRC is closely monitoring compliance with this court order, to ensure that the constitutional rights of learners to a basic education are not further infringed. School administrators in the Eastern Cape are recommended to check whether the Department’s statistics about school furniture needs at their school are accurate. If the audit does not accurately represent your school’s furniture needs, please contact the Legal Resources Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By James Rooney