Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is scheduled to brief the media on Saturday 24 July at 10:00 to provide an update on the state of readiness for the reopening of schools on Monday 26 July.  

The media advisory said Motshekga would also outline the basic education sector’s response to the impact of COVID-19. 

DEPARTMENT ADAMANT THAT SCHOOLS WILL REOPEN ON MONDAY 26 JULY 

When asked about the preparedness for the reopening of schools on Monday, spokesperson for the Basic Education Department Elijah Mhlanga said the department is proceeding with plans for the reopening of schools. 

“The department is working hard to ensure that the reopening next week goes ahead under the circumstances,” he said. 

According to Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a total of 143 schools were vandalised and looted during the riots. A total of 139 are in KwaZulu-Natal and four of them are in Gauteng.  

To add fuel to the fire, Ntshavheni said it has severely impacted the school nutrition programme. 

“Equipment and food meant for the school nutrition programme was stolen, which means that these schools are unable to provide the school nutrition programme to the vulnerable learners,” she said. 

When asked what is being done to combat the vandalism and looting, especially in KZN ahead of the school reopening, Mhlanga did not respond.

IS LOCKDOWN LEVEL 4 HERE TO STAY? 

Well, folks, this weekend is bound to be an interesting one. While Motshekga will update us on the preparedness for the reopening of schools on Saturday, we expect that President Cyril Ramaphosa will have something to say on Sunday 25 July as the extension of the two-week adjusted Level 4 lockdown comes to a close. 

Whether it will be extended again or downgraded to Level 3 perhaps, we don’t know but we’re all ears this weekend, that’s for sure. 

Ntshavheni remained mum on the sale of alcohol and the reintroduction of the SRD grant but she did tell the media that the National coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) would meet on Sunday. 

Head of the DPHSR Dr. Michelle Groome, is not convinced that South Africa has reached the peak of the third wave. 

“Trends in the coming week will be important in confirming whether the peak of the third wave has indeed been reached or not. Testing rates have decreased in the past two weeks, and while this may be reflective of a decreased need for testing due to decreased infections, access to testing has been limited in certain areas due to the social unrest.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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