Sixty-one learners left Bizana, Eastern Cape for Gauteng on Thursday night to participate in a music competition. A taxi carrying 15 of the learners was involved in a severe accident when the vehicle collided with a truck.
SADTU SAYS EC DBE MUST PROVIDE ADEQUATE SCHOLAR TRANSPORT
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) said it was gravely disturbed and shocked to learn of the accident.
The collision reportedly occurred in the early hours of Friday, 1 July near Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal.
All the learners in the taxi were injured, said SADTU in a statement on Friday. Two learners had to be sedated, four had fractures and one was admitted to the high care unit. Six more learners are still waiting for their X-ray results.
The taxi driver was critically injured and lost an eye, according to the Union.
“It is a sad day that in 2022, twenty-eight years into the new democracy, there isn’t an adequate scholar transport policy.
“Schools must hire their own transport to take learners to other provinces without any set of guidelines on the mode of transport and what to look for when hiring transport,” said SADTU.
The Union said in most instances learners have to contribute towards transport and accommodation costs themselves and given the economic and social circumstances of most learners – the schools end up opting for the cheapest option, which is not necessarily the safest.
“We cannot allow the children of the poor who want to showcase their talent, to be subjected to unsafe conditions.
“We, therefore, urge the Eastern Cape Department of Education to take full responsibility and provide safe modes of transport and accommodation,” said SADTU.
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