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Govt loses Limpopo textbooks appeal

The Supreme Court of Appeal says every pupil in Limpopo should receive all the textbooks they need.

A photograph taken by the DA leader in Limpopo, Desiree van der Walt, shows boxes abandoned in a hall, apparently full of undelivered textbooks. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has upheld an earlier ruling on the Limpopo textbooks debacle.

The Bloemfontein court has found the Education Department's failure to provide learning material to many schools in that province between 2011 and 2014 infringed on the rights of pupils.

Last year, both the provincial and national departments were ordered by a High Court to deliver a full complement of textbooks to each pupil in Limpopo.

The court agrees that every school pupil in Limpopo should receive all the textbooks they need.

However, they appealed the ruling arguing that the order amounted to an impossible standard of perfection.

Rights group Section 27, which has been at the forefront of efforts to secure learning material for the province, says it's pleased with today's judgement.

Section 27's spokesperson Kate Paterson said, "Not only did it give us the order we were asking for but it was also poignant and it spoke about the right to an education and the right to read in a beautiful way."

Paterson says failing to deliver textbooks in classrooms is simply inexcusable.

"The excuses of the department can no longer be used for failing to deliver textbooks."

'PUPILS IN LIMPOPO HAVE A RIGHT TO TEXTBOOKS'

Meanwhile, today's Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on the Limpopo text books case has been described as a victory for human rights.

Paterson says no child should have to go through school without adequate learning material.

"Failure to deliver textbooks is felt by the poorest of the poor."

Despite several court orders over the past few years Section 27 says thousands of Limpopo pupils are still having to go without the necessary text books.