'Policy needed on long-distance travel of pupils'

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says all those coming to and from the province for schooling are his responsibility and he wants legislation to be amended.

At least 18 school pupils were killed in a taxi accident in Bronkhorstspruit on 21 April 2017. Picture: ER24.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Education Department says the sad reality is that many pupils in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng are having to travel between provinces to attend school.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi says although his jurisdiction is Gauteng, all those coming to and from the province for schooling are his responsibility and he wants legislation to be amended.

Lesufi says there are no policies governing how learners are transported during long-distance travelling.

He attended the funeral of a minibus taxi driver who died in last month’s Bronkhorstspruit crash which also claimed the lives of 18 pupils.

The taxi was travelling from Gauteng back to Mpumalanga at the time.

The MEC says investigations are continuing to find out the exact cause of the accident.

“Some families might need closure as well, so it will assist them to go through that process of closure.”

Lesufi says his department will be attending the funerals of all those involved in the accident.

The department says it has taken the decision to treat all families involved in the crash equally.

Lesufi says other funerals will take place in various provinces next week.

“We’ve committed ourselves both as the Gauteng and Mpumalanga provincial governments that we’ll attend all the funerals because we believe it’s very important for government to support the families.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)