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Over 250,000 undocumented pupils in Gauteng schools - Lesufi

In his oral submission to the Alex inquiry, MEC Panyaza Lesufi revealed how the admissions of non-documented learners affected his department’s budget.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi making his oral submission on 24 July 2019 at the Alexandra inquiry led by the SAHRC held in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Picture: Edwin Ntshidi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Wednesday said provincial schools were catering for more than 250,000 undocumented pupils.

Lesufi made the comment as he delivered his submissions before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) inquiry looking into service delivery problems in Alexandra.

The hearing was launched following protests over a lack of services in the township.

The investigation was testing a range of matters including the root causes of the Alex shut down earlier this year and possible maladministration in the controversial multimillion-rand Alex Renewal Project.

In his oral submission, Lesufi revealed how the admissions of non-documented learners affected his department’s budget.

“It’s R18,000 per learner, that is the amount that we spend. So, if you check 250,000 [learners] and times that by R18,000, that is the amount of money that we are losing,” he said.

Lesufi said, unfortunately, he had to follow the law as all children had the right to education.

“No one must be chased; we’ll share whatever we have. We don’t want to expel them and then the SAHRC knocks at our doors. And the Department of Home Affairs would say we are breaking the law.”

The MEC further said pressure on resources was also huge and some foreign pupils were also demanding to be taught in their languages.