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Beaufort West parents unhappy with WCED move to cancel school transport service

Last month, violent protests erupted in the area following the department’s decision.

Learners walk to their school transportation in Beaufort West resumes on 17 January 2020. Picture: Jason Felix/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parents in Beaufort West were unhappy with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED)’s decision to terminate a learner transport service.

Last month, violent protests erupted in the area following the department’s decision.

It has since been reinstated but will only run until the end of this month.

The Western Cape Education Department said that it spent just over R4.5 million on the transport service in Beaufort West.

Close to 700 learners were being transported daily to and from school.

But now the department said that some of them no longer required the service as they lived within a five-kilometre radius of their nearest school.

But the parents were not happy.

"Children are being robbed, their possessions are being taken from them and one of the other challenges we have is the high high school drop out rate. When the buses are gone it will again create an opportunity for children to stay away from school."

The department said that while the service would come to an end this month, engagements with the community would continue.