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Schooling continues in WC while some parents keep their children home

The provincial government instructed schools to open for grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday, despite Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announcing on Sunday evening that schools would only reopen next Monday.

Grade 7 pupils at a Western Cape primary school on 1 June 2020 sit in class after schools reopened following a national coronavirus lockdown, which started on 27 March 2020. Picture: @WCEDnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Tuesday is the second day back in class for Western Cape learners after a lengthy stay at home.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on Monday moved ahead with reopening schools this week, but some parents have already decided to not send their children back to class this year due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.

The provincial government instructed schools to open for grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday, despite Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announcing on Sunday evening that schools would only reopen next Monday.

Motshekga explained that it was simply too risky to reopen schools given that most provinces were at varying levels of readiness.

Veronica Terreblanche, who lives in Agste Laan informal settlement with her two children who are in grade R and 6, said she was not planning to send them back to school this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I’m not sending them to school at all if this virus is still around,” she said.

Another parent, Geraldine Swart, has three kids who attend Bergville Primary School in Bishop Lavis.

“I’m going to keep my children at home. I’m willing as a parent to sacrifice that next year they redo the school year,” she said.

The two women were part of a small group that staged a picket at the gates of the school calling for schools to remain closed.

They were supported by the Bishop Lavis Action Community group that believes schools could not reopen while the country was trying to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections.

BUSINESSES ALSO COME BACK TO LIFE

At the same time, it was not only schools in the Western Cape that opened their doors again on Monday.

Many businesses came back to life after months of being idle, including bottle stores and other licenced liquor outlets.

After over two months, thousands of Capetonians braved long queues to restock their bars and drinks cabinets.

At Ultra Liquors in Wynberg, queues were 60 metres long, with many customers desperate to get their stash. Some stood calmly, patiently waiting, while others could not help but check their phones and watches as closing time grew closer.

Security guards stood outside enforcing social distance and taking temperatures and dispensing sanitiser before letting anyone in the shop. And as the store closed on time, staff were still hard at work in the dispatch area, packing boxes and crates to prepare for Tuesday.

WATCH: Liquor stores reopen

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.