Beaufort West scholar transport temporarily reinstated after parents block N1
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has temporarily reinstated scholar transport in Beaufort West after aggrieved parents protested against its cancellation in the region.
The community took to the streets on Thursday after the department discontinued the school bus service that transported learners in area.
The angry locals blockaded the N1, burning tyres and barricading the road with rocks, in the midst of a heatwave.
Education MEC Debbie Schafer says that the scholar transport will be temporarily reinstated while officials meet with community members and conduct an assessment in the area.
In order to sort this pout properly, the district office had an expression to reinstitute the buses on an interim basis while they do a full assessment of every child there to see who qualifies for the policy and who doesn't.Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
The department provides transport to learners living in rural areas who live five kilometres or more from their nearest school, and where public transport is not available.
The MEC says they had initially made an exception in Beaufort West because there was no bridge over the railway line and there were no pedestrian crossings over the N1 for pupils to walk safely to school.
However, education officials reassessed the route last year and found that a pedestrian bridge had been built over the railway line and a pedestrian crossing was in place on the N1.
Thus, the department decided to cancel the transport contracts.
We had a look at the route and these people said that these people were living within the 5km radius and that the situation had changed - there were bridges over the railway line and there were pedestrian crossings at the N1.Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
As a result, they felt that they were not in any worser situation than anyone else in the province who subject to the same policy. They decided not to readvertise [the transport contract].Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
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