Question NW3170 to the Minister of Basic Education

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23 October 2023 - NW3170

Profile picture: Ngcobo, Ms BT

Ngcobo, Ms BT to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department maintains records of school fees that are paid in (a) government and (b) private schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what total amount was paid in each category in the past five years?


The Department does not keep records of school fees to either public or independent schools. The responsibility to charge schools fees is left with the School Governing Bodies in consultation with and with the approval of parents in an Annual General Meeting convened for that purpose. In terms of section 39 of the South African Schools Act, 84 of 1986: 

"(1) Subject to this Act, school fees may be determined and charged at a public school only if a resolution to do so has been adopted by a majority of parents attending the meeting referred to in section 38(2). 

(2) A resolution contemplated in subsection (1) must provide for-

(a) the amount of fees to be charged; and

(b) equitable criteria and procedures for the total, partial or conditionaln exemption of parents who are unable to pay school fees.

(3) The governing body must implement a resolution adopted at the meeting contemplated in subsection (1).

This therefore makes it a school governance matter outside the jurisdiction of the Department. The Department intervenes in appeal cases of application for school fees exemptions and where learners are refused education on the basis of the parents' inability to pay school fees.

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