ATC170315: Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on an oversight visit to the Prixley Ka Seme District, Northern Cape dated 15 March 2017

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on an oversight visit to the Prixley Ka Seme District, Northern Cape dated 15 March 2017

The Select Committee on Education and Recreation, having undertaken an oversight visit to the Prixley Ka Seme District in the Northern Cape Province, reports as follows:


1.         Background and introduction


The fifth Parliament committed “an activist and responsive people’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of South Africans and ensures enduring equality in our society” as its new vision. Subsequently to that the NCOP committees had a strategic planning session in March 2016. In turn, the Select Committee on Education and Recreation (hereafter referred as “the Committee”) committed to pay special attention to conducting oversight over targeted interventions linked to the MTSF and NDP which will impact positively on the quality of education.


The Committee recently attended the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Official Results Release at VodaWorld in Midrand on 4 January 2017 which gave a picture of the performance of schools in different provinces. With this performance information as presented, the Committee decided to embark in the oversight visits.


In the previous years, the committee concentrated on the underperforming provinces. However, this term, the committee resolved to visit the performing provinces to give support and also learn the best practices that can be shared with the other provinces. This oversight was as the result of that desire to ensure that South Africans, particularly those in remote areas, are being supported in areas of needs and that the Department of Basic Education is held accountable thereafter.


The Committee conducted an oversight visit to the Prixley Ka Seme Education District in the Northern Cape Province from 31 January - 03 February 2017.


The primary purpose of the oversight was to assess the provincial state of school readiness for the 2017 school year in the identified district. The Committee wanted to assist in pinpointing challenges faced by the Province and the District and in finding effective solutions.   


The oversight focused primarily on, amongst others, the following crucial areas:

2016 matric results;

  • The state of the school environment;
  • The state of the admission and registration of learners;
  • The provision of Learner Teacher Support Materials (LTSM);
  • Staff establishments (Post-Provisioning Norms);
  • School Improvement Plans and District support;
  • The availability of learner transport and school nutrition to qualifying learners;
  • The functionality of School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and School Management Teams (SMTs); The state of the school infrastructure and ICT; and
  • The availability of school furniture.


The focus areas formed part of key interventions and priorities set out in major government plans to ensure that enabling conditions for quality teaching and learning were established. As part of its oversight, the Committee had a constitutional responsibility to ensure that these priorities were implemented, particularly since they are linked to the improvement of quality basic education as Government’s Priority Outcome 1.


As part of the oversight, the Committee received briefings from the MEC for Education in the Northern Cape Province, the District Director, Organised Labour and SGB Associations. The Committee also visited eight schools in the District. The delegation held meetings with all relevant stakeholders in order to gain first-hand information on the state of school readiness and to discuss challenges faced by schools.  


This report, therefore, contains a chronological account of the journey of the Committee to the above-mentioned Province. Furthermore, it provides a summary of the key issues that emerged from the interaction with stakeholders, officials of the National and Provincial Departments, the District as well as the Committee’s deliberations, observations and recommendations.


2.         Delegations


The delegation comprised of the following:


Committee Members:

Hon LL Zwane (Chairperson), Hon ML Moshodi (Free State), Hon DB Ngwenya (Gauteng), Hon M Khawula (KwaZulu-Natal), Hon TK Mampuru (Limpopo), Hon C Hattingh (North West) and Hon TG Mpambo-Sibhukwana (Western Cape).




Support staff:

Ms N Skaka (Committee Secretary), Ms L Stofile (Parliamentary Researcher) and Ms O Siebritz (Stand-in Committee Assistant).


3.         Oversight and Monitoring Visit in the Northern Cape Province (Prixley Ka Seme District)


The oversight visit began with a pre-briefing session in Diamantveld High School in Kimberley on 31 January 2017 and concluded with a wrap up/report back session in the Provincial Office on 03 February 2017. The Committees also visited the following schools:

  • High School Hope Town;
  • Peterusville High School;
  • Richmond High School;
  • Enoch Mthetho High School;
  • Theron High School;
  • High School Prieska;
  • Hoer Skool Douglas; and
  • Karrikamma Hoer Skool.


  1. Meeting with the Basic Education Stakeholders


The meeting took place in Diamantveld High School, Kimberley on Tuesday, 31 January 2017. The Leader of the Parliament delegation, Hon LL Zwane, began by explaining the rationale behind the oversight visit to the Province and the identified District. She indicated that as a Parliamentary oversight function, the Committee sought to ensure the access and delivery of quality education. She indicated that factors ensuring quality education included, amongst others, the following:


  • A conducive environment for teaching and learning (infrastructure, parent involvement, discipline, punctuality, state of readiness);
  • Staffing (Post Provisioning Norms, adequate educators for subjects, qualifications of educators, development and training of educators, Curriculum management, a functioning of SGBs and support from Circuits, Districts and communities);
  • The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) – Was it sufficient and nutritious, were service providers paid timeously and was there hygienic food preparation?
  • Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) – the timing of deliveries and correct totals delivered, as well as the quality of stationery;
  • Adequate implementation of school improvement plans; and
  • The working relationship between the School, School Management Teams and the SGBs.


3.1.1     Overview by the MEC


The MEC provided the delegation with an overview on the state of education in the Northern Cape Province. The following key points were noted during the presentation:  The 2016 NSC results


The MEC began by mentioning that the Northern Cape Province currently had the second highest matric pass rate in the country. She indicated that the Class of 2016 made the Province immensely proud, with a pass rate of 78.7% and increase of 9.3% compared to the year 2015. The results showcased an improvement on all areas. The Namakwa District was the top achieving District with a pass rate of 91% and obtained the 5th position in the country, followed by the Pixley Ka Seme District, with an 82.9%. The Province had no District performing below 70%.  School Environment


The MEC provided that the Department of Education and the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, were busy finalizing the School Safety Protocol which will contribute immensely towards safety programmes in schools and address the social ills, such as bullying, drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy. These are societal problems, but do have an impact on learners and affect education in one way or another.  Admission of Learners


The deadlines for the admission of learners for the 2017 school academic year were not adhered to by the parent component. The process annually unfolded in May but the Department was still receiving requests from parents for the placement of the children. The main District where challenges with the enrolment of learners were being experienced challenges was the Frances Baard District. This District alone received, from the 11th of January 2017, close to a 1000 applications for late registrations. This was besides all efforts by the Department and schools in the Province to inform parents through various means on school admissions process. The Department was not turning a blind eye to the issue as it was busy placing the learners.  Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) and Staff Establishment


All schools have received their LTSM and Staff Establishments were already allocated by the end of September 2016. The 10 day snap-shot survey will indicate the need to appoint more teachers or provide more LTSM, based on the increase in learner numbers.  School Improvement Plan and District Support


The Department managed to reduce its underperforming schools in the Province from 20 to 9 in 2016. Its interventions in 2017 included both underperforming and performing schools, to ensure the improvement in the overall performance. All Districts have submitted their plans, and work has commenced. The MEC will personally engage with Principals in all Districts, starting from the 14th of February in Namakwa.  Learner Transport and School Nutrition Programme


In 2017, the Department will only provide learner transport to those learners who qualify and travel an access of 5km to school. Parents that opted to make use of a school of preference for their children will have to carry the cost of traveling. Routes were being finalized and the Department was engaging the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison on the extension of certain routes in the Province.


The MEC confirmed that in most schools, especially in rural areas, the School Nutrition programme was contributing to the quality of education and was assisting learners to perform better in schools.  Functionality SGBs and SMTs


In general, the Department was happy with the support that schools were receiving from the SGBs and SMTs. These structures were prevalent in all schools and fulfilled a crucial task, especially parental involvement. The Department undertook to continue supporting these structures and providing them with the necessary training and guidance to fulfil their responsibility.  Infrastructure and ICT


Infrastructure and ICT development in the Northern Cape was progressing very well with the construction of 8 new schools and the refurbishment of 3 asbestos schools for the 2017/18 financial year. The Department had already handed over 4 schools during the 2016/17 financial year, namely Matjieskloof Intermediate, Roodepan High, Emmanuel Intermediate and Valspan High. The nature of these projects came at a very high price and the duration thereof was two years.


More than 50% of schools have access to ICT centres. It becomes imperative, especially in rural areas, for learners to have access to information and for educators to provide the ultimate learning experience through technology. The Department is currently busy with engagements with the National Department to assist the Province in fast-tracking the expansion of ICT services to all schools.  Conclusion


In conclusion, the MEC mentioned the fact that the Northern Cape Department of Education remained unwavering in its efforts to improve the lives of the people through Education. With the support of all stakeholders, including Unions, community based structures and, most importantly, Oversight Committees, the Department would be able to deliver to people what they deserve now and for the future.


  1. Remarks by Stakeholders


3.2.1     Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwys Unie (SAOU)


The union representative, amongst the issues raised, included the following:

  • Number of schools;
  • Distances travelled by learners; and
  • Teacher/learner ratio.

3.2.2.    South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU)


The SADTU representative raised the following issues:

  • Lack of teachers;
  • Inadequate infrastructure in schools;
  • Poor quality of school bags;
  • Inadequate ablution facilities;
  • Poor access to water;
  • Overcrowded classes; and
  • Unqualified educators.


3.2.3.    Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS)


The representative reported that FEDSAS reached out to all schools in that it augured very well for education if there is an SGB for every school. The organisation was busy with engagements that sought to capacitate the SGBs. Those engagements and community meetings were scheduled for the second quarter of the year 2017. The organisation was to participate in three workshops which would be, amongst others, focussing on the following:

  • Ethical leadership;
  • Social media; and
  • Financial management.

Furthermore, the Provincial structure will engage the NCDOE in terms of training current SGBs.


3.2.4.    National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB)


The representative indicated that NASGB is a structure set to revive the SGB structures in the Province. This structure intended to do campaigns in February 2017 to register members on the database and later empower them on governance issues. The structure has observed that the mandate of SGBs used to overlap with management where the members were not able to isolate governance from management. This structure has standing quarterly meetings with the Department of Basic Education and is in the process of trying to get the parents involved through meetings. One of the challenges highlighted was the inability to reach out all the SGBs and parents.


3.3.       Observations


Based on the information provided in the meeting, the delegation made the following observations:

  • The MEC gave a scanty briefing that did not tabulate the state of education in the province.
  • The quintile system was not objective and remained a continuous challenge, however, ongoing discussions were being held to resolve the issues.
  • The learner-teacher ratio indicated that classrooms were overcrowded and placed additional strain on school resources and staff.
  • There was no representation of council of learners in the meeting and the reason given was that there were no RCL structures in place as yet. The appointment of the RCL structures in schools was still work in progress.


3.4.       Recommendations


The following recommendations were made:

  • There was a need for the NCDOE to provide a detailed report on the report back / wrap up session to be held on Friday, 03 February 2017 for purposes of responding to matters raised by the teacher unions.
  • The NCDOE should concentrate on top ups.
  • The SGBs need to be strengthened and capacitated.


  1. Visits to Schools in the Prixley Ka Seme Education District


The visits to schools took place from Tuesday, 31 January to Thursday, 02 February 2017. The following is a chronological account of the visits:


4.1.       High School Hope Town


High School Hope Town was established in 1854 marking 163 years old and the buildings were erected in 1914. It is a former model C school and has a functional SGB and SMT. The school is a quintile 4 with hostel facilities. The fees equate to up to R10 000 per year excluding hostel fees that equate up to R16 000 a year. This is a combined school with a leaner population equating to 272 of which females equals to 127 and males 145. The primary language(s) spoken at the school is Afrikaans. There are currently 17 staff members constituting of 5 males and 12 females. For the 2016 academic year, 26 leaners wrote the NSC examinations and the school received a 100% pass rate with 67% qualifying for admission to a bachelor’s degree. The matric pass rate has been 100% for the past 25 years. Only 1 learner failed in the whole school from grade 1 to 12 in the year 2016. The school has high priority on safety and security with minimal disciplinary problems. It has its own transport and has no formal nutrition program with individual nutrition being provided and SGB funded. The SGB has been investing 13% of its budget for basic maintenance of the school building from year 2000 to date.


Challenges include the following:

  • Aging and dilapidating infrastructure;
  • Roof and wall leakages;
  • Shortage of Maths and Physics educators;
  • Shortage of desks, lab and hall chairs;
  • The school has not benefited from the refurbishment project as was projected by the Infrastructure unit in the province since 2014;
  • The school does not have any general workers paid by the Department at this stage. Some died and some pensioned but were never replaced.
  • The school has been struggling to convince the Department for funding since 2005.


4.1.1     Observations


The delegation made the following observations:

  • Demographics are 28 per cent coloured and the rest are whites.
  • The media of instruction in the school is Afrikaans and English is the second language taught.
  • 90 learners stay in the hostel.
  • The SGB budgets for educator and RCL development.
  • More boys than girls have provincial colours.
  • The Municipal account is not affordable.
  • Fees, race and finance causes the neighbouring school to be overcrowded due to the fact that High School Hope Town is not accessible because of these factors.


4.1.2     Recommendation(s)


The delegation recommended that:

  • The NCDOE should reprioritise the school and address the infrastructure challenges.


4.2.       Petrusville High School


Petrusville High School started in 1995 to manage transformation, when the communities took this old former Model-C by force. It practices a parallel medium model where Afrikaans and English are used as languages of learning and teaching (LoLTs) to cater for the respective language groups, Africans and Coloureds. The school has a population of 577 leaners and 20 educators. In an attempt to address the teacher mobility, the school forged partnership with University of Free State to run career guidance in the area. Also arranged bursaries for leaners of the same community to study teaching qualifications to address the challenge in a long term. In 2016, 68 candidates wrote NSC examinations of which 50 passed and 18 failed. The school achieved 73.5 per cent in 2016 representing a drop of 3.5 per cent from the 2015 academic year. Out of 68 candidates who wrote, 50 passed and 18 failed. However, there was an improvement in the quality of results as 13 obtained bachelor passes, 15 diplomas and 22 higher certificates. Life Science, Maths Literacy, Geography and Mathematics contributed in the decline of 2016 pass rate. After the analysis of the results, it was noted, amongst others, that teacher mobility and the rigid choice of subjects in the FET band were the contributory factors to the results. The school participates in NSNP. All learners do eat and the food is prepared according to the menu proposed by the department. Three food handlers have been appointed and no challenges have been picked up in this area.


Challenges include the following:

  • Teacher mobility because of the remoteness of the district.
  • Teachers don’t last more than 3 years for the past 3 years.
  • School is a typical personnel pouching zone.
  • The School had a shortage of 4 educators from the beginning of 2017.
  • All teachers who started the school have gone except the principal.
  • The school need upgrading and maintenance.
  • Grade 10 has been having a challenge in LTSM provision for quite some time.
  • Inadequate infrastructure.
  • Life sciences lost 4 teachers within a space of one year.
  • Ill-disciplined educators and leaners.
  • School is volatile.
  • Municipality is occupying the hostel of the school.


  1. Observations


The delegation made the following observations:

  • The school was burnt down in 1995.
  • Mathematics has weak performance as highlighted.
  • 7 learners wrote Mathematics and only 2 passed.
  • The learners who failed were from the Afrikaans medium class.
  • The Mathematics teacher has not been performing for the past three years.
  • Non-implementation of the subject advisor’s recommendations by the mathematics teacher.
  • Inappropriate implementation of the policy on progressed leaners i.e. one progressed leaner in 2016 because of age, same as in 2017 there is one leaner only.


  1. Recommendations


The following recommendations were made:

  • The District and DBE should look at the non-delivery of grade 10 LTSM.
  • The school should rearrange subject allocation to address the maths issue.
  • The NCDOE should ensure that the school is on the priority list.
  • The school should send a detailed report on progressed learners.



4.3.       Richmond High School


Richmond High School is a dual medium quintile 4 school with critical positions manned by acting personnel such as Principal, Deputy and HOD. The school has a staff establishment of 17 educators and 3 additional ones making the number 20.


Challenges include the following:

  • Ablution facilities are effectively working and not in good condition.
  • The SGB is not a functional full component.
  • Infrastructure needs maintenance.
  • There is no electricity in some classes.
  • Educator mobility as result of its remoteness.
  • There are unfilled vacancies.
  • Poor quality of LTSM such as calculators not working.
  • Underperformance in particular to mathematics, business studies and accounting.
  • Lack of desks and chairs.
  • Quintiling is a problem as it does not match the socio-economic status of the communities.
  • Educator turnover.
  • The hostel does not have cleaning staff.


4.3.1     Recommendations

The following recommendations were made:

  • The MPLs should make follow-up on the school challenges.
  • The Province and the district should attend to challenges and support the Acting Principal to turn things around.
  • Teachers offering subjects with poor performance should ensure proper teaching takes place in classes.
  • The District should attend to the staffing matter.
  • The Acting Principal should take full authority and responsibility.
  • The Province should attend to the maintenance plan.
  • Desks should be delivered between April/May 2017 as undertaken.
  • The DBE should review the quintile status of the school.
  • Parents need to be more involved in the running of the school and the SGB needs to take control. SGB Members not attending meetings need to be replaced.


4.4.       Enoch Mthethwa High School


The school is managed by the seconded Acting Principal to turn situation around. It has 203 leaner enrolments and 10 educators. Two additional educators are sponsored by mainstream, a private donor who assist the school in matters of the curriculum and resources. It is situated KwaZanoxolo, a poverty stricken community.9 leaners wrote NSC examinations and performance is extremely poor in Mathematics and life sciences because, since 2014, learners had no educators providing the subject. Alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy marks one of the ill characteristics of the school community. Out of 37 grade 11 who wrote in 2016, 25 progressed to grade 12. The school is identified for merger but the parents resist that move.


Challenges are as follows:

  • Learner numbers has been decreasing over time as result of decrease in the number of feeder schools.
  • There’s no Life Science educators.
  • Some educators are coming to school drunk.
  • Learners get drunk from 6pm to 6am and bunk school as a result.
  • The culture of the community is critical.
  • The school is in a critical situation.


4.4.1     Recommendations


It was recommended as follows:

  • The MEC and the MPLs should make priority of close monitoring of the school.
  • The school should be supported for purposes of increasing the learner numbers in order for the school not to be closed considering the good infrastructure and resources it has.
  • There is a need for restructuring of educators, especially the one for mathematics.
  • The Parents meeting called for Tuesday, 07 February 22017 should strategize on how to change the situation.


4.5.       Theron High School


Theron High School is a very old school situated in the semi-rural area along N1 in the middle of Johannesburg and Cape Town. The school was never renovated. The class of 2016 achieved 52.7 with 3 bachelors. Out of the 43 learners who wrote, 21 failed. Theron High school is situated amongst the community where unemployment and social ills are prevalent. The majority of the people are dependent on social grants. The school has a population of 19 educators and 483 leaners to date. Out of the 19 educators, 4 are temporal. The school has a multicultural diverse and parallel medium of instruction. Learners benefit from the national school nutrition and leaner transport programme.


Challenges include the following:

  • Lack of parental involvement in the well-being of the school.
  • The SGB is dysfunctional and don’t attend meetings.
  • Ill-disciplined learners and gangsterism.
  • Poor school attendance and broken culture of learning.
  • Parents are illiterate.
  • Political flavour hinders progress in the school and community.
  • The learners take drugs and abuse alcohol.
  • Learners cut holes in the fence or jump over the fence daily for easy access to the school.
  • Break inns are prone especially at nights and the community members are the culprits.
  • Vandalism is spearheaded by the school learners.
  • Learners bunk school and hide in an unused public works house in the school terrain and consume drugs.
  • Dilapidated school infrastructure.
  • There is shortage of LTSM due to increase in grade 11 numbers and not all top up has been delivered.
  • Maths literacy, mathematics and business studies are problematic areas for grade 12 leaners.
  • Grade 10s are overcrowded with numbers ranging from 50 to 55.
  • Some text books are not in good states because leaners tear them.
  • Inadequate infrastructure i.e. Computer lab need refurbishment and computers are outdated.
  • Water and sanitation is a disaster due to aging piping system.
  • Shortage of personnel such as grounds men, security and an educator for maths literacy.
  • SMT needs capacitation
  • The Library does not have enough books.


4.5.1     Observations

The following observations were made:

  • The Principal is a visionary but the ability to deliver curriculum need assistance.
  • Sewerage is the health hazard.
  • Water restrictions by the municipality.
  • The school hostel burnt down in 2016 and not yet refurbished.
  • HOD is acting in the position.
  • Admission is still in progress with no waiting list.
  • The school embarks to door to door or “Operation gqogqa” in search for the unreturned text books and has yielded to a return of +500 books.
  • In winter, communities use the books for fire making or to make cigarettes.
  • There are two houses around the school that leaners use as their hiding places and consume drugs and alcohol there. The matter has been reported to the magistrate and relevant department and there has not been a response as yet.
  • The school received 26 tablets from Vodacom as a sponsor.
  • The school runs the Telematics programme that is supported by Stellenbosch University.
  • The school has embarked in the turnaround strategy that has resulted in the following:
  • Adopted the cop for safety and security purposes.
  • Engaged Department of Social development to address social ills.
  • BOSASA trained educators in discipline.
  • Monitoring tool is in place.
  • Scheduled monthly meetings for parents.
  • Learners are motivated to read.
  • Clustering for the curriculum of the school.
  • Looking for sponsors from SOLAR and more businesses in order to provide learners with weekend and vacation classes.
  • The SGB commits to assist the school and address non-attendance by members.
  • The school has focused and clear turnaround strategy.
  • The SGB has only the Chairperson functional.
  • The state of Mathematics and Science subjects need urgent attention.


4.5.2     Recommendations


The following recommendations were made:

  • Night guard should be employed and surveillance cameras installed.
  • The school should elect the new SGB at some stage if the situation does not change.
  • There is evidence of common governance issues, therefore, more engagements should happen on governance issues.
  • The school needs to consult people as there are those with books that they no longer need for library use.
  • Religious groups need be brought in to address the moral and ethics of the community and combat drugs and substance abuse.
  • The appointment of security should be prioritised by the district.
  • The Department should address the fencing issue and the funds raised should be used to appoint a security.
  • The sewerage problem needs to be addressed and the school should be assisted regarding spending on minor maintenance.
  • The Safer School Unit will be engaged to address the drugs and substance abuse challenge.
  • The Province should support governance to address challenges.
  • The Province should report on the status of QLTC on the meeting to be held on Friday, 03 February 2017.
  • The QLTC must be revived and the Committee will engage the Minister regarding that.
  • The SBG must be strengthen to address vandalism of the school.
  • The hostel must be rebuilt because schools with hostels performs better.


4.6.       High School Prieska


Prieska is a combined school starting from grade R-12. The population consist of 320 leaners and 20 educators. Out of the 20, 9 are paid by the SGB. Prieska, achieved 100 % and has been sitting at number 1 for 2 consecutive years in the Prixley Ka Seme District. In Prieska, it is compulsory for every child to participate in 1 winter and summer sports for his or her intellectual development. Admissions and registrations has been concluded and the admission policy has been implemented as in other parts of the country. The school has no waiting list as recruitment starts early as prescribed nationally by the department. LTSM is sufficiently provided and the last batch was received on 18 January 2017. The school is 100 % functional, same as its SGB and SMT. In cases where there is a shortage, the school does budget for shortfalls. The Nutrition programme benefits 90 learners who can’t even afford school fees. The hostel accommodates 65 leaners from grade 1 to grade 12. The school has good academics, cultural and sports attitudes. The population is made out of 70 % white and 30% coloured communities. Most children are farmer’s children. In terms of performance, Mathematics in grade 12 has an average of 67.9 per cent. The Science and business studies teachers are on the top 3 in the Northern Cape. The school achieved 21 bachelors out of 27 who wrote NSC examinations. Only one leaner failed geography. The staff consist of 14 women and 6 men. The contribution of farmers is massive in the school as Prieska has rich farmers.


Challenges include the following:

  • There’s not enough finances to do fencing.
  • Infrastructure needs maintenance.
  • In the hostel, the windows are leaking.
  • Theft and burglary.
  • Inadequate and dilapidated ceiling.
  • Structural imbalances.
  • Pipes from the Science lab are damaged and chemicals run through the class.


4.6.1     Observations


The following observations were made:

  • Priska High School is a good well managed school.
  • The school has a recommendable attitude and cooperation by the SMT and SGB.
  • The SMT members has at least 10 years teaching experience.
  • Schools in rural areas have financial constraints to meet the standards of sporting facilities.
  • Prieska has widened the curriculum and included agriculture because of its Agricultural community.
  • Curriculum includes agricultural technology, agricultural management practise and agricultural science.
  • DBE and public works has not yet established the agricultural class though it has been scheduled to be done by end of March 2017.
  • Demographics does not represent coexistence and acceptance of one another in terms of racial representations.




4.6.2     Recommendations


It was recommended as follows:

  • The NCDOE should send a team to assess level of maintenance required and check against section 21. It should also assist in terms of additions for general maintenance.
  • The Sponsors i.e. rich farmers should be engaged to spread to the disadvantaged schools.
  • The Committee, MEC and the MPLs need to consider meeting the sponsors to request them to share the assistance they are giving.


4.7.       Hoerskool Douglas


Douglas is the quintile 5 school, however, reality of the school does not count in terms of financial status. The teacher learner ratio is 1:25. 2 of the leaners who wrote matric achieved A aggregates. 23 learners achieved 24 As, 13 achieved bachelors and 10 got diplomas. It is the best academic school in the Northern Cape and in South Africa and one of its learners was ranked number 4 in the Province. The school is under the top 15 schools and its teachers are the best in the Northern Cape. Some of them were being awarded in Kimberley on the day of the visit. The LTSM provision arrived on time and even though there are delays in top up, that is not a big deal. Learners buy their own stationery.


4.7.1     Observations


The delegation made the following observations:

  • Schools with no sporting facilities utilise the Douglas one and are capacitated during practise.
  • Recruitments are addressed earlier and documents submitted prior possible departure of the teacher, thus there is no vacancy except the one teacher who left a day before the visit.
  • Retrieval system is in place and leaners sign for the books and are returned prior recess.
  • With regards to Incremental implementation of African languages, Douglas chose Setswana.
  • For the past five years of gazetted post, the school never received applications from other cultural groups.
  • It is proven that strong management and governance structure, yield the good results.
  • The SGB is not happy with the allocation of 85 000 as they fundraise up to R3.5 million as they are the ones to run the school and pay for educators.
  • Douglas sponsor leaners from other schools but their will is critical.


4.7.2     Recommendations


The following recommendations were made:

  • Networking between schools should be done.
  • The DGs words when he urged performing schools to group and mentor the underperforming schools and exchange good practises needs to be reiterated.
  • The willingness from the principal will be explored in order to motivate schools and the SGBs to network with the school.
  • The District should be visiting the school and embark in the sharing of best practises approach.


4.8.       Karrikamma Hoerskool


The school obtained an 83.7% pass rate from 43.5% in 2015. There were 49 learners. 46 learners wrote full exams and 3 were modulating. The poor performance in the 2015 results was attributed to HODs that were acting in those positions. The school had extra classes in 2016 and that assisted a lot in improving the pass rate. There were autumn, spring and winter schools. Telematics were fully utilized. The school accepted all learners, had no waiting list and was still accepting more. All new textbooks had been delivered and some of the old textbooks were not in good condition due to the fact that they had been in circulation for some years. The school had recently developed and implemented a retrieval of books plan. The school does have a school improvement plan. An amount of R418 867.20 was allocated as a school nutrition budget for the 2016/17 financial year and the allocation was for 578 learners. There are 3 food handlers who make sure that learners receive a cooked meal 4 days a week. 35 learners are transported from Campbell and back every day. They travel 45 km to and from the area. The SGB and staff have a sound relationship. The SGB is actively involved in fundraising, discipline of the school and in academic programmes. The school inherited a former model C school more than 20 years ago. It was originally built for 300 learners but was now running on an average of 600 learners a year. Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Science learners make use of their mathematics and science laptops as well as edukite laptops. Teachers have access to data projectors all of them have laptops. The school’s biggest asset is its human capital.


Challenges include the following:

  • Events within the CBD that increases the bunking of learners who attend these events;
  • The school environment is influenced by communities surrounding the school;
  • There’s a shortage of chairs;
  • Learner transport is a problem. The condition of the buses being given contracts to transport children is not good and one of the 2 buses is currently broken.
  • Classrooms are too small and this poses a problem in effective teaching and learning.
  • Mathematics and physical science remain a challenge.


4.8.1     Observations


The delegation made the following observations:

  • Members commended the school on the stride of moving from 43.5 to 83.7 % in its 2016 matric pass rate. They felt that this meant there’s been a good turnaround strategy. Even though they commended the school, they also felt that there was a need to now concentrate on the quality of the results.
  • They commended the SMT and the SGB for working together in the daily running of the school. This helps in improving results and on the good running of the school.
  • Even though they raised a concern about mathematics and physical science, they felt that the school has done well as compared to a number of other schools.
  • They observed that challenges of infrastructure prevailed from one school to another.
  • They raised a concern on the issue of the condition of textbooks given to learners.
  • They observed that the buses transporting learners were overloaded and this needed to be sorted out as a matter of urgency.


4.8.2     Recommendations


The delegation made the following recommendations:

  • The school needs to put more effort on Mathematics and Physical Science.
  • The school needs to concentrate on the quality of the results.
  • The school should develop some kind of strategy that would instill some kind of responsibility to learners and inspire them to take care of textbooks given to them.
  • The NCDOE should priorities the building of new classrooms for the school as the ones it currently has are too small and therefore compromising teaching of learners. The issue of overcrowding is a big challenge and need to be attended to as a matter of urgency.
  • Bunking of classes because of activities taking place around the school in school hours is worrisome and therefore needs full attention of parents to attend to it.
  • The NCDOE and the District need to concentrate a bit more on the issue of infrastructure.
  • The overloading of busses transporting leaners need to be sorted out as a matter of urgency.


5.         Wrap up meeting with the Stakeholders


5.1.       Presentation by the NCDOE

On the last day, the province presented the state of education as recommended on the first day and the highlights of the presentations follows:


5.1.1     School readiness

As per the National Department expectations on provinces to conduct pre-school readiness monitoring at the end of the previous year, and monitoring of schools at the beginning of the year. The Northern Cape Province political office-bearers and senior managers are deployed to schools to monitor the reopening of schools. DBE also deployed officials to two circuits in two districts each (Frances Baard and Namakwa districts) to monitor readiness of schools. During the monitoring of schools in the first week of schools reopening deployed officials and politicians also had to complete a monitoring checklist, which districts consolidated and also completed and listed the challenges that still need attention.


Prior to the monitoring of school readiness on the first day of schools reopening, the Northern Cape Department of Education has put in place numerous programmes such as: monitoring and verification of school readiness in the last quarter preceding the new academic year. The process involved the coordinating of activities between the line functions to ensure holistic service delivery to schools, allowing the commencement of teaching and learning from day one of the new academic year. Schools were expected to complete readiness checklists to inform specific support interventions by Districts.


5.1.2     2016 matric results



Year 2015

Year 2014

Year 2016

Region Name










Frances Baard










John Taolo Gaetsewe




















Pixley Ka Seme































5.1.3     The state of the school environment

All schools have functional timetables and Curriculum plans which were concluded before schools closed on 7 December 2016. The teachers have been provided with the Curriculum and Subject Policy documents and guidelines in their files. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of NC schools have Work Schedules and Lessons Plans for first term 2017 in place and the other 2% have been allocated Circuit managers to assist towards finalisation of these plans. The School Based Assessment Programme for the first term in 2017 has been finalised in all schools.


5.1.4     The state of the admission and registration of learners

Admissions and registration are concluded successfully in almost all districts. Some schools still experienced late registrations despite the vigorous advocacy programme engaged upon early in 2016. An online Praelexis Admission Management System was developed and piloted in Frances Baard and Namaqua Districts.

All learners in Frances Baard are placed with the only exception being JTG, where 58 learners still need to be placed. Admissions challenges primarily fuelled by insufficient schools in Kimberley and Kuruman and parental preferences at former model C schools.The NCDOE experienced high enrollment of learners particularly in the Frances Baard and John Toalo Gaetsewe Districts respectively. Most of these applications were received after the 11th of January 2017 when schools reopened. The majority of school spaces are in the English stream - Afrikaans is on the decline.

Frances Baard admissions were the highest, we received 1441 requests from parents seeking placement. Approximately 560 parents applied for placement at the District office in 2016, and 881 parents only applied for placement in January 2017.There were 246 transfers to Kimberley and 79 applications from learners currently attending independent schools seeking placement at a public school. The department received 149 requests from parents where learners wanted to change their current school to another school. 1232 learners from grade 1 to 12 and 117 grade R learners have been successfully placed. This then indicate that all grades 1 to 12 learners seeking placement at a school offering the relevant subjects of the learner have been successfully placed. The department is unable to place 209 grade R learners due to limited space available at public schools and parents are advised to seek alternative placement at grade R community based centres.


In the JTG, 227 learners from Grade 1 and Grade 8 successfully at a school have been placed and only 58 learners still need to be placed. The admission process in all other Districts were successfully completed on time. The NCDOE further urge all parents/legal guardians to actively participate in the education of their children and play their part by registering their children on time during the admission period for the 2018 school academic year.


5.1.5     The provision of Learner Teacher Support Materials (LTSM)

No major challenges in terms of LTSM delivery as challenges were addressed before re-opening. The NCDOE is busy with a mop up process to deal with shortages as a result of learner increases and short deliveries. On record, 100% Volume 1 Workbook delivery and 96% Volume 2 Workbook delivery.

In terms of delivery of works books, 98 per cent of Volume 1 and 2 has been delivered for Gr R and 100% schools delivered of Volume 1 whilst schools received 97.7% of Volume 2. For Braille and large Prints, there is a challenge of limited titles and only one school in need and Grade R.

In terms of top-ups, orders have been made and delivery to warehouse stands at 97%. Grade 11 Technical has a 47 % delivery to warehouse. For grade 1-9, 99 per cent has been delivered to the schools from the 97 per cent delivered to the warehouse. For FET literature, 100 per cent delivery has been recorded.

For stationery, huge gaps in schools providing the minimum schoolbag requirements has been reported. NCDoE, opted to centralise the contracts for 2017/18 voluntary participation. Consultations of relevant stakeholders such as SGBs took place and no school was compelled to participate. Processes and systems are in place to address damaged material. The participation by district is tabulated below:


District stationery orders:








 R6 353 099,58

        63 (53%)




 R3 689 635,97

        62 (71%)




 R10 204 264,42

        158 (93%)




 R1 210 752,96

        30 (31%)




 R  880 078,82

        36 (50%)




 R22 337 831,75





5.1.6     Staff establishments (Post-Provisioning Norms)

All public ordinary and special schools were issued with their staff establishments in August 2016 for the 2017 academic year. The Northern Cape Department of Education applies a learner teacher ratio of 1:32. The majority of vacant substantive educator posts were filled by the opening day of schools. A few vacancies are still reported in the Frances Baard, Prixley and JTG Districts due to teacher shortages in the province. However, the vacancies are being filled through various innovative recruitment strategies. The Department is in the on-going process of filling substitute and additional educator posts. Not all post can be filled due to the current personnel budget challenges however, the department considers for priority areas.


5.1.7     School Improvement Plans and District support

Almost all schools have concluded their School Improvement Plans and year plans. Circuit Managers have started their monitoring and support visits to schools. District Principal meetings are being conducted in the First term. District cluster meetings are scheduled and underway. District curriculum subject advisors have started their activities to monitor and offer support.


5.1.8     The availability of learner transport and school nutrition to qualifying learners

In general, the learner transport to schools and back is well except concerns in areas such as, Windsorton to Warrenton High School. The other problem area is the transport of learners from Tadcaster to ER Mocwaledi. In JTD, leaners do not attend schools nearest to their homes as result they require transport. When the schools re-opened the LTS Unit visited the identified routes to ensure that learners are enrolled at their nearest suitable schools.

The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) is a poverty alleviation programme funded through the conditional grant and has two main integrated components namely: School Feeding and Nutrition Education. It is through the School Feeding that the Department of Education attempts to address the plight of needy learners (quintile 1-3 schools) by providing them with a nutritious meal by 10:00 am. The NCDOE’s offer all primary and secondary schools in the Province the opportunity to apply to participate in the NSNP. All learners in the schools which apply to participate in the NSNP will be entitled to benefit from the programme (Grades R – 12). The aim of Nutrition Education is to promote healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyles in schools and communities. 

It is through this component that the Programme hopes to capacitate parents, educators, SGBs, SMTs, school gate vendors, tuck shop managers and interested community members. To date, 139 985 primary learners in quintile 1-3; 2 896 learners in special Schools; 60 002 secondary learners in quintile 1-3; 34 329 primary learners in quintile 4-5; 21 771 secondary learners in quintile 4-5 benefited. To date, 255 314 learners in total benefited from the programme 1550 food handlers were contracted and paid a stipend of R960 per month. 350 service providers were contracted to supply groceries, gas and cooking utensils.

However, the department has challenges such as: needy learners in quintile 4-5 schools that are not included in the conditional grant budget; high water rates discourages schools to start food gardens; infrastructure (lack of proper kitchen and dining hall) remains a challenge and monitoring is not done regularly because of high vacancy rate at districts.


5.1.9     The state of the school infrastructure and ICT

Basic infrastructure is in place in all schools, but annual increase in learner numbers in some schools is creating major challenges in this regard. There are still challenges/flashpoints identified in the previous year that are still not addressed. This include procurement, movement and/or delivery of mobile classrooms and school furniture. Seven classrooms were broken down in December 2016 at Groenpunt Primary School in the Frances Baard District to start building a new school. Six mobiles ordered to accommodate learners in the meantime unfortunately did not arrive in time, having the Greenpoint community up in arms. This challenge of the delivery of mobile classrooms are addressed amicably.

The JTG district also submitted a list of mobile classrooms needed due to the envisaged high learner enrolment, that are supposed to be relocated to the identified schools, and the province is still in the process of finalizing the provision of mobiles to the schools. Some learners do not have accommodation at Seoding Laerskool and Kalahari High School, and it is hoped that it will be resolved by the delivery of mobiles. Many schools who received mobile classrooms last year reported that the classrooms were never electrified, and this challenge also needs to be attended to by Infrastructure.

In the Pixley ka Seme District emergency sanitation problems were reported in Noupoort at Ikhwezi Lokusa Primary and Eureka Intermediate School, as well as at John Rossouw Primary in Victoria West, and at Vaal-Oranje Primary School in Douglas.


Serious water supply problems are also experienced in Victoria West, Hutchinson, Norvalspont, Umso High, Noupoort and Campbell (Aalwyn Primary School) in Pixley ka Seme.Buffelsrivier Primary School and Calvinia High School experienced heavy storms over the festive season and the roofs were blown off. Emergency repairs could only the week when schools reopened and is not concluded yet. At Buffelsfontein parents wanted to close the school due to unsafe conditions. Learner transport is provided to Komaggas until emergency repairs is concluded by the end of January 2017.



5.1.10   The functionality of School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and School Management Teams (SMTs)


The SGBs has been trained and 1 321 benefited however, two clusters in Namakwa (Wiliston and Calvinia) could not be trained. 198 SMT members has been trained in financial management and those assumed duty in 2017 has been inducted. 1309 RCL members will be capacitated from fifty-one (51) schools of which 365 members from twenty-three (23) schools are from Pixley ka Seme.


  1. Commitments


Commitments were made by the Department to address issues raised during the oversight and the SGBs and organised labour committed to support teaching and learning. The following were highlighted:


5.2.1     Department of Basic Education


DBE noted a number of issues and some of the key areas that are critical to them. They committed to address the following:

  • Issues around infrastructure, particularly the issue of overcrowded classrooms: The person responsible for infrastructure in the DBE had already been contacted and has been in contact with NCDOE. The budget for infrastructure is within the ambits of the Province but DBE needed to work very closely with NCDOE. They will specifically look at options of prioritising those schools that the Committee visited, particularly in reference to the issue of building extra classes and admin halls. The Minister of Basic Education and the DG will be briefed in this regard.
  • Maintenance budget: This is clearly one of the areas that is a big challenge. Schools are given maintenance budget but do not know how to use it. DBE will, however, be making follow ups on how schools are utilising this budget for purpose of coming up with a strategy on how these schools should best be assisted.
  • Supply of teachers: DBE made reference to the availability of Funza Lushaka bursaries. All these bursaries have been allocated. DBE is working closely with a company called TSA in supporting teachers to be professionally qualified. Seven teachers had already been currently allocated in the Province and there are additional ones that are available. DBE will see if they cannot allocate some in the District. It was clear during the visits that some schools had more than enough educators even though they were lacking ones for certain subjects. DBE indicated its happiness with the NCDOE’s commitment with the QLTC and undertook to work closely with them in setting up QLTC structures.
  • From the curriculum point of view, a point of great concern was where the delegation visited schools with only five learners who wrote mathematics. DBE, therefore, committed to work with the NCDOE to pursue the numbers.
  • DBE undertook to sit down with NCDOE for the purpose of drawing up a management plan with clear commitments and timelines.
  • quality of LTSM such as calculators, bags and more
  • Sewerage issues
  • Quintiling
  • Infrastructure buildings will be gradually attended to.


5.2.2. Northern Cape Provincial Department of Education


At the schools visited in the Pixley Ka Seme District, some of the key issues raised around teacher provisioning related to the following:

  • Vacant SMT posts at schools (Acting appointments);
  • Vacant general worker posts;
  • High turnover of educators in rural and remote areas;
  • Overcrowded classes due to late enrolments by parents; and
  • Shortage of educators.


NCDOE undertook to address the challenges as follows:

  • All vacant SMT posts in the province will be advertised in the first quarter of the academic year.
  • Given the provincial moratorium on the filling of posts and the challenges on the personnel budget, reprioritisation will be done to address the critical areas.
  • Learners from remote areas will be targeted to study education when recruiting and placing learners through the Funza Lushaka programme.
  • Additional educators will be allocated to schools with increased learner numbers.
  • The NCDOE will place adverts in local newspapers requesting qualified educators to apply to be placed on the database.
  • Vacancies will be filled through the placement of Funza Lushaka graduates.


  1. Appreciation


The delegation, led by Hon LL Zwane MP (Chairperson: Select Committee on Education and Recreation), would like to thank the MEC, officials from the Provincial Department of Education, the National Department of Basic Education, the Portfolio Committee in the Legislature as well as Organised Labour and SGB associations for the support given during the oversight visit.


Report to be considered.






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