RELIEF FOR EASTERN CAPE SCHOOLS AS DEPARTMENT PAYS OUT 67 MILLION BUT KEY ASPECT OF ORDER UNFULFILLED

Article published on LEGAL RESOURCES CENTRE – 24 June 2015

South Africa’s first opt-in class action law suit, Link­side & oth­ers v Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion & oth­ers, was the first to appoint a claims admin­is­tra­tor to man­age the pay­ment of a claim. Fol­low­ing the court order of 17 Decem­ber 2014, Price­Wa­ter­house­C­oop­ers was appointed by the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion to receive and ver­ify schools’ claims for reim­burse­ment for amounts spent on edu­ca­tors dur­ing 2011–2014 and to pay the ver­i­fied claims.

The total amount claimed was R82 mil­lion. To date, schools have been reim­bursed an amount of R67 mil­lion, with a few out­stand­ing claims await­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion.

The Legal Resources Cen­tre, act­ing on behalf of all the schools that make up the class, says the schools are immensely relieved to receive this fund­ing.

”Many schools have been placed in a per­ilous finan­cial con­di­tion due to the Department’s ongo­ing fail­ure to appoint edu­ca­tors to vacant sub­stan­tive posts and pay them. Indi­vid­ual schools have accu­mu­lated between R200 000 and R5 mil­lion in debt over this period. This has resulted in schools increas­ing their fees, but this has often resulted in a higher rate of par­ents default­ing on pay­ments.”

 

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