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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, to request urgent information on whether the Department of Basic Education (DBE) received a prior warning from Eskom on its plans to implement rolling blackouts.
On Wednesday morning, just as some matriculants were preparing to write their Computer Science practical exam, Eskom implemented stage two rolling blackouts. Today, students will be completing their Information Technology practical exams as power cuts continue.
Over the past 24 hours, we have been inundated by panicked calls from principals and teachers across the country raising concerns of the impact of rolling blackouts on the final matric exams.
The DA has therefore also requested information on whether the DBE has implemented any contingency plans to mitigate the impact of these power cuts on operations at matric examination centers.
The rolling blackouts will no doubt add further stress to matriculants as they prepare for the most important exams of their educational careers.
At 52.8%, South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. For many young people, a matric certificate is an important stepping stone towards finding employment and breaking the cycle of poverty.
The DA calls on the DBE to urgently provide schools with contingency plans to reassure the matriculants that they will be able to complete their final exams without any further disruptions.