Minister must urgently address alarming conditions at LSEN schools

Issued by Marina van Zyl MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Basic Education
13 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Marina Van Zyl MP 

The DA calls on the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and her Department to urgently address the appalling conditions faced by learners schools and hostels for learners with education special needs (LSEN) and will request that a comprehensive briefing be brought to the parliamentary portfolio committee on basic education.

Disturbing reports continue to surface at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha regarding the horrible conditions faced by the learners. Just last week parents and children protested to complain of the poor conditions as well as abuse by the hostel staff.

One mother found her child sick, lying on the brick bed alone for days without eating, medication and with no care. This desperate mother took him to the hospital where he remained for 5 weeks, treated for his illness.

This once again highlighted that these vulnerable students are enduring substandard facilities, inadequate resources, and a lack of specialised care, raising serious concerns about their well-being and the overall commitment to inclusive education.

The hostel, meant to provide a conducive living environment for these children, have been found to be severely lacking in basic amenities like hot water, posing a direct threat to their physical and mental health.

On 12 September 2023, the DA tabled a motion without notice that the house notes the conditions at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School and called on all relevant government departments to embark on a comprehensive program to audit all special needs schools in South Africa as a matter of urgency, to ensure that their hostels are up to standard, to audit the qualifications and readiness of all caregivers and educators, and to ensure that each special needs school has sufficient numbers of nursing and support staff.

This motion was objected to by the ANC in the house. This is a clear indication that the ANC government does not care for the citizens in South Africa, especially not the most vulnerable children in our societies.

Ensuring a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for all learners should be a top priority, and decisive action to rectify these dire circumstances is expected.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at