Dennegeur Accident - WCED Task Team Disburses Funds
Eugene Daniels, Director of Education in the WCED's Metropole South District, initiated the fund following the bus accident in which three learners died and others were injured in Kloof Street, Cape Town on 25 August 2005.
The payments reflect the first phase of the disbursement process, to distribute about R319,000 currently in the fund's account. The task team will also assist in disbursing further funds that have been pledged, but that have not yet been deposited in the fund's account.
The WCED assembled the task team to manage the fund at the request of the school governing body, which asked the WCED to develop criteria for distributing the funds and to manage the process of doing so.
The WCED asked parents affected by the accident to form a Liaison Committee and appoint a representative to liaise with the task team. The task team has considered all claims carefully in consultation with the affected parents and their representative and has decided that the most equitable way of distributing the funds would be to provide relief for the day on which the accident happened.
Claims for medical expenses, loss of income and care-givers expenses that may be recovered through legal proceedings will not be covered by the fund, and must be referred to attorneys representing the individuals concerned.
Money pledged specifically to assist with medical expenses and counseling will be allocated accordingly once this is received.
The fund will pay R450 to each family that had children traveling on the two buses involved in the outing at the time of the accident. This reflects a payment of R300 for transport and R150 for telephone calls, based on rates of the Automobile Association and cell phone service providers.
Each learner traveling on the bus driven by the deceased bus driver will receive an ex gratia (goodwill) payment of R3000. This payment reflects an average of the total claims submitted by the families of these learners and is made as a token gesture to compensate for trauma experienced while in the bus.
The families of the three learners who died in the accident will each receive an ex gratia payment of R30,000.00. This amount is based on standard life cover policies for children between the ages of seven and 14.
The task team has proposed that R40,000.00 be set aside to for some form of memorial for the three deceased learners at the school, namely, Chavonne Beck, Angelique Johnson and Brent Stander. The memorial would also commemorate the volunteer parents and the community spirit evident throughout this process. The governing body will consider this proposal further in consultation with the school community.
The nominated representative of the Parents' Liaison Committee will receive R2,500.00 for expenses incurred during the lengthy consultation process, based on a rate of R100 a day. The school will receive the remaining balance of R6, 950.00.
Last month, the Education MEC Cameron Dugmore handed over laptops to two grade 7 learners who have been injured the accident, to help them keep up with their schoolwork.
Since the WCED's Khanya Technology in Education Project was installing a computer laboratory at the school, they did not want the injured learners to loose out from the e-education project at the school.
Said MEC Dugmore: "I want to thank the parents' representative, Mr Lesley Fredericks, the Parents' Liaison Committee and the task team for the many hours they have spent on handling this fund thus far. I also want to thank the school governing body and management for their support in this process.
"We join the parents and the school in thanking all those who have contributed so generously to the fund. We also thank all those who have shown their care and support in many different ways.
"We also wish to thank the parents who volunteered to assist the outing, especially those who were in the bus that overturned, namely, Mrs Magmoeda Latief, Mrs Yolanda Fredericks, Mrs Joy Swiegelaar and Mrs Natasha Cupido. The WCED would like to affirm the volunteer spirit of the parents who have assisted in this episode and call on parents to follow their example.
"Ultimately, we remember those learners who have died and those who were injured in this tragic accident, and their families. The donations, and the care put into managing this fund, demonstrate the care and support of all concerned for these learners and their families at this time".
For enquiries, contact Paddy Attwell 083 261 7699, or Gert Witbooi: 082 550 3938.
Office of the MEC for Education
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689
Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za