Ministers Schäfer and Fritz visit Beaufort West to inspect route learners walk
Today I visited Beaufort West to personally inspect the route that learners in the town walk to school in the absence of school transport. I was joined by the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, and district officials.
In January, residents of the town illegally blocked the N1 highway, in protest of the cancellation of the learner transport route that had previously been in operation. The route was cancelled by the WCED as learners walked less than 5km to school, and the policy only allows for the transport of learners walking more than 5km. Moreover, the WCED determined that the safety concerns previously affecting the provision of learner transport in Beaufort West had been resolved.
Residents submitted an appeal to the Ministry stating that safety continued to a be a concern. As learner safety is a key priority for the Western Cape Government, I felt I needed to see the route for myself before making a decision.
Having viewed the route in person, I will now make a decision on the appeal taking all the facts into account. The outcome of the appeal will then be communicated to the district and affected schools in due course.