“Apartheid hero” school name-changes must happen by September

Schools have until September to change names that are offensive, derogatory or which hail apartheid heroes, or it will be done for them, according to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

“We are giving schools a new guideline. Schools that are named after apartheid heroes or are insulting, they have until the end of September to change those names. This is the new South Africa. Names which glorify apartheid must go… So apartheid names must fall, ” said Lesufi.

He said the same rules would apply to school emblems and signage.

“Like HF Verwoerd [school], we are coming. They can’t have those kind of names,” he said.

Lesufi was delivering his address on the state of education in the province at the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday.

He said the department was also battling several court cases about student admissions and waiting lists, another against language being used as a means to prohibit learners from admission into certain schools and another about “twinning”.

Twinning involved partnering a township school with a suburban school. Both of them then share resources. This was currently being done with six Gauteng schools.

Lesufi said they would take action to ensure non-racialism at schools was achieved, saying they planned to mobilise students, school governing bodies and teachers.

They would approach the Constitutional Court on May 5 about language admissions at schools.


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“Apartheid hero” school name-changes must happen by September