Nursery schools that “have instituted appropriate and / or prescribed safeguards” may immediately reopen their doors, Judge Hans Fabricius ruled Monday morning in the Pretoria High Court.
This comes after months of uncertainty as to when toddlers may return to their schools after nursery schools were also closed in March following the disaster because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The current disaster management regulations only allow early childhood development (ECD) centers to reopen on Monday if they are Grade. R and therefore meet the definition of a “school” as set out in the Schools Act.
The Department of Social Development has said on several occasions private nursery schools should not reopen at level 3 of the restriction.
Solidarity’s Social Guild Career Guild and its School Support Center (SOS) requested in the court application that ECDs that are not at all gr. R offers, also allowed to reopen.
This includes day mothers, playgroups and after-school centers.
The court granted a costs order against the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, adding that her actions during the court proceedings did not meet the standard expected on such important issues.
Just got our judgment. All Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs and private preschools) may reopen immediately.— Daniël Eloff (@DJEloff) July 6, 2020
Great success not only for @Solidariteit and @SOS_Skole but for all parents and learners in SA. pic.twitter.com/rW0wZ2ygGz
Dr.Dirk Hermann, Solidarity chief executive, earlier said that this is an incredibly important matter. “Not only does it affect nursery schools that are in crisis, but it also makes it very difficult for many people to return to work.”
He emphasized that the virus should not be dealt with recklessly, and that the reopening of nursery schools should be done in an orderly and healthy manner.
“We also argued in our court cases that the Pediatric Association of South Africa also said in a report that if the risk of the virus in children is weighed against not going to kindergarten, it is in the interest of the child that opens nursery schools. “
The owner of a nursery school in Durbanville, Cape Town, who did not want her name mentioned, is delighted with the court’s ruling and immediately informed her school’s parents that their children could return on Wednesday.
“A lot of money has already been spent to make sure everything is ready.”
She says the restriction forced them to realize that their successful venture, which the sector regards as an essential service, was one of the government’s last priorities.
“We have diligently and courageously begun to strictly adhere to the regulations and put in place protocols to ensure the safety of our children and staff, and each time the goal posts have been moved or we have simply been ignored by a minister who does not we’re not talking. ”