Lesufi Warns Schools Bearing Apartheid Names To Change Such Names


In as much as South Africa is ready to demolish racism and all appearances of the ‘die hard devil’, concerned authorities still feel that more should be done to send the ‘monster away forever.

We will recall this President Jacob Zuma declared the month of March, a ‘month of anti-racism’. The president also enumerated plans which the state will undertake this month to fight racism.

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Taking a pragmatic look at the separate protests carried out by South African students in the higher institutions, one would agree with the writer that one of the major problems that sparked off the protests is racism.

With this and more, it falls on the shoulders on everyone to help fight racism to a halt. Because only when this is done, can the unity and togetherness that South African ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’ crave for would be realized.

Be that as it may, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has announced that schools have until September to change names that are offensive, derogatory or which hail apartheid heroes.

Lesufi was delivering his address on the state of education in the province at the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday when he made this known.

He further emphasized that any institution that fails to do so would force concerned authorities to do it for them. He opined that the same rules would apply to school emblems and signage.

“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.

Lesufi drove his points home by mentioning an institution, whose name he says is not accepted.

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

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.

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The education MEC revealed that the department has faced several court cases about student admissions and waiting lists.

He noted that another related case is the use of language barrier, which some schools recently put up, thereby denying learners gaining admission into certain schools.

He also criticized an action being carried out in some schools. The MEC termed it “twinning”.

Buzzsouthafrica learnt that twinning is when a township school partners with a suburban school. Such bilateral relationship leads to sharing of resources.

He said that ‘twinning’ is being done in six Gauteng schools.

Lesufi also said that at the end of April, the first School of Specialization (SOS) will be launched in Soweto. The school is expected to specialize in preparing learners for work and post school further education.

And will focus on Engineering, Commerce and Creative Arts. He said he believes “These schools will have an impact on the economy of South Africa.”

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