Schools prepared for start of 2017 academic year – Debbie Schafer

Minister says dept completed three new schools and six replacement schools, along with 179 additional classrooms

Schools prepared for start of 2017 academic year

9 January 2017

On Wednesday, more than one million learners are expected to arrive at schools across the Western Cape to begin the 2017 school year.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has been working hard to ensure that its schools are prepared, so as to ensure a smooth start to the academic year.

I am advised that our schools and officials are as prepared as possible for the 2017 academic year. Most of the preparations were completed well before the end of last year.

Furniture and equipment, as well as textbook orders, were made well in advance so as to ensure early delivery at schools before the end of last year. 

Suppliers delivered textbooks by 30 October 2016, except in cases where schools opted not to store books during the end-of-year holiday. Schools received workbooks by 30 November 2016, and most furniture orders by the end of October. Top-up orders for furniture were scheduled for the end of the year.

The WCED issued staff establishments to schools in September last year to enable them finalise their timetables for 2017.

Every year the WCED receives a number of late enrolments. This is either because parents have relocated to the Province during the festive season, or parents of learners have neglected their responsibility to enrol their children on time.

In addition, owing to the annual increases in learner numbers in the province, we do still have learners who have not yet been placed.  The WCED has officials who are working around the clock with schools and parents to place all learners. The WCED introduced the new School Admission Management Information System in 2014. This system has assisted us in providing clear data and indicating which schools are full or still have space.

We have completed three new schools and six replacement schools for the new year, along with 179 additional classrooms.

The WCED will deploy 119 mobile classrooms, as required, to meet growth and shifting demand.

The province plans to replace 15 schools over a three-year period, in terms of the current Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

To parents who are having difficulties enrolling their child, or who have failed to enrol their child, they are advised to approach their nearest school as there could be some enrolment cancellations after the school holidays.

Alternatively they may approach the local district office for assistance with finding a place at a school.

Each district office has identified officials who will assist parents who struggle to find a place when schools re-open. Their contact details can be found below.






Head Office

Mr. L R Abrahams

021-467 2000    

 Cape Winelands

Mr. J Goliath

023 348 6000

023-348 4604     

 Eden & Central Karoo

Mr. A Ellmann

044 803 8300

044 803 8309  

 Metro Central

Mr. S Hattingh

021 514 6700

021 514 6721 

 Metro East

Mr. E Magodla

021 900 7173

021 900 7203   

 Metro North

Mr. L Rutgers

021 938 3009

021 938 3009

 Metro South

Mrs. L Primo

021 370 2000

021 370 2035   


Mr. J Bailey

028 214 7300

021 214 7879 

 West Coast

Ms. A Truter

021 860 1207

021-860 1206

While we will do our best to conduct this process as quickly as possible, the fact that a child has been enrolled late has not afforded us the opportunity to plan in advance, as we have done for other learners who enrolled early last year.

The WCED has an obligation to assist all parents with placement of their children. This however does not mean that we guarantee a place in a school of choice, even if these schools are the closest to their new home.

Planning for the school year is not an easy task. It requires a great deal of work and involves various structures within the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), including head office, the districts, principals, educators and school management teams.

I would like to thank our officials and staff for doing their best to ensure that learning and teaching can begin on day one of the school year.

Issued by Jessica Shelver, Spokesperson for Minister Debbie Schafer, Ministry for Education, Western Cape Government, 9 January 2017