The right to a basic education is one of the only socio-economic rights in the South African Constitution that is unqualified. This means that it is not subject to ‘progressive realisation’ within available resources – such as, for instance, the rights to further education, housing, healthcare, food, and social security. The right to basic education is immediately realisable, regardless of available resources.
A mother in Manguzi in northern KwaZulu Natal told SECTION27 of her 17 year old son, Siyabonga Dlamini who has never been to school because he is deaf and has never had the opportunity to learn sign language. The child was put on a waiting list for a special school when he was 8 years old but at 12 he was rejected for being too old.