This case concerns whether the right to basic education includes a right to be provided with transport to and from school at state expense for those scholars who live a distance from their schools and who cannot afford the cost of that transport.
This High Court case deals with the constitutional obligation of the South African government to promote basic education by securing timely appointment and funding of educators at all public schools.
In South Africa, SECTION27 has used rights-based strategies, including litigation, to hold the state accountable for not ensuring the procurement and delivery of textbooks to schools across Limpopo, a poor rural area of the country.
In this decision, the Constitutional Court of South Africa held that an eviction order obtained by an owner of private land on which a public school was located could not be enforced where it would impact students’ right to basic education and the best interests of the child under the South African Constitution (sections 28 and 29). The Court held that a private landowner and non-sate actor has a constitutional obligation not to impair the right to basic education under section 29 of the Constitution. The Court also held that, unlike other socio-economic rights protected by the Constitution, the right to basic education is immediately realisable and any limitation of this right must be 'reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom'.
This case involves the interpretation of the scope of the constitutional right in South Africa to basic education and in particular whether the provision of school textbooks to all basic education learners for the whole academic year is an essential component of this right.