Fedsas, Lefusi in homeless housing spat

Fedsas, Lesufi in homeless housing spat

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) has defended its decision not to house the homeless at any of their schools during the national lockdown.


Panyaza Lesufi homeless

Gauteng’s acting Social Development MEC Panyaza Lesufi took to Twitter on Wednesday to slam what he dubbed "shameless SGBs" for refusing to house homeless people.

The provincial government announced last week that selected schools around Gauteng would be housing the homeless for the duration of the lockdown.

But Fedsas chair Paul Colditz says they were never consulted.

“We are not insensitive to that. We are saying that due processes must be followed, meaning there should be a discussions and negotiations with school governing bodies about the use of their facilities. That is the requirement of the South African School Act.”

 Colditz says SGBs need to take a variety of factors into consideration before giving the green light.

“Their (pupils’) safety and well-being should be their main concern when they make that decisions.

“Make sure that there are certain guarantees of many of the occupants when schools start. Guarantees on who will be paying for the water and electricity, school funds may not be used for them. Who will be paying for the damages? Because the school insurers will not cover.”

Thirty schools with hostel facilities were identified by the Gauteng government to house the homeless as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Lesufi has meanwhile accused Fedsas of “playing politics”.

“We are in a state of disaster, there’s no way you can call a meeting and call SGBs so that you can consult with them. What we did when we approached SGBs is that they produced a letter from Fedsas advising them not to cooperate with us,” he says.

Lesufi says the department is looking at other schools to house the homeless in order to avoid any possible legal battles.


Helen Joseph Hostel a disaster waiting to happen - Lesufi

Lesufi visited the hostel on Wednesday to hand over food parcels and dignity packs comprising of a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face cloth, body lotion and sanitisers. He warned that any Covid-19 outbreak in a hostel would be a disaster. "It needs immediate intervention, if anything happens here, we are in a disaster.

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