There is no high school in Jeffreys Bay and as a result close to a 1000 students have to travel to Humansdorp to attend the schools like Nico Malan, Humansdorp Secondary and Lungiso Secondary.

Many students have to reply on the Department of Education to transport them to and from school as their families simply cannot afford this cost.

The only problem is that the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE) ran out of money last year and at this stage the transport companies have transported the children in good faith, hoping that national government will intervene and pay them.

Unfortunately the Eastern Cape Premier clearly stated on Friday in her State of the Province Address that there is no funding available until 1 April 2011.

The monthly cost of transport of R300 per learner is normally sponsored by ECDoE. Since there has been no payment forthcoming from the department, parents will have to step in. However, most of the parents are jobless and cannot afford to pay this monthly amount over and above the costs of school fees, food, uniforms and services.

The transport companies cannot afford to sponsor the learners any longer as the costs involved are high. One company stands to lose a bus which has been repaired, but there is no cash to pay for it. The government is financially breaking local BEE entrepreneurs and it is not acceptable.

The Democratic Alliance is asking for donations to assist our parents and our transporting companies. Elza van Lingen can be contacted on 082 557 4206 for any donations or contributions you wish to make.

Education and the correct political choices are the only opportunities to break the cycle of poverty in South Africa.

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