The South African Human Rights Commission (Commission) welcomes the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on 2 December 2015 in the case of Minister of Basic Education and others vs Basic Education for All and others, and congratulates Section 27 in leading the process of initiating proceedings in this matter.
Dismissing the appeal by the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Provincial Department of Basic Education (DBE) the SCA held that “the law is clear…The DBE is obliged to provide a textbook to every learner to ensure compliance with s 29(1)(a) of the Constitution. We must guard against those who are most vulnerable. In this case we are dealing with the rural poor and with children. They are deserving of Constitutional protection."
The judgment is an affirmation that literacy, and education in general, is a basic human right and a means to the realisation of other rights. The Commission urges the DBE to comply with the order of the SCA by ensuring that each and every learner is provided with the necessary materials in order for them to realise their right to a basic education.