- The Gauteng High Court has ruled in favour of early childhood development centres reopening
- The decision to keep nursery schools closed under Level 3 of the lockdown was declared unlawful and unconstitutional
- Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has also been ordered to pay the costs of all the applicants
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The Pretoria High Court has ruled that all private pre-schools and early childhood development centres may open with immediate effect, provided they do so in line with the country’s Covid-19 safety regulations.
The ruling comes after the Department of Social Development indicated that the Early Childhood Development Sector, consisting of Grade R and younger learners, may not reopen under Level 3 lockdown regulations.
The case had been brought by trade union Solidarity's Occupational Guild for Social Workers and their School Support Centre (SCC) against the Department of Social Development regarding the reopening, said News24.
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BusinessTech reported the occupational guild and the SCS further argued that the nursery schools and daycare centres in question are fully equipped and ready to receive pre-schoolers in the safe environment they have created and therefore there was no further reason to prevent children from returning to school.
Briefly.co.za reported that so far 775 schools in the country have been hit by the Covid-19 virus. This includes 1 169 teachers and 523 students.
Judge Hans Fabricius handed down the judgment on Monday, ordering that all private pre-school institutions offering early childhood development services (Grade R and lower) are entitled to reopen immediately.
Fabricius declared a decision by the Department of Social Development that private nursery schools remain closed under Level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown unlawful and unconstitutional.
He also ordered Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, the first respondent, to pay the costs of all the applicants.
Fabricius said Zulu's conduct fell short of what could be expected in "proceedings concerning young and vulnerable children", and expressed his "strong disapproval".
So far, children under the age of 19 have been the least affected by the pandemic.
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