Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer says public schools across the province have never been subject to set, legislated feeder zones.
Feeder zones are the geographical areas from which a school admits learners.
Instead, feeder zone policies that are in place at various Cape public schools are decided by the school governing bodies (SGBs).
In Gauteng, there are plans in place to expand school feeder zones from the previous 5km radius to 30km.
This is in an apparent effort to address apartheid spatial planning and foster transformation in schools there.
Schafer says that creating a broader provincial policy on feeder zones will not necessarily be the panacea to diversity in schools.
She believes that if the provincial education department had to formally legislate on feeder zones, the parameters would be more exclusionary than the existing SGB policies.
In Gauteng it's not even a policy, it's actually regulation. They've had regulations in place for a number of years already.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
We (WCED) have never had legislated feeder zones at all. That's correct.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
National policy gives departments the right to declare feeder zones, but it doesn't oblige us to. In that case, then the admissions policy is agreed to by the governing body of the school.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
There's a lot of issues that you need to take into account to try to ensure that policies are not exclusionary, whilst also not trying to exclude the people who live near the school.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
If we did have provincial feeder zones, I think it would be more exclusionary. Which is why we haven't legislated them.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
There are schools that are all black, and no one is asking us to make those feeder zones different.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
We need to establish a culture across the province, in all our schools, where can ensure respect and diversity without trying to throw social engineering, taking into account language differences and preferences of parents.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : WC public schools make their own rules on feeder zones, explains Education MEC