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Archbishop Thabo’s prayer for Tutus after a fire

The Tutus in lockdown before the fire. (Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation)

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called Archbishop Emeritus Desmond and Mrs Leah Tutu to pray with them today after an early-morning fire destroyed part of their retirement cottage in Hermanus.

The couple are both safe and recovering under the supervision of the staff of the retirement village in which they live.

Dear Holy and Triune God,

May you please look after Mama Leah and Tata. They need you more than ever before during this most vulnerable time of lockdown and COVID-19. We are very grateful that they were not injured in the fire. May you heal them so they overcome the shock and trauma they are facing. We love them and we pray that you will continue to keep them safe at all times. Please give them and the family all the strength that they need at this time, Amen.

9 September 2020

Statement from the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

ARCHBISHOP AND MRS TUTU EXTEND LOVE AND GRATITUDE TO VILLAGE STAFF AND FIRE DEPARTMENT AFTER FIRE DAMAGES THEIR RETIREMENT HOME

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mrs Leah Tutu have extended their love and gratitude to staff at their retirement village and members of the local fire department after a fire damaged the living area of their cottage in Hermanus, in the Southern Cape.

The couple did not sustain any injuries and were in good spirits considering events that unfolded around daybreak today.

“We cannot thank the staff at the village enough for their kindness and quick action; or members of the fire department, unsung heroes, on whose courage one leans in the most difficult circumstances. God bless them all,” the Tutus said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. It is believed to have been triggered by a faulty gas heater.

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Hand in Hand – Bible studies to transform our response to sexual violence

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Statement regarding the Revd. June Major

August 12, 2020

The Anglican Church Commission set up to support victims of sexual and other abuse in the church today said it was deeply saddened by the pain and experience reported to it by the Revd. June Dolley-Major and is open and willing to support her.

The Church’s Safe and Inclusive Church Commission (known as “Safe Church”) was established by the Church’s governing Provincial Synod in 2019. It includes gender activists in the Church who have campaigned for more effective action to root out abuse.

The Commission’s statement reads:


We are deeply saddened by the pain and experience as formally reported by Revd. Major, to Safe and Inclusive Church on the 8th of July 2020.

Gender-Based Violence of any form is abhorrent to us and Safe Church was set up to assist members in finding support and compassion in the journey to seeking redress for all forms of abuse by the ministers of our church.

There are two options open to Revd. Major in her quest for justice:

    • Acting using church law; or
    • Laying charges under the State’s criminal law.

Church law:
This is the internal investigation conducted by the church in terms of its Canon (church) Law and results in a Tribunal (court) where Revd. Major appoints her own presenter to present her case. The respondent in the matter is also represented by a person of their choice. The Tribunal is held in public, so any person is welcome to attend the Tribunal to witness and observe how matters unfold.

Criminal law:
When the Revd. Major first reported her alleged rape to church leaders in 2016, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba urged her to report the matter to the police. She did this, but a prosecutor in Grahamstown declined to prosecute. She may now ask for the case to be re-opened, or alternatively, she may obtain a certificate from the State for her to prosecute the matter privately. The church supports the re-opening of the case.

As Safe Church we remain willing and open to support  Revd. Major in any route she chooses and await her promised response by the 1st of September 2020.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has an established reputation for speaking truth, fighting for justice and caring for the vulnerable and marginalised, and we are determined to uphold this record in this and all cases of abuse in the church.

The Commission does not normally discuss cases in public unless a complainant wishes to do so and we agree that it would be in the public interest. However, the Revd. Major has given extensive publicity to her case, so in this case we feel compelled to issue this statement. 

Canon Rosalie Manning

Chairperson

Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

The following statement was issued by the Commission earlier:

July 31, 2020

Statement from the Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

The Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission has completed its preparations for investigating the allegation by the Revd June Major, a former priest of the Diocese of Cape Town, that a former colleague raped her in 2002.

The Commission (also referred to in the Church as “Safe and Inclusive Church”) believes the Revd Major’s complaint warrants being investigated further and a Commission representative has invited her to nominate a counsellor and other persons to support her during the investigation process. If she feels it necessary, the Commission can also help facilitate her obtaining such support.

As indicated previously by the Archbishop, in the matter relating to Revd Major, Safe and Inclusive Church received on 8 July 2020 a formal (written) complaint relating to her alleged rape in 2002. In terms of our process, we meet with the parties involved (as well as any other members that may be identified as pertinent) and conduct an interview with them.

In our contact with the Revd Major, she expressed concern about the impartiality of an internal church process. As a consequence, Safe and Inclusive Church has included a reputable part-time commissioner of the Gender Commission on the panel which will investigate her complaint. It is hoped that this will provide her with an added level of trust and comfort with the process.

We are awaiting a response from Rev. Major on these matters, and that will then determine the next steps.

Historically, over the 150 years of its history the Church as a voluntary organisation has been governed under its Canon Law (church law). The courts have recognised Canon Law as a parallel but separate system of law, governing its particular sphere of church affairs. This has required that Canon Law embodies the principles of natural justice recognised in society at large and updated from time to time in light of wider developments in jurisprudence.

In the past 20 years, the Church has amended its Canon Law to comply with developments in labour law, establishing strict Pastoral Standards which govern the behaviour and action of its ministers, and making provision for processes to protect the rights of both complainants and respondents. The processes laid down by the Canons may be compared with a secular organisation’s grievance and disciplinary procedures.

Safe and Inclusive Church is a newly established faculty of the Church, assented to at the Church’s governing Synod in September 2019. This faculty was established to assist complainants and the Church to respond to allegations of abuse or harm (of which there are thirteen categories) and then move it into the Canonical disciplinary process. (Details of the Commission, and links to the relevant sections of Canon Law, can be found here: https://anglicanchurchsa.org/safe-church-guide/ )

The Safe and Inclusive Church panel which investigates a complaint conducts interviews and compiles all relevant documentation, then delivers a report to the Diocese concerned. The panel does not make findings or recommendations, but the Bishop or Vicar-General of the Diocese in which the respondent is resident appoints a Board of Preliminary Inquiry – or may appoint Safe Church as the Board of Inquiry – whose task it is to establish if a prima facie case exists.

The Bishop or Vicar General is able to take such other actions as the Canons permit, including the suspension of the respondent minister. Should a prima facie case be established, a Diocesan Tribunal considers the case against the accused. Either party in the matter has a right of appeal should charges not be brought before a Tribunal.

Having this matter investigated in any other way but in terms of our Canon Law, would render our process invalid in terms of our Canons and hence the Church would be unable to act on findings as well as be subject to court sanction for not following our own process.

Both Revd Major as the complainant as well as the respondent are free, at their own cost, to be accompanied by a representative of their choice and to seek such counsel and advice as they may need at any stage of the process.

The appointment of members of the Tribunal, apart from the Bishop who as President of the Tribunal is appointed by the Archbishop, is subject to challenge by both complainant and accused.

As an ordained minister of the church, albeit one that tendered her resignation as a licensed minister in 2014, Revd. Major is still bound by the precepts of Canon Law as this was part of the oaths and declarations she made at her ordination. This means that any disputes or complaints she may have with the Church would need to follow the precepts of the Canons as they prevail at the time.

Canon Rosalie Manning
Chairperson
Anglican Safe and Inclusive Church Commission

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10 Things a Man of Faith can do NOW to end GBV

Download PDF below:

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/GBV-MenofFaith.pdf

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Join this year’s Manche Masemola pilgrimage online

You won’t have to travel to South Africa’s Limpopo province this year to join the annual pilgrimage commemorating the life and witness of the martyr Manche Masemola – the event will take place as an online e-service.

Find full details of the service on Sunday August 2 at the link below:

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Who is speaking for the children?

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa wishes to join its voice to that of the South African Human Rights Commission and others, in arguing for the continued opening and operating of as many of the country’s schools as possible.

We hear that teacher unions are meeting the Minister of Basic Education to press for the closure of the schools; the spokesman of one such is on record as saying, ‘we know what strong method we can use to ensure that we save the lives of learners, teachers and the lives of the community’.

But is this the time for arm-wrestling between the unions and their employers?

We ask: who speaks for the children in these meetings?

Note that:

-Science increasingly shows that children are not super-spreaders of the virus; children should not be stigmatised for what adults are bringing into the schools and spreading.

-Minister Motshekga was correct when she said ‘schools are good for children’; the discourse sometimes sounds as if children who are not in school are sitting in safe suburban homes with food, care and home schooling. But the bulk of this country’s children, if not in school, are vulnerable to all kinds of danger in the streets – including serious infections. If these children have parents surviving, they will now have returned to work (in hazardous taxis) to bring home some income. These parents are not sitting in the house, protecting, feeding and online schooling their children; they are busy surviving. These parents have a right to expect society and its educators to create a safe space for their children during the day while they work. We expect that of our educators.

-Of course schools must be made as safe as possible and many of the disgraceful backlogs in this regard now need to be faced – with toilets, water, roofs and the rest. But it is not for educators, especially in time of national disaster, to fold their hands and wait for someone else to do it all. They need to be modelling responsibility and finding ways to make the school system work, not to make it seize up.

-While it is true that the deadlines with the curriculum are not sacred and the country can well use 2021 flexibly to ensure that essential learning is covered, many children are at the stage of acquiring the basic building blocks of learning, and schools should enable that wherever possible; sometimes what is lost in a crisis is never recovered, and we already have enough of that cumulative damage in our population.

-The emotional and mental health effects of being out of school are accumulating alarmingly in this country’s children; they need to be back in the process of socialisation and professionally supervised development. Educators are good at this and should not be intimidated into deserting their responsibility.

-9 million children in South Africa depend on school feeding for their basic health. In this week’s Nids-Cram report, 47% of households reported running out of money for food in April and 8% of households with children reported child hunger lasting more than 3 days in the past week. In our context, to cut school feeding is to abandon the nation’s children to immediate distress and the long-term effects of malnutrition.
Even in this time of disaster, the rights of child citizens in terms of section 29 (1) of the Bill of Rights cannot be lightly suspended.

This constitutional imperative, and her conviction that schools are good for children, must continue to guide Minister Motshekga’s decisions. We urge her

-1: to ensure that all children can continue to access functional schools;

-2: to ensure that any unavoidable interruptions because of infection or essential maintenance are kept to a minimum; and

-3: to resist pressure for additional closures which are pushed in the interests of employees rather than children.

Who is speaking for the children? Bana pele!

A statement prepared by the Anglican Board of Education, chaired by Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee.

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Provincial Notices

Educational grants for clergy children – 2020

Applications are invited for this year’s educational grants for children of clergy from the Robert Selby Taylor Will Trust.

The deadline for this year’s applications is August 31, 2020.

Under the rules of the trust, grants are limited to the children of stipendiary clergy only. Applications should be submitted to Bishopscourt, endorsed by the Bishop of the Diocese in which the cleric applying for a grant is licensed.

The grants do not cover the costs of clergy studies or pre-school and preparatory education. The Robert Selby Taylor Will Trust Fund should be regarded as “last resort” rather than first port of call for funding.

To download full details and an application form, click on the links below:

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Hi-Tech solution planned for PSC, church meetings

The Church is to set up a sophisticated video-conferencing facility which will enable Provincial Standing Committee (PSC) to meet online this year. In future, the system will also enable smaller meetings to be held virtually, saving on the Province’s travel budget.

A meeting of the PSC Service Committee, which plans the Committee’s meetings, heard details of the facility this week. It will enable Diocesan PSC delegations across Southern Africa to be in video contact with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and Provincial office-bearers in Cape Town and elsewhere.

Agenda papers are expected to be available online next week. The meeting will begin on the afternoon of Tuesday September 22 and continue until Thursday September 24.

The meeting will include a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the constitution of the Province, which was formed by the Dioceses of Cape Town, Grahamstown, Natal and St Helena in 1870.

PSC includes episcopal, clerical and lay representatives from each Diocese in the Province and meets annually. It comprises about 120 people, including representatives of organisations.

During the Service Committee meeting, Archbishop Thabo reported that a number of clergy or their spouses had died of COVID-19 since the last meeting, and a priest had been shot dead in the Diocese of Natal the previous night. He sent condolences to the families of all clergy and members of their families who had died.

The Service Committee asks parishioners to use the following prayer for PSC:

Almighty God, our refuge and strength;
as we face the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic,
keep us mindful of your saving power,
strengthen us to care for one another, and
teach us new ways of protecting your planet,
for you led your people out of exile,
you walked the road to Calvary,
and you continue to equip us for ministry with your Holy Spirit,
One God, world without end.
Amen

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Statement on Gender-Based Violence – Diocese of False Bay

In a powerful statement on gender-based violence (GBV), Bishop Margaret Vertue and Canon Cheryl Uren declare:

“We have to first undo, then to build. We need to capture the hearts, souls and minds of the people, this must become the dominant thought, the hegemony of our day: the safe-keeping of women and children. It can never be an issue amidst other issues.”

Read the full text of the 5/6-page statement:

In English >>

In isiXhosa >>

In Afrikaans >>

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Schools are good for children NOW

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s response to the Department of Basic Education’s announcement on Sunday 31 May 2020, that the planned reopening of schools on 1 June is to be postponed.

When the Minister of Basic Education announced that schools in South Africa were to be reopened on 1 June 2020, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa on 19 May, welcomed her decision and urged all stakeholders to put the interests of the country and its children ahead of their own, for the time being.

We are living in a formally declared National Disaster and we all need to act in light of that.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, at the time of the Minister’s mid-May announcement, lent its support to the call from Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi for all countries to prioritise the good of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course the Church supports the call for the country’s schools to be made safe, as indeed we have supported efforts to supply water and safe toilets to all schools for many years.

However in South Africa, children who are not at school do not vanish into thin air; thousands of them are left wandering the streets, unprotected and unsupervised by parents who may be absent at work or otherwise. South Africa’s children are safest in the care of educators. Out of school they are exposed to all kinds of infection, abuse and accident.

The guidance of independent bodies like the Paediatric Association of South Africa in this regard should be heeded.

Bringing the nation’s children back into school is not a casual matter, a political football or a ho-hum. It is a pressing moral imperative, a duty of care, an educational priority and practically critical.

As the Minister observed in May, many children especially from poorer backgrounds who became disconnected from school during the 2010 strike never reconnected with the educational process; those young citizens, and the country, were the losers. It would be all too easy to commit that mistake again if we do not, as a country, bend our best efforts to the urgent readmission of our children to their schools. That has implications for all stakeholders who should now be doing all they can to co-operate, develop common plans, and work actively to fulfil them – even if this means going beyond their prescribed minimum obligations as officials or employees.

We must all work to prevent a crisis becoming a disaster.

Provision for home schooling during the lockdown has been partial, difficult to access, inequitable, and increasingly stressful for families who are emerging from lockdown into work and legitimately expecting society to provide a safe place for their children.

The emotional damage of constant chopping and changing of public plans, especially to children who are excited to return to school and to their friends, is significant.

Minister Motshekga’s apology today is appropriate and we accept it; but the confusion and miscommunication of the past few days is unfair to our children and unworthy of our democracy. It suggests that the overwhelming priority of caring for the children of our society is not pressing with sufficient force on the minds and hearts of the parties to this process.

The work required of education departments nationally and provincially is clear and urgent.

Likewise, the moral priority upon our educators is to bring our children into the care of schools as soon as possible and to bend every effort to care for and educate them.

We are living in a National Disaster. This means that all of us, government officials, educators, principals, parents and citizens should be working side by side, not wasting effort on squabbling, point-scoring, or defending ourselves. It is scandalous that debates over procurement should prejudice the children’s welfare.

We should all assist wherever we can to ensure the safe and urgent reopening of all our schools to accommodate the young of this country who must not be left at a loose end any longer. If that means lending a hand with deliveries, cleaning, or helping children to manage their lives in these strange times, so be it. We are above all citizens, adults with a new generation to care for, not rivals competing to make gain from a messy situation.

In our Church we offer our support to Anglican schools and urge our Bishops to visit and encourage our schools wherever they are located in their dioceses, and we urge the Church at large to find ways of lending support to public schools in their vicinity in whatever ways they can.

We urge –

– That no further delay in reopening is permitted beyond 8 June 2020

– That outstanding work to enable schools to open is undertaken urgently across the country

– That any school which is ready to reopen, and meets the criteria, be allowed to do so without delay

– That children in additional grades other than Grades 7 and 12, especially those in the Foundation Phase, should be readmitted as soon as possible, subject to the necessary health protocols but on a flexible timetable aimed at drawing all children into the protection of the school environment as quickly as possible

– That school feeding schemes open immediately and serve any child registered at any school in a quintile where such schemes operate, utilising the budget, facilities and personnel already in place for the purpose; even before such children are permitted to re-enter classrooms

– That all social partners set aside their own agendas and join hands to fulfil the goal set by Nobel Laureate Kailash Sathyarti, of prioritising the wellbeing of children globally through the current pandemic.

We cannot risk another lost generation.

Issued by the Anglican Board of Education in Southern Africa

Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee, Chairperson

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South Africa’s National Day of Prayer – A Liturgy

DOWNLOAD a liturgy from the Diocese of George for South Africa’s National Day of Prayer for relief from the coronavirus, held on Sunday May 31.

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Summary of SA’s Level 3 coronavirus regulations

This PDF published by South Africa’s Presidency summarises the regulations with effect from June 1, 2020.

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PSC, Bishops to meet ‘virtually’ this year

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has announced that the September 2020 sessions of the Synod of Bishops (SOB) and the Provincial Standing Committee (PSC) will be held virtually using video-conferencing software.

In a letter to the Province’s bishops and members of the PSC, the Archbishop said there was a real prospect that in a number of countries in the Province, lockdowns would still be in force in September. In addition, some members of PSC had a heightened vulnerability to becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.

“It is imperative under the Canons that we hold a PSC meeting, inter alia because we have to approve the 2021 budget, and the Legal Team has advised… that such a virtual PSC meeting will be legal in terms of the Canons,” he said.

PSC includes episcopal, clerical and lay representatives from each Diocese in the Province and meets annually. It comprises about 120 people, including representatives of organisations.

The PSC Service Committee, which is responsible for planning the Committee’s meetings, met on May 20 to discuss detailed arrangements for this year’s meeting, to be held on September 22-24.

It is proposed that members of each Diocese’s delegation will meet in a central venue, such as a Diocesan Centre, where physical distancing can be implemented, and that they will be able to view proceedings on a screen and contribute to discussions via audio links. The Service Committee urged that each Diocese ought to have an IT expert available to ensure an uninterrupted connection.

The Service Committee asked for a draft liturgy for opening worship to be prepared and is seeking ideas for how the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Province can be celebrated during the meeting.

The Archbishop and the Service Committee urges everyone to use the following special Collect for PSC in the months leading up to the meeting:

Almighty God, our refuge and strength,
As we face the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic
Keep us faithful to you,
Strengthen us to care for one another and your planet,
For you led your people out of exile,
You walked the road to Calvary,
And you continue to equip us for ministry with your Holy Spirit,
One God, world without end.
Amen

Do you have questions about a virtual meeting of PSC? Please let us know in the Comments section below, which we will publish and do our best to answer within a few days.

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Provincial Notices

Joburg seeks new Diocesan Executive Officer

The Diocese of Johannesburg is seeking a new Diocesan Executive Officer (DEO).

This self starter will form part of the diocesan leadership team and support the bishop, finance and trust board to fulfill their duties and support the work of God in this part of the vineyard.

Interested persons may see the details of the advertisement for the position here

A detailed role description can be found here

The application form is available online here.

Closing date: 31st May 2020 at 23:59

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‘Schools are good for children’ – ABESA response to reopening of SA schools

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s response to Minister Motshekga’s announcement about reopening of South Africa’s schools, issued 19 May 2020

The Anglican Church welcomes the announcement made by the Minister of Basic Education, Minister Angie Motshekga on 19 May 2020, especially as it reflects wide prior consultation and care to address the concerns of all parties.

The Minister’s mantra, ‘Schools are good for children’ was bolstered by citations from UNICEF and emphasised the place of schools in providing not only educational building blocks but a framework for children’s daily life, mental health, physical security and socialisation. The tension between needing to bring South Africa’s children off the streets back into this environment, and the need to protect the health of children, families, educators and school employees constitutes our dilemma.

The Minister’s statistic that 1577 schools have been vandalised during the national lockdown points to both a malaise in our society which needs to be understood and addressed, and practical security issues for School Governing Bodies and the Department to address.

The Anglican Church pledges its support to the reopening process both in the many detailed discussions which are still required, and in the local implementation of the plan at community level where we work.

In this context of co-operation the Church would plead for the following:

1: While caution around the reopening process dominates communication at this stage, the overall tone of the process should be one of actively moving forward with readmitting children to schools as soon as possible. This is because ‘schools are good for children’ and while it may be true that some village and township schools are said to be not yet ready for reoccupation, the streets in which the very same children will play until the schools are open to them, are much more dangerous – in terms of food security, physical safety, and infection by COVID-19 among other winter diseases.

We would plead that the proposed phasing programme is kept under constant review with a view to being accelerated in every way, even if this means geographical and other anomalies. Bureaucratic compliance in lockstep to keep officials happy must come second to flexibility in getting children into safe educationally supervised spaces. Educators are good at managing children, even if they have to teach them hygiene measures and distancing, and children are much safer in their care than wandering free while their parents are out at work.

Minister Motshekga’s pointed reference to the strike of 2010, following which many learners in poorer communities are known never to have returned to school, is a solemn warning and a call for justice in our current context.

There must be a clear code of requirements for admitting more grades, but any school which declares itself ready and willing to proceed with readmitting more children, whether public or independent in terms of the Constitution and the Schools Act, should be allowed and actively encouraged to do so, provided they demonstrate compliance with the code. Ideally no school should go ahead without all being able to do likewise but the spectrum of schools in this country and the chaos caused by vandalism rules out the delays and consequent injustice which this would cause for the majority of children. It goes without saying that the Minister’s assurances about water and toilets are welcome and she should be supported in her efforts to secure compliance from all Provincial Departments in this regard.

Particular attention must be paid to the smallest children. According to some drafts of the phasing programme, Grades 1, 2 and R may only return to school as late as August 2020. But the Minister announced that in consultation with the Minister of Social Development, efforts would be made to enable ECD centres to reopen in June. This is a recipe for township parents to enrol their Grade R children in those centres for safe-keeping until August, when they would be better off in the care of qualified educators. The architecture of most primary schools ensures distancing already between the Foundation and Intermediate Phases; we suggest that thought be given to bringing a Foundation Phase grade into the premises in parallel with a higher one, for example Grade 1 returning with Grade 6 and so on. This should create no difficulty with space or distancing.

2: The educator body in this country are mostly public-spirited and professional people who have chosen their profession out of care for children and a desire to build our society. They should be honoured and supported in the present process. It is good that pleas from educators and their unions for safety in the workplace have been heard in the Department’s consultations and attended to, even if this has delayed reopening. Safety concerns for all parties are paramount.

However these concerns should not paralyse well-planned and executed strategies to care also for the country’s children, and to obviate gaps in the acquisition of essential building blocks of learning. Some draft schedules of the planned phasing of the return to school, showing deficits of 82-102 days of teaching for some children, are of deep concern especially when the physical safety of smaller children out of school is considered. Everything must be done to close these gaps.

Therefore we must appeal to educators for flexibility in their professional response at this time – to adjust willingly to modifications in working patterns or the curriculum, to co-operate with requests for platooning or stepping into grades they do not normally teach, and to place the needs of children ahead of labour demands at least until the end of 2021 while the catch-up process goes on.

3: All school feeding schemes should reopen and feed all children registered at schools in the relevant quintiles.

There is an acute food security crisis under way in this country, but distributing food parcels and increasing child grants in the hands of adults are erratic means of addressing the nutritional needs of children. The best way to feed children is to feed them. When the schools were closed in March 2020, some 9 million children depended on these schemes in school premises for a daily meal. The infrastructure remains in place – kitchens on school grounds, pots and spoons, experienced people contracted to prepare food, and budgets which Provincial Departments have not utilised for 8 weeks. These schemes should be reopened immediately and empowered to feed all children at their schools without application of a means test. School Management Teams which will be under-utilised in the early phases of reopening should manage access of their school’s children to the grounds at fixed hours when the readmitted learners are in class and ensure distancing is taught and practised while children eat – and if not yet readmitted, leave the premises.

This simple step would eliminate about 20% of the country’s hunger crisis at a stroke.

‘Schools are good for children’, and we need our children back in the schools.

The Anglican Board of Education on behalf of ACSA.