Over a week ago the Department of Basic Education penciled in 6th July as the date where a large portion of South Africa’s school children would return to school.

On Thursday afternoon the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) announced that this would no longer be the case.

“After careful consideration of all the reports, the CEM took a decision that only grade 6, grade 11 and grade R will return to school on Monday July 6, 2020. The other grades will be phased during the month of July,” spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga told TimesLive.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga said that this change is guided by the rising numbers of COVID-19 transmissions throughout the country.

As of 1st July, South Africa has 159 333 positive COVID-19 cases and there have been 2 749 deaths attributed to the virus.

The Department of Basic Education had previously said that, pre-primary, as well as Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11 would return to school next week.

This change may also influence the announcement made earlier this week which will see the return of Grades 4, 5, 8 and 9 on 3rd August.

We suspect that this date may shift depending on the rate of infection across the country.

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