How Is The Government Making School Uniforms More Accessible?

A Memorandum of Understanding on school uniform prices and the procurement thereof were signed by the Competition Commission and SGBs.

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On Monday, 1 March 2021, the South African Human Rights Commission admires that the Competition Commission and various School Governing Bodies signed the Memorandum of Understanding on school uniform prices and the procurement thereof.

Through signing the memorandum, the School Governing Bodies abide by the Undertaking on Best Practice Principles of Procurement which urges for school uniforms to be as generic as possible, allowing parents to have a wider range of suppliers to choose from.

The School Governing Bodies undertook to urge their affiliates to select exclusive suppliers only after a competitive bidding process.

The Commission shares the same views as Tembinkosi Bonakele, the Commissioner of the Competition Commission. These views include that school uniforms are central to social cohesion, inclusivity and school identity.

For a long time, the Commission has believed that affordable school uniforms are a social equaliser, which helps learners fit in and access education without having to compete with others from wealthier backgrounds in terms of the clothes they wear.

Furthermore, the Commission believes that this agreement will decrease the costs of accessing education.

By decreasing the costs of accessing education, it allows parents to further invest in the futures of their children.

The Commission aims to continue working with parents and other institutions to ensure that the right to basic education is realized.

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