Schools allowed to lease facilities for religious gatherings

PHOTO: John Price/

By Freedom of Religion SA

Good news for many churches! Public schools are again allowed to rent out their facilities for religious gatherings. 

FOR SA has written frequently to the Department of Basic Education to challenge their ban on allowing public schools to accommodate religious gatherings.  Literally, thousands of churches across the nation have been unable to meet in schools since the start of the pandemic and the Department’s Standard Operating Procedures issued in February confirmed this blanket prohibition. 

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FOR SA had initiated a campaign amongst religious leaders to appeal to Minister Angie Motshegka to drop this restriction, which evidently unfairly discriminated against the religious community and infringed religious freedom rights.  We were also mobilising to present a petition to Parliament to address this issue.

However, the good news is that on April 4, the Minister issued new directions to every public school to allow the use of school premises for religious gatherings, provided that standard health, hygiene, and safety protocols for Covid-19 are in place.  There is now every reason to expect that all public schools will again allow religious gatherings to take place on their premises.

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