Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema has said that no school will be allowed to increase school fees without his approval.
This comes after schools have been urged to be considerate in their proposals for new fees ahead of the reopening of schools from Monday.
“Schools know the procedure. They have either a school development committee or boards of governors that should have a meeting with parents first, and the ministry would like to see the minutes.
“No school will increase fees without me or the permanent secretary knowing.”
Many public schools are charging around $30 000 for boarding, while day schools are looking at pegging levies from $1 000 to $7 000, depending on level and type of school.
Levies for boarding schools range from $21 000 to $35 000, levies for day primary from $1 000 to $3 000 and levies for day secondary from $3 000 to $7 000.
National Association of Secondary Heads president Mr Arthur Maphosa told state media that while there was a strong case for schools to increase fees to remain viable, the hikes should be reasonable.
“The biggest challenge is that the increase in fees is not at par with the increase in most parents’ salaries,” said Mr Maphosa. “It is, however, difficult to come up with a blanket figure because the increases will depend on the size of the school but like I said, we need to be sensitive to the plight of parents.
“There is a process that is followed when increasing fees,” said Mr Maphosa.
Heads were told to present budgets to parents to justify the charges, and a number of schools have already submitted applications and should receive authority from provincial education directors soon.