10/01/2017 13:13 SAST | Updated 10/01/2017 13:15 SAST

Late Registrations Leave 45,000 School Kids Stranded

And they may only start their school year as late as March. 😱

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
School children attend class at Waterstone College in the south of Johannesburg, July 22, 2015.

Thousands of pupils may only make it to school as late as March thanks to late applications, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has said.

Pupils are expected back at school on Wednesday, but about 45,000 grade 1 and 8 pupils still don't have places in provincial schools, EWN reported on Tuesday.

Parents who applied late for the 2017 academic year may now have to wait until the end of February or beginning of March to get placement. This particularly applies to parents who only applied in January this year.

Lesufi said: "All our district offices are inundated with people trying to make up placements and there are people that are starting applications afresh, that's for the first time, now in January. Those without any shadow of hesitation, I must be frank with them that they will be the last ones to be considered."

Last year, the department introduced an online registration process for grades 1 to 8 in a bid to prevent long queues at school and make the application process more efficient, The Citizen reported.

The department's spokesperson, Oupa Bodibe, spoke to Radio 702 on Monday and said that parents will be notified by SMS by this week on where their children have been placed.