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Litigating the Right to Education in South Africa: An Overview of Some of the Most Important Cases of the Last Ten Years

The basic education system in South Africa is steeped in a history of systemic inequality that was institutionalised by the apartheid government. This created a clear divide between the good quality of education provided to white learners and the underfunded, abysmal education provided to black learners in the country. Twenty-six years after the first democratic election, the remnants of apartheid education’s dual system in which a minority of learners benefit from good quality education, while the majority of learners in the country were taught in schools that lack the basic resources to ensure academic success, continues. This exasperates and perpetuates the inequalities in the country and has created another generation of young people who struggle to secure employment and who are unable to access tertiary education as a result of the poor education they received in the first eighteen years of their lives.