Collection of Arrear School Fees
Section 40 of the Schools Act 84 of 1996 (hereinafter “the act”) states that, a parent is liable for the payment of school fees as determined in Section 39 of the Act unless or to the extent that the parent has been exempted from payment in terms of this Act.
Section 39 of the Act determines that school fees may be determined and charged at a public school only if a resolution to do so has been adopted by the majority of the parents attending the annual general meeting as set out in Section 38(2) of the Act.
A resolution as mentioned above must provide for—
(a) the amount of school fees to be charged;
(b) equitable criteria and procedures for the total, partial or conditional exemption of parents who are unable to pay school fees; and
(c) a school budget that reflects the estimated cumulative effect of—
(i) the established trends of non-payment of school fees; and
(ii) the total, partial or conditional exemptions granted to parents
The exemption from payment of school fees must be calculated according to the regulations contemplated in section 39 (4) of the Act. The exemption from payment of school fees in terms of this Act is calculated retrospectively from the date on which the parent qualifies for the exemption.
In terms of Section 41 of the Act, a public school may by process of law, enforce the payment of school fees by parents who are liable to pay in terms of section 40 only after it has ascertained that—
(a) the parent does not qualify for exemption from payment of school fees in terms of this Act;
(b) deductions have been made in terms of regulations contemplated in the Act; and
(c) the parent has completed and signed the form prescribed in terms of the Act;
A public school can proceed to recover outstanding fees if—
(a) the school can provide proof of a written notification delivered to the parents by hand or registered post advising the parent that he/she has failed to apply for exemption; and
(b) despite the notice above, the parents fail to pay the school fees after a period of three months from the date of notification.