Question posted in the General Law category relating to Eastern Cape
Question value: R 150.00
I live in the Bluff neighbourhood, which is in Durban, KZN. My new next door neighbours (they are tentants who rent from the owner, owner does'nt live in the house), have just suddenly and without warning opened a home school in the house - there are 15 children ranging from grade 1 to grade 7. Please will you let me know the following:
What licenses / permits are required by law to operate the home school?What recourse do I have if they don't have the required licenses / permits in place?
This was a quiet street, we now have to put up with congestion in the mornings, people blocking our driveway, and noise that did'nt exist before. I would appreciate some legal advice, as I am not up to date with the relevant laws and bylaws.
Apologies I live in Kwazulu Natal and NOT Eastern Cape - please amend accordingly
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
First, the property will need to be zoned for either educational / business and not just residential. This is a requirement from the City / municipality. You can check with the municipal offices (you'll need the street address) whether the property is zoned for business use. It is quite hard to get business zoning in a residential area, because the municipality will need to ensure that the property is fit for business use, and there is sufficient parking, etc and that it will not disturb the neighbourhood.
If the neighbours were running a creche, or a play school, that's one thing- but they are running a primary school from their house. Since they are offering the foundations and intermediate phases of education, they need to have their "home school" registered with the Department of Education.
I would suggest that you contact the Deptartment and tell them about this school, and say that you are a neighbour and you are concerned about the school, and that you want to speak to somebody about whether the school is legally allowed to operate. Perhaps they can do an inspection, or give you information over the telephone.
If they are not registered, the Department will close them down.
Even if they are registered, and even if they have a business licence, you could still object to them operating the school. There should have been a public participation process whereby they ask neighbours for objections.
What you can do, at a last resort, is to apply to the High Court to interdict them from continuing to run the school from the premises. Your argument would be that there is congestion in the mornings, people blocking our driveway, and noise that didn't exist before!
The above is basically your answer- business licence and registered with the Department of Education.
If they don't have a business licence, then the municipality should get involved and shut them down!
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Answer to the Question
There is also a link here which can explain the school registration process further!