An Islamic school in Grassy Park that have been in existence for more than two decades is currently facing closure by the City of Cape Town.
Learners and parents of Madrassatut Ta’liyah Hafith School took to the streets on Saturday morning to rally against the school’s closure, with the hope that the community would support them.
Speaking to Deen Times on Saturday at the rally, Yusuf Khan Dalwai, an attorney and member of the madrassa, said, an agreement between the City and the school did not go as planned.
Dalwai, 37, from Schaapkraal, is a former student and has two children who are currently attending the Islamic school.
“Our madrassa has been located on this City-owned property on the corner of De Wet and Klip roads for the past three years. This was done after we enquired about the property that was left vacant at the time, explains Dalwai.
“An agreement was then made between the school and the City, for a three-year lease, which expired at the end of January this year. We were told that we could renew the lease at the time.
“But the City is now giving us six months to find new premises for the school. They have rejected, and blatantly refuse to renew the lease for the new term.”
He stressed if the school is shut down, many children in the area will be left without an Islamic education and projects that include feeding schemes will be affected.
“Members of this madrassa worked very hard over the years to get to where they are today. Just when we think we are heading in the line of success with this school, the City is now trying to take it away.
“There are mixed emotions as to why the City would reject the renewal of the lease. The City has also made arrangements for possible tenants to view the premises.
“We requested to meet with the Mayor of Cape Town and we never received a response to date. Our bid to renegotiate the extension of the lease has fallen on deaf ears.”
Dalwai said after receiving several calls from the media this past weekend, the Mayor has now decided to visit the school premises. The visit will take place tomorrow (Tuesday 25 February).
Meanwhile, Dalwai is calling on the community to support the school in creating awareness around the struggle to keep its doors open.
An updated article on the issue will be published soon, with the City of Cape Town’s response. Aishah Cassiem (Deen Times)