A critical examination of public policy related to transport for learners.
Transport for learners has been problematised by some South African scholars as being a significant factor in access to education. This study takes the view of access further by focusing on South African public transport policy provisions for learners. The key research questions are: 1. What are the political discourses in public transport policies that are relevant to school transport and learners? 2. To what extent are these public transport policies coherent in their treatment of and provision for learners? Through using a blend of Scheurich’s Policy Archaeology and Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis approaches for an analysis of selected excerpts from relevant policy texts issued in the period 1994-2009, I find that school learners are assigned marginalised positions and neo-liberal trends temper school learner interests. These findings about South Africa’s transport policies and how they serve the interests of learners and position them in the social hierarchy, point to discourses in public transport policy that infringe the rights of school learners to have their best interests served in all matters related to their wellbeing as indicated in Section 28 of the Constitution.