Equal Education started in 2008 as a member-based organization with the mission of obliging the government to meet its own goals for making a decent education accessible to all South Africans. Based in Cape Town, it started with a campaign to fix broken window in a single school and grew to encompass libraries, bathrooms, and electricity. By 2012, it was nationwide with a membership of over 5,000 students, most of them in high school. But in May 2013, it faced a dilemma. EE had sued the minister of basic education to issue basic norms and standards for school infrastructure, but she had missed yet another deadline and requested an extension. EE polled its members, who voted to deny an extension; EE legal counsel, however, advised granting it. The leadership had to decide what to do.
This case allows for class discussion on leadership, sustainable development activism, or politics and nonprofits.
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