A 15-year-old Durban boy is being billed for using his school’s landline phone to contact his guardian when he was ill last week.

His aunt said that when she contacted the school in Phoenix, north of Durban, to find out why her nephew was being billed, she was told all ill pupils were billed when their parents were contacted via the office landline phone.
“The secretary told me my nephew was billed under instruction from the principal and that it applied to all pupils,” she said.
The principal was not available for comment yesterday.
The aunt posted a message on Facebook to establish if being billed for calls from the school’s landline was the norm. Many outraged parents answered her, arguing that school fees should cover such calls. Some indicated that other schools did the same thing.
At some Durban schools parents are billed R5 a call if they are contacted when their child has forgotten his/her physical exercise kit, homework, projects or lunch.
University of Pretoria education psychologist Professor Kobus Maree said it was “sad” that the school billed its ill pupils for calls.
KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesman Muzi Mahlambi was unable to comment as the circuit manager had not responded to his queries on the matter.