This is according to basic education minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday. She was speaking at a press briefing alongside higher education minister Blade Nzimande.

She stressed that these were “proposed dates”.

Matrics and grade 7 would be first, she said, and that these grades would “have the whole school to themselves”.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said that it was proposed that the education sector begins to get back to work on May 4. This was, however, she stressed for senior officials, and that teachers go back on May 18.

“We were proposing that the sector goes back on May 4, next week Monday. For us to be ready, we need to open the sector so that the first group of officials go in and prepare,” she said.

She stressed this was a “proposed calendar that we are consulting around”.

“If we are to save the year, the success will be in the classroom,” she said earlier.

She said that the safety of teachers and pupils was the top priority.

"[Our] first priority was ensuring that, as a sector, we contribute towards the lowering of infections. We also ensure the safety of learners and educators, but also balance that around protecting the academic year of 2020 as much as possible.

“In the past few weeks we have experienced major problems and there has been an increasing anxiety, understandably so, because we serve more than 13-million learners. Members of the community have been worried about when learners will be allowed back — if they are even to be allowed back,” she said.

This morning the National Coronavirus Command Council approved that the School Calendar for 2020 be adjusted as follows;

(1) Office-based staff to return to work on 4th May 2020. This is in line with the directive from the Department of Public Service and Administration. 
(2) School Management Teams should return to work on the 
11th May 2020.  This, we have done to ensure that the School Management Teams prepare the schools prior to return of learners.
(3) Teachers return to work on 18 May 2020 and then
(4) Grade 12 and 7 learners go back to school on the 1st of June 2020.