He told reporters in Johannesburg that there are still 7000 of the initial 58 000 that were late applications from last year. There are also more than 12 000 new applications that still need placement.
Lesufi said the department was doing all it could to ensure the overflow of pupils into the province was accommodated and no learner would be chased away.
“In the month of January‚ we received a total of 12 821 completely new applications‚” said Lesufi.
Since the beginning of the academic year‚ the department has been able to place 51 000 pupils in schools.
“We have had no choice but to pursue schools to take extra learners and it wasn’t easy‚” said Lesufi.
Lesufi said the department has assigned officials to open operation centres to deal with the waiting list and attend to those who need placements.
“We want to encourage other schools to assist us so we can attend to the waiting list‚” Lesufi said.
The department said it is working towards placing the remainder of pupils in the coming days.
With regards to resources‚ the department said it is awaiting a 10-day report from schools that will stipulate what additional resources are required.
Lesufi raised concerns about a teacher at Willowridge Secondary School who has been allegedly been involved in a romantic relationship with a Grade 8 pupil.
Lesufi said a picture of the teacher and the pupil is circulating on social media‚ but the department is yet to confirm its legitimacy.
“We have noted the incident and the learner is disputing‚ and the teacher is also denying‚ the relationship.
“As the department‚ we need to make sure whether or not the picture is real or photoshopped‚ and determine the relationship between the teacher and the learner‚” said Lesufi.