Destruction of school infrastructure in Vuwani condemned

Pretoria - The destruction of school infrastructure during protest action in Vuwani, Limpopo, has been condemned by the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.

Thirteen schools have been set alight by residents who are said to be protesting against plans for the area to be included in a new municipality, the Malamulele-Vuwani municipality.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Minister said the damage of school property has caused severe destruction to education services in the area.

She said these violent protests will only worsen the situation of the learners who were already negatively affected by the protests in 2015.

The Minister said it was not just school infrastructure that is destroyed in such arson attacks, but school records, books and school furniture.

She said the actions by residents have severely jeopardised the future of every learner who attends the schools which have been vandalised.

“The actions of protestors severely undermine government efforts to improve the quality of education for learners. It is not only a waste of taxpayers’ money to lose valuable existing infrastructure but disrespects the hard work of every law abiding member of society,” said Minister Motshekga.

The Minister explained that government was in the process of replacing unsuitable infrastructure and to “destroy perfectly good infrastructure is counter intuitive to ensuring a better life for people from that community”.

As a result of the actions of these protestors these schools will go to the back of an already existing waiting list of schools in need of infrastructure upgrades.

“We call on communities to stop the criminal destruction of schools and ensure that schools are havens where education is protected at all costs,” said Minister Motshekga.

Education officials in the province are working closely with law enforcement agencies in a bid to get communities to come on board and ensure that schools are no go zones when it comes to violent protests.

“We need to work together to ensure that as society we condemn the actions of protestors,” she said.