Mpumalanga parents protest against school construction delays

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Volksrust Primary School, situated under the jurisdiction of the Pixley Ka Seme Local Municipality in Mpumalanga, has been disrupted as frustrated parents have brought teaching and learning to a standstill.

Their grievances centre on the Education Department’s perceived failure to complete the construction of the school, which they claim has left nine classrooms, an administration block, a kitchen, a hall, and a sports facility yet to be built.

The Education Department had recently announced that the second phase of construction is scheduled for the 2026/27 financial year, a timeline that has raised concerns among the parents.

Chairperson of the Volksrust Primary School’s School Governing Body (SGB) Mandla Kubheka, stressed the urgency of completing the school’s construction.

Kubheka declared, “If our concerns as parents of Volksrust Primary School are not addressed, we will be left with no choice but to disrupt the normal school proceedings. This action may jeopardise the ability of matric students to write their exams. We want the MEC to come and address us, as the individuals sent thus far have claimed their hands are tied. We understand that sometimes the only language our leaders comprehend is direct action. When disruptions occur, they start to take our concerns seriously.”

In response to these concerns, Education MEC Bonakele Majuba explained that the redirection of funds for the purchase of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 period had contributed to the backlog in school infrastructure. This shift in resources had a ripple effect, causing delays in infrastructure programs across the province.

Majuba acknowledged the challenges faced, noting, “The plans for infrastructure in the province and the country have been stalled as a result. Infrastructure programmes, such as the one for Volksrust Primary School, have been left behind by two years due to these unforeseen circumstances. This issue is not unique to this particular school; many others across the province have encountered similar challenges.”