Hundreds of learners from Gomolo village at Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape have not been able to get to their schools as angry residents blockaded access roads with burning tyres.
This as the start of the academic year took off in the province on Wednesday.
Residents are demanding the removal of the Ward 2 councillor. They allege that the councillor was imposed to them.
Health officials could also not go to work at Silimela Hospital due to the unrest.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. One of the concerned villagers, Thembalihle Xhangayi was not able to get to work.
“There is a blockage in the road, the road is not accessible, the hospital is even not accessible, even learners could not go to school in this day one. All these schools in this ward could not open.”
Some residents say they will continue with their protest until they are given their preferred councillor.
Community spokesperson Nkosiviwe Mjoli says “All that we want is our own councillor, that is why we have decided to shut down all access roads to the schools and government services. We have been raising this issue for a long time because this councillor was imposed on us. Now we want the police to call politicians that are supposed to give us our own preferred councillor, otherwise, we are going nowhere.”
Flooding at Mbozisa Junior Secondary
Learning and teaching was delayed at Mbozisa Junior Secondary School due to water-logged classrooms.
The school was hit by a storm in December and a whole block of classrooms was left without roofs, windows and doors.
After heavy rains last night, water gushed into the remaining classrooms from damaged roofs.
Cleaners had to remove the water before learning could commence.
School Governing Body Chairperson Simon Magwaxaza says the school building was in a bad state before it was hit by the storm.
Learning and teaching delayed at Mbozisa Junior Secondary School due to flooding:
Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape Education Department says it is in the process of sourcing alternative space for schools hit by the recent storms.
Close to 100 schools were damaged.
The department estimates repair costs at over R100-million.
MEC Fundile Gade says contractors are already on-site at some schools to repair the damages.
In the related video below, heavy rains wreak havoc in some parts of the Eastern Cape:
-Additional reporting by Zolani Moya