As South Africa celebrates Youth Day, there’s a growing concern about the increase in torching of schools.
These acts have got a potential to destroy the future of young people who are being denied their right of access to education.
Mpumalanga is one of the most affected provinces, as four schools were torched in the space of a week. School infrastructure was torched and destroyed by community members during service delivery protests.
School Governing Body (SGB) member, Richard Mamba says: “This is setting us back; our children are not safe. We need help to reconstruct the classrooms that were burnt down.”
In just a week, four schools were set alight in the province this include the Siyathokoza secondary, Thabana primary in Siyabuswa, Letfukutfula primary in Matsulu and Ditau secondary in Bushbuckridge.
Mpumalanga MEC of Education Sibusiso Malaza says, “June 16 is a big month for our country, but it is very sad that there is burning of schools. These facilities are very important for the future of our children. We are hoping that our law enforcement agencies will assist us in dealing with this.”
The burning of schools has led to major disruptions of learning and teaching.
The Department of Education says it put measures in place to ensure that writing of mid-year examinations continues as scheduled.
Mpumalanga Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi says, “As police we are doing our best to ensure that we bring to book all those who are involved in these criminal acts. We can’t allow this to continue happening. We want all community members to help us with information.”
Political parties have also condemned these developments and no arrests have been made.