Fourth day of schooling missed due to protests regarding housing
I strongly condemn the violent protest action in Section 4 of Gugulethu over the last week that has led to a concerning disruption of schooling at Vukukhanye Primary School.
I have raised this with the City of Cape Town as a matter of urgency.
Today is the fourth day that learners and teachers from Vukukhanye Primary School have been unable to attend school owing to community protest action.
Certain members of the community have prevented our educators and learners from gaining access to the school. Fires have been lit at the entrance of the school gates and many of the roads leading to school have been blocked.
Over 700 learners have been affected.
The information that I have been given from various sources is that there is a land dispute between the City of Cape Town and the formal dwellers of Section 4 in Gugulethu. This dispute is not in any way education related yet the community has chosen to use the school and the education of our learners as a bargaining chip.
Communities are free to engage in protest action but cannot intimidate and prevent learners from going to school. I am however very concerned that communities target schools in their disputes with Government. This is grossly unfair and is a practice that needs to stop.
Some Section 4 residents have reportedly vowed to stop schooling until their demands with the City are met. Holding our learners' education to ransom in this manner is completely unacceptable and is against the law.
Our priority at this stage is to ensure the safety of all learners and teachers. We have engaged with the City of Cape Town and the SAPS via our Minister of Community Safety to try and ensure unfettered access to our school. I appeal to any influential community leaders to work with the City of Cape Town and assist us in ensuring that teaching and learning resume as soon as possible.
It is imperative that this matter is resolved speedily.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Tel: 076 175 0663