South Africa: Wanton Burning of Schools and Public Property Is Criminal

The Select Committee on Education and Recreation is concerned by the unjustifiable burning of schools and public property in Nthabalala, Tshitale region in Limpopo. The Committee considers these incidents as the worse kind of criminality, as they rob children of their constitutionally enshrined right to education.

It is regrettable that there is a growing trend by communities in the area to voice their grievances by burning schools and other buildings that are supposed to offer the public important services. “Instead of assisting, these acts exacerbate the already long backlog in infrastructure development in the province. What is most concerning is that children’s futures are held to ransom,” said the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Lungelwa Zwane.

While the Committee commends the provincial department for some improvement in Grade 12 results despite challenges in the province, the Committee is concerned that these acts will undermine this progress. It is for this reason that the Committee urges members of the community to desist from any destructive behaviour and to work together with the department towards improving the quality of education for the children of Limpopo and the country in general.

The Committee calls on the law enforcement agencies to stay on high alert and to deploy additional human resources to the area to prevent any further burning of schools. The Committee further call for the speedy prosecution of those that have been arrested as this might act as a deterrent against any further burning of property.

For its part, the Committee will engage with the Department of Basic Education both at national and provincial level to assess reported challenges facing the province since the start of the school year.

Source: Parliament of South Africa