Grabouw pupils urged to return to school

Five schools were closed because of violent protests over the past few days.

Police were called in to disperse hundreds of unruly protesters during their march to the Theewaterskloof Municipal office on 15 September 2014. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department is urging Grabouw parents to send their children back to school.

Five schools were shut due to ongoing violent protests action in the Overberg town over the past few days.

Scores of learners have been affected by the protests.

The schools however reopened on Thursday, but learner attendance was low.

Education spokesperson, Jessica Shelver says the department would like to encourage parents to send their children to school as the situated seems to have abated.

"We encourage all parents to send their children to schools as the department is currently busy working with schools management of all those affected schools to ensure that examinations and assessments are rescheduled and schooling should return to normal."

The Theewaterskloof Municipality said a meeting was held with Grabouw community on Thursday.

It's been a tense few days with violent clashes sparked by a protest over a lack of housing and service delivery.

Demonstrators blocked off parts of the N2 highway and Ou Kaapse Weg during the protests. Learners were also unable to attend school as a result of the demonstrations.

On Wednesday, a municipal building was set alight.

The blaze caused extensive damage to the building.

Over 1,000 Grabouw residents marched to the Theewaterskloof Municipal offices on Monday where they handed over a list of grievances to Mayor Chris Punt.

The community has highlighted a lack of housing as the biggest issue facing residents.