Engineers to assess damage at Malamulele schools

The school year has finally started in Malamulele with residents agreeing to suspend their 6-week lock down.

FILE. The school year has finally started in Malamulele with residents agreeing to suspend their 6-week lock down. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department says it has appointed a team of engineers to assess the damage caused at four schools that were set alight during violent protests in Malamulele.

The 2015 academic year finally started in the Limpopo township on Tuesday after residents agreed to suspend their six-week lock down.

Government has agreed the community can resubmit their application to have their own municipality next month after the Municipal Demarcation Board refused their earlier request, saying they hadn't met the necessary requirements.

The department will also implement a 'catch-up plan' to ensure pupils are able to recover lost time.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga says, "Our officials are currently assessing the damage but we are also exploring using mobile classrooms to ensure that learning and teaching takes place while we are exploring a permanent solution, which might be repairing or even rebuilding where necessary."

Last week, Limpopo police restored calm to Malamulele and nearby areas after violence flared up again.

A shop was set alight, allegedly by several people who tried to break in; and a security guard was stabbed with a knife while trying to stop the group.

In the meantime, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan wants an independent audit of service delivery in the Thulamela Local Municipality.

The Malamulele community falls under this municipality.

Gordhan say his department plans to investigate resident's service delivery grievances.

"We want to ensure that current service delivery projects and infrastructure investment projects are speeded up and a special task team is set up in the next 48 hours to help the municipalities and areas concerned."