Limpopo authorities hard at work in Vuwani

The provincial government declared Vuwani a disaster area this week following violent protests.

A number of schools have been targeted in ongoing protests in the Vuwani area. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Limpopo government says it's working with the Department of State Security and the community of Vuwani to ensure the situation returns to normal, as thousands of pupils prepare for school on Monday.

The provincial government declared Vuwani a disaster area this week following violent protests, which resulted in over 20 schools being burnt to the ground.

While the total damage to infrastructure is still being investigated, the provincial government says learning has to get underway.

Spokesperson Phuti Seloba says, "It's a work in progress and we have people working on it. They are also busy clearing the barricades on the road and from there they will continue with consultations with other structures."

Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says her department's R22 billion budget has no money to spare to rebuild schools that have been gutted in Vuwani.

Initial estimates came in at R400 million, but the department is now looking at a more conservative figure of R250 million, depending on how many schools are rebuilt.

Motshekga says her department won't be able to carry the cost of rebuilding the schools on its own.

"But money and support has to come from somewhere to rebuild those schools and that's why we're saying as government, we are pulling different resources lying in different departments."

She says it costs at least R30 million to rebuild a new school in line with the current norms and standards.

"One of the things I said when I visited that area is that some schools have to be merged because you can't build R30 million here and R30 million there, so as a coherent community, we do hope we will able to reach an agreement to say that we're not building three [schools] but one."

Pupils at the affected schools have also lost their academic records and valuable time in the classroom.


At the same time, Limpopo's provincial government said it's consulted with 13 of the 18 traditional leaders in Vuwani and has received a commitment that violence in the area will come to an end, as demands about a new municipality are being addressed.

An inter-ministerial task team has been set up to dissolve a protest that started earlier this month in which 24 schools were badly damaged.

Learning has come to a standstill in the area with the Vhavenda king calling on protesting residents to end the violence and vandalism.

WATCH: Vhavenda King backs his people but calls for an end to violence.

Additional reporting by Govan Whittles & Rahima Essop