Vuwani parents fear for their children’s safety as schools reopen

Residents say the area will only return to normal if they are not integrated into the new municipality.

Vuwani community members, including pupils, have been helping to clean classrooms and schools. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

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VUWANI - While the reopening of schools in Vuwani and surrounding areas has seen a dismal turnout of teachers and pupils, some parents say they fear for their children's lives as they feel classrooms could be attacked again.

Vuwani was declared a disaster area last week, following violent demonstrations in which more than 20 schools were either torched or vandalised.

Several high profile meetings have been taking place in the community to ensure the situation returns to normal as soon as possible.

WATCH: Vuwani protests: Intimidation, fear mar resumption of classes

While the situation remains calm with high police visibility, one resident says the area will only return to normal if the decision to incorporate their community into a new council is reversed.

"The fact is we don't feel good in this situation [of being integrated into the Malamulele Municipality]. Some of the schools might be targeted."

One parent says she now wants to move her child to a school in another area outside of Vuwani.

"I'm angry because when the situation is like that there is nothing I can do, but to move her."

Government has attributed today's low turnout to reports of intimidation, but says it expects the numbers to improve later this week.

LISTEN: Vuwani schools empty on first day back.

Limpopo's Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe says over 70 mobile classroom s are on their way from Johannesburg to Vuwani to ensure that teaching and learning can resume as soon as possible.

#Vuwani Community members including pupils have been helping to clean classrooms and schools. TK pic.twitter.com/W0LRQUYCFC

Kgetjepe says the area needs more than 200 schools.

"Ultimately we have to come and construct these schools again that the learners go to a school in the 21st century in South Africa. We will do our best to make sure education continues here."