Vuwani residents vow to protect schools

Pupils were left without classrooms after over 20 schools were vandalised in violent protests.

Government says locals have committed themselves to safe-guarding school infrastructure to ensure they are not targeted again. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government says communities in Vuwani and surrounding areas have promised to safe guard school infrastructure 'with jealousy' against perpetrators.

An inter-ministerial task team led by Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen visited the area yesterday a day after some mobile classrooms arrived in the area.

This week saw a poor turnout to the start of schooling due to alleged intimidation of teachers and community members.

WATCH: Intimidation, fear mar resumption of classes

The team met with traditional leaders, school governing bodies and community members.

Thousands of pupils were left without classrooms after over 20 schools were either burnt or vandalised in violent protests.

Cooperative Governance spokesperson Legadima Leso they are concerned that many teachers are still not coming to classes.

"It's just a few people who are saying 'do not go to school'. The inter-ministerial task team is asking that you report all these incidents to the nearest police station."

At the same time, community leaders in Vuwani have urged teachers to return to the classroom saying there is simply not enough staff on duty.

Government says the people of Vuwani share a common goal to see every child in the area back at school while the community works to resolve issues around demarcation.

Leso says, "They have committed themselves to look [after] and ensure that they protect this infrastructure that is being delivered."

He says they working with community members and authorities to deal with any form of intimidation.

"We want normality to return. If there are still people who are breaking the law; please report this so that the law can take its course."

Government says locals have committed themselves to safe-guarding school infrastructure to ensure they are not targeted again.