Govt officials to visit Kroondal after protests at Tirelong Secondary School

The community there protested on Wednesday and rejected government’s plans to relocate learners from the school, which was severely vandalised over the December break.

Tirelong Secondary has been vandalised at least five times, with the most recent incident seeing the school robbed of electric cables, taps, roofing, books, window frames and doors. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Government officials are on Thursday morning expected to visit the community of Kroondal after the first day of school was disrupted at the Tirelong Secondary School.

The community there protested and rejected government’s plans to relocate learners from the school, which was severely vandalised over the December break.

Meanwhile, North West Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela said that following earlier engagements with affected residents, she did not believe that the protests were staged by disgruntled parents.

Tirelong Secondary School is in a state of ruin after vandals ripped out doors, electric cables, window frames and parts of the roof, adding to the more than five times that the school had been ransacked since March 2020.

Matsemela said that efforts to protect the school had been futile and she blamed criminality within the community.

"We have even deployed security personnel at the school. The community members, some of them who are having criminal elements, they attacked those securities,” Matsemela said.

The MEC said that community members who had barred learners from going to the allocated neighbouring schools were interfering with their right to education.

She said that learning had already begun for grade 12s who agreed to be moved.

Meanwhile, angry community members said that Matsemela had failed them and all they wanted now was for government to provide temporary structures close to their homes so that their children returned to school.