The Mpumalanga Department of Education strongly condemns the torching of Hluvukani Primary School in Agincourt, Bohlabela District.
Four mobile and two brick and mortar classrooms with furniture and LTSM were burnt down by firebugs in the early hours of Monday.
A case has been opened with the South African Police Services.
“The theft and vandalism of school property is a growing concern for the Department. We are of the view that such acts of criminality are counterproductive and hinder progress towards the development of our learners and kids as it robs them of their right to access the education which they so rightfully deserve.
Our communities cannot continue to be held for ransom by criminals.
We thus make an appeal to any person who might have information that may lead to the arrest of these arsonists to come forward and report this matter to the South African Police,”
The monetary costs of the extent of the damage have not been quantified yet.
This is a case of great worry and concern for the Department as teaching and learning at the school has been disrupted for weeks due to protests about the infrastructural challenges.
The Department resolved to deliver the mobile classrooms as a temporary measure. To bridge the infrastructural gap so that teaching and learning could continue.
Owing to the scarce financial resources at the disposal of the Department and the huge backlog on infrastructural projects in the province, it would be very difficult to replace the burnt mobile classrooms while a permanent solution to the matter is being sought.
The Department further appeals to all school communities to have a sense of ownership for schools and to protect school buildings and any property as they are meant to meet their educational needs and development.
The destruction of school property has a detrimental effect as it endangers the future of our children and communities; hence the Department appeals to all communities to co-operate with it and law enforcement agencies to put this act to a stop.