Farmer to close school

2011-04-07 00:00

A KRANSKOP farmer wants to close a school on his land, and apply for court permission to evict the people illegally occupying the property.

The Witness is in possession of the letter sent by landowner Mphiwa Mdlalose to Mduduzi Shabane, director-general of the Department of Land and Rural Development, as well as to the head of the KZN Education Department, Nkosinathi Sishi.

Mdlalose states that he will close the 500-pupil Vusa Isizwe school down with immediate effect.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Mdlalose said the school was built by the Education Department without consultation with him. He said he has tried to get the two departments to buy the land, to no avail.

“My hands are tied. I can’t do what I want on my property and the government is not willing to buy the land … I don’t want children deprived of education, but I feel that I have done my part. I’m certain that I have shown patience as a progressive citizen but I’m now forced to do what is legally [permissible],” Mdlalose told The Witness.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a teacher at the school said Vusa Isizwe has been running since 2000. The closest other school is about five kilometres away.

Mdlalose inherited Ekukholweni farm from his late father, who farmed sugar cane. In 1996, he went into negotiations with Mondi to farm gumtrees. It was during these negotiations, when the 33 hectares of land remained unfarmed, that people started illegally occupying the land.

“I have had many discussions with the director-general of Land and Rural development Mdu Shabane and I have personally approached the minister, Gugile Nkwinti. I have even liaised with the legal adviser in the Department of Education.”

Since writing to the department on Monday, Mdlalose said the department requested a meeting with him this week, but no had set this up by yesterday.

Khaye Nkwanyane, the general secretary for the ANC’s Harry Gwala region, which includes Kranskop, said the matter is worrying and they, together with SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) will be looking at how it can be handled.

Education Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the department is still negotiating with the farm owner, but is confident the matter can be resolved.

Sadtu leaders in the area could not be reached for comment.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.