No bunking, drinking at school - premier
Johannesburg - Drinking at school and staying away from classes would be "severely dealt with", Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane told Diepsloot pupils outside Johannesburg on Wednesday.
She urged them to avoid prioritising leisure activities, such as matric dances and partying. Education should come first.
"Things that create an environment not conducive to good learning, such as drinking liquor at school and staying away from school, will be severely dealt with."
Mokonyane was addressing hundreds of parents and pupils at the official reopening of the Itirele-Zenzele Secondary School in Diepsloot.
Education key to success
She said education was the key to success and took hard work.
"Your future is in your hands and you must start planning for it today, by studying.
"We are here because we care about you; we spent R70m to build this school so that you can have a good future."
Mokonyane was accompanied by Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy and several other officials of the Gauteng government.
The visit formed part of a get-back-to school campaign in the province as schools opened for the new year.
The premier told pupils the government would spend more than R26bn on education this year to make sure that all youth had access to it.
"Those who come from poor families must also know that we have supporting programmes in our schools that will make sure that they get access to every service."
After addressing the gathering, 150 children from poor families were given uniforms, including jerseys, socks, shirts, trousers and skirts, and shoes.
Mokonyane said she was looking forward to seeing the school becoming one of the top schools in Gauteng. She said its progress would be reviewed in June.
The premier also called on parents to play an active role in the education system.
"Parents must frequently visit schools to check on the overall running [of the school] and the progress of their children."