'Rural schools vandalism rises'
Nelspruit - Mpumalanga education MEC Siphosezwe Masango has appealed directly to scholars to guard against vandalism, specifically at township and rural schools.
Thomas Msiza of education said on Wednesday the department had budgeted R87m this year for general repairs, maintenance and minor building works, as well repairing damage caused by vandals.
On Tuesday, the MEC addressed school leaders directly at a gathering of learner representative councils in White River.
He said: "As you are aware, there are more vandalised schools in our townships, rural areas and farms schools than in the suburbs.
'Look after your facilities'
"You cannot afford to engage in acts that damage school property, furniture and other equipment.
"The facilities you are using must be jealously looked after, for use by the next generation of learners."
He said only if school leaders set an example by rejecting all social ills and focusing on their education, could South Africa's youth become agents for the African Renaissance and the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
He said: "As leaders, I urge you to occupy the front trenches in the war against these ills.
"As youth leaders you are more better placed than ourselves to talk about these problems to your peers."