Getting kids back in class will stop unrest - community member

2015-07-29 11:28

Port Elizabeth - The only way to stop the stoning of cars was to have children back at school, a community activist from the city's Northern Areas said on Wednesday.
"The essence of the problems [that led to the closures] have been addressed," Marlon Daniels, a member of the Northern Areas Education Forum [NAEF], said.

He told News24 the municipality wanted to send in staff to clean up the road.

A surveillance vehicle. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

"However, the electricity has been off here since last night," he said.

"The interpretation by locals is that it is deliberate and some see this as an opportunity to continue [with the protest].

"We have engaged the municipality to get electricity [department] staff here, but they are on strike."

Children continued to stone passing cars and barricade Standford Road in the Northern Areas on Wednesday, despite the community taking a decision to re-open schools on Thursday.

"It's still the same situation," a police officer on the scene told News24.

Police blocked off the road at Gelvandale High School to prevent motorists from driving through, while in the distance rocks and rubbish could be seen strewn across the road.

A municipal surveillance vehicle, with a large camera on top, was scouting the road from the police line.

Residents recently closed down schools in the area in protest against a lack of teachers and the non-payment of those that were already employed, among other problems.

          Police nyalas on the scene of the protests. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Police had to disperse the protesters on Monday with rubber bullets, teargas and a water cannon, while children from homes overlooking the road continued to pelt cars on Tuesday.

A meeting between parents, residents and the NAEF decided on Tuesday night to re-open the schools on Thursday after the provincial education department said it was dealing with the problems in area.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  education  |  protests
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