#UnrestSA: 139 KwaZulu-Natal schools vandalised, says education dept

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Looters carrying stolen items in Umgeni Road in Durban.
Looters carrying stolen items in Umgeni Road in Durban.
Gallo Images/Darren Stewart
  • The KwaZulu-Natal education department maintains that it will take a while for it to fix schools that have been damaged in recent riots in the province.
  • According to the department some schools had gadgets looted and others had infrastructure damages.
  • Some schools will need to be allocated with mobile classrooms. 

The Department of Basic Education in KwaZulu-Natal says the updated number of damaged schools due to the recent riots in the province is now 139.

News24 reported on Monday that the unrest that broke out last week had left 52 education facilities damaged.

Provincial education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said two of the 52 affected institutions were education centres and two were circuit offices.

He said the department would probably be unable to repair the facilities any time soon due to budget constraints. 

READ | 'It destroys our future': Pupils concerned after KwaZulu-Natal schools vandalised during unrest

On Tuesday, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu visited two schools in the Umlazi district to assess the extent of the damages.

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, Mahlambi said the updated report was that 139 schools were affected in the province, adding that majority of them were in Durban. 

Mahlambi said officials from the head office were also visiting districts to assess damages at the schools.

He said the department had held a meeting with teacher unions, governing body associations and other stakeholders, where the vandalism was discussed.

READ|#UnrestSA: Budget cuts hamper KwaZulu-Natal education dept's ability to fix vandalised schools

"We then indicated to them to say we are going to try all the best that we can in order for us to meet the deadline of the return of our learners to schools in terms of repairing where we can repair, providing mobile classrooms where we can do so, but its going to be a mammoth task given the fact that we don't have money," Mahlambi said. 

He added that the damages to schools was a further burden on the department because it coincided with the imminent return of primary school pupils to their normal daily timetable. 

Primary schools were expected to go back to traditional timetabling for all pupils from 2 August, News24 reported. 

In the department's gazetted amended directions, all public schools were expected to reopen on Monday, 26 July.

Principals, school management teams and ground staff were expected to return on Thursday to prepare for Monday.

Primary schools would use next week to prepare for the return of all pupils from 2 August. 

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