The IFP Caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature is shocked by the report delivered by KZN Education MEC, Hon. K Mshengu, that 59 schools (thus far) have been vandalised in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. This vandalism is linked to the protest action that took place in KZN and Gauteng last week. The number of vandalised schools may increase over time, as the Department gets more reports from its officials.
This habit of vandalising, destroying, and looting public service infrastructure when communities are angry with government – for whatever reason – is totally unacceptable. The IFP has always stood by the principle of “Education for Liberation”, even during the dark days of apartheid. When communities decide to destroy the very little that we should be building upon to secure a bright future for our youth, it is viewed by the IFP as a direct attack on our nation. The IFP calls upon the communities of our province to stand up, and protect and defend the future of their children by protecting their local schools.
It is even more disheartening to note that the schools that have been vandalised and destroyed are mostly rural and township schools, where the learners are mostly Black children. These are the very schools where the IFP has been calling upon government to improve infrastructure. This kind of action reverses our democratic gains. While other communities around the world are already focused upon the introduction of 4IR in education, our communities are destroying the meagre resources that we have; much of which was provided by the under-funded erstwhile KwaZulu government, under the astute leadership of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as Prime Minister.
The IFP Caucus in KZN calls upon government to intensify the protection of our schools and other government facilities in the province during these trying and difficult times.
The IFP further calls upon government to ensure that the culprits who participated in the destruction of schools in the province are brought to book. Lastly, the IFP calls upon the government of KZN to prioritise the rebuilding and renovating of all the vandalised schools in the province, to ensure that the programme of teaching and learning does not get derailed.
Hon. Mntomuhle B Khawula, MPL
IFP Member of the Education Portfolio Committee in KwaZulu Natal Legislature
071 207 9445