This comes after consensus was reached between the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), parents, traditional leaders, members of the School Governing Body (SGBs) and the Nesengani Working Committee during a meeting held in Ha-Nesengani today.
Speaking to SAnews after the meeting, chairperson of the Nesengani Working Committee, Peter Mukhwantheli, said: “We have all agreed that all learners are returning to their respective schools tomorrow… We want to emphasise that all teachers must avail themselves to schools.
“We are appealing to the circuit manager to reprimand all those teachers who fail to report to school tomorrow,” he said.
There are more than six schools in Ha-Nesengani.
Circuit manager of Vhuronga 1, David Mafuna, said: “After we visited more than 10 schools in different villages, I realised that the environment is conducive for academic activities to resume. So I expect all teachers back in the classrooms tomorrow”.
He said the IMC has committed to beefing up security at schools.
Schooling in Ha-Nesengani stopped when residents of Vuwani and the surrounding villages of Tshimbupfe, Tshivhulana, Vyeboom, Masia, Mashau and Masakona embarked on a violent protest two weeks ago after they lost a court case to oppose the incorporation of their area into the newly proposed municipality.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, who is heading the IMC, urged community members to isolate those who are against the reopening of the schools in the area.
“When our kids are not going to school, we cannot build the South Africa of our dreams. We are appealing to teachers not to be part of those who are using the demarcation issue to deny our kids education.
“As government, we are saying to our committed teachers: go back to school tomorrow,” he said, adding that they should consider establishing education forums to ensure that academic activities are in full swing at all the schools.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo told teachers not to be intimidated by baseless threats. “We are urging you to report any form of threats to the law enforcement agencies… Go to school tomorrow. We are here to protect you.”
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said: “Residents in ward 4 of Makhado Municipality are resolute that they are not affected by the demarcation and that this [problem] of intimidation should be dealt with... They further committed that there will be teaching and learning at all their schools.
“Everybody in this community is speaking in one voice, that let’s separate the issue of demarcation from the education of our kids… As government, we are not going to fold our hands while people are trampling on the rights of our young people by denying them education. Without education, there is no future for our young people.
“To all learners we are saying: go back to school. Teachers are ready to teach. To those who are not going to school claiming victimisation… government has cleared all those roads and we are going to deploy law enforcement agencies to ensure that there is peace in the area”.
Residents also used the meeting to strategically request government to revamp schools that are dilapidated. They also asked government to build a multi-purpose centre.