Schooling in the troubled area of Vuwani in Limpopo continued to be disrupted on Monday amid a total shutdown of services protest action, which is now in its third week.
Protesters have been demanding that a decision taken by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages, be reversed.
The protest action started a few days before the Easter weekend, but was suspended to allow those going to different churches to do so. For the better part of last week, no businesses were again allowed to operate.
Speaking to The Citizen on Monday, provincial education spokesperson Naledzani Rasila said the situation where children were not allowed to go to school was concerning.
Attempts to get pupils and teachers back in the classrooms were again made on Monday.
“A meeting was held yesterday [Monday] with principals from all the affected schools and another meeting is scheduled with parents tomorrow [Wednesday].
“We remain hopeful that the talks with different stakeholders will yield positive results because once we are done talking, we will have to come up with a strategy to deal with the backlog in terms of catch up programmes as there has been no schooling since the start of the second term on April 18,” Rasila said.
Since the start of the protest action, two people lost their lives after the vehicle they were travelling in crashed into a pipe that was used to barricade one of the roads in the area. A third occupant was rushed to hospital.
Both ministers of Police and Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Mbalula and Des van Rooyen, have already visited the area.
A meeting, which was scheduled to be addressed by Mbalula last week, did not materialise as residents failed to arrive at the venue.