Grade 7s and 12s in Mpumalanga were welcomed back to school on Monday and, despite a few setbacks, the reopening went smoothly, according to Jasper Zwane, spokesperson for the province’s education department.
Zwane said most districts across the province had experienced a “relatively stable” reopening, with many pupils able to return.
While about 95% of schools were ready to open, Zwane said 5% had experienced challenges regarding water and sanitation, as well as local protests.
Zwane said the local business forum had held a protest over tenders in Lekazi near Mbombela.
“We want to condemn this… it is really uncalled for and we think it compromises the future of our children.
“If people want tenders they should wait for the tender bulletin and apply accordingly,” Zwane said.
He said the protests had started last week when fumigation of schools began, with people demanding to be part of that process.
Zwane added that the department had requested the police’s assistance in the matter.
Some schools did not have water or adequate toilet facilities yet, but this would be resolved, he promised.
“But relatively all of our schools are ready, and we are happy with the programme. We are not saying it is 100% perfect, but where there are challenges, we will come in and resolve them.”
The department would be receiving reports from schools throughout the week and would be able to pinpoint which school needed assistance along the way and how they it intervene, Zwane said.