Education MEC condemns school arson in Etwatwa

Gauteng Education MEC Mr Panyaza Lesufi wishes to express his deep concern over the recent acts of arson at Barcelona Primary School in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni which allegedly began on Tuesday, August 2.

On Tuesday night, it was reported that the school’s administration block and Grade R classes were deliberately burned by community members who are disgruntled by infrastructure issues at the school.

“On Thursday, 4 August 2022, it was further reported that two more classes at the said school were also torched, but the fire was quickly doused by fire brigades, with minor damages.

As a result, learning and teaching at the school has been halted since Monday, 1 August 2022, when premeditated protests that led to these acts of deliberate torching ensued outside the school premises, ” Gauteng Education’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona explains.

The department confirms that it is aware of the finalization process to build a replacement brick and mortar school in that area (Department of Infrastructure is responsible), and as such it is unacceptable that members of the community decided to destroy the current school in protest of a new school to be built.

The extent of the damage caused by the fire at Barcelona Primary School in Etwatwa. Video by Gauteng Education department

“Unfortunately, the Department has a list of schools which we prioritise to build in areas that demand access to quality education. As such, those who don’t value education and decide to burn or destroy their children’s schools will suffer the consequences as the Department will not fix their damage,” said MEC Lesufi.

The damaged temporary classrooms at Barcelona Primary School

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