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Service delivery protests disrupt Langa schools, public transport

Cape Town - A Langa school was closed for a second consecutive day on Wednesday due to the volatile atmosphere and threat of further protest action by angry residents displeased with service delivery.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said pupil and teacher attendance was between 90 to 100 percent at the schools in the area, except for one high school where attendance was 50 percent.

A Langa school was closed for a second consecutive day on Wednesday due to the volatile atmosphere and threat of further protest action by angry residents displeased with service delivery. Picture: Bheki Radebe. Credit: Independent Media

Shelver attributed the low attendance to the fact many pupils could not access the school because of transport difficulties.

“There is a reported meeting that will take place this afternoon and the majority of the schools will be dismissed early amidst reports the protests will flare up again this afternoon. Schools have made arrangements for exams that were missed to be written later this week. Our circuit team is also monitoring the situation and will work with school on remedial interventions, as required,” she said.

The 40 men and women arrested in Langa for public violence and intimidation appeared at the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.Three minors were scheduled to appear alongside their co-accused, but the court decided to hold separate proceedings. That means 37 of the 40 appeared and were released on bail set at R300 each. The group are expected back in court on October 11.

The violent protests in Langa on Tuesday have had repercussions for railway service, Metrorail, when a train was torched between Bellville and Tygerberg stations. A train driver barely escaped with his life as he fled the burning train.

The railway service has suspended trains from all stations in the Central Service corridor after eight apparatus cases, two track boxes and numerous signals were damaged – inflating already high repair costs.

Metrorail spokeswoman, Riana Scott, said the railway service shut down its stations in the Central corridor because the railway service could not afford more vandalism or arson as a result of protest action unrelated to transportation services.

Although the area was calm yesterday morning, authorities were keeping an eye on the tense atmosphere to prevent any further flare-ups. Scott said during the shutdown no tickets would be sold and commuters were advised to avoid stations and make their own transport arrangements.

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