Olifantshoek, Northern Cape - Children in Olifantshoek, in the Northern Cape, did not return to school on Tuesday as requested by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, an official said.
“I was in Olifantshoek today (Tuesday) and learners did not turn up for school,” provincial education spokesman Sydney Stander said.
“We, as the education department, will try and engage parents and try (to) solve the situation.”
Stander said the department would meet church leaders on Thursday to see how they could help encourage parents to send their children to school.
Mthethwa visited the town on Monday. He met residents, who had demanded the mayor's resignation amid accusations of corruption, his office said on Tuesday.
“In the process of raising their (the community's) issues, learners were barred from attending schools and properties were burnt,” Mthethwa's spokesman Zweli Mnisi said.
“The fundamental issue is that learners must return to school. That is the ultimate goal of the minister's intervention.”
Mnisi said resolving the issues in the town was a collective effort.
“We have to say it was not an easy meeting, very tense. But the minister managed to calm the rowdy crowd and took charge,” he said.
“He 1/8Mthethwa 3/8 then requested that the community appoint people whom they trust so that they can raise and discuss their grievances in a peaceful and mature manner.”
Following discussions chaired by Mthethwa, it was agreed a task team including community representatives, local government and education officials and police be formed to resolve tensions in the town.
“We remain hopeful of a speedy resolve and normalising of the situation,” said Mnisi. - Sapa