Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education will not repair the Ekurhuleni school that was torched twice in one week by angry community members.
Barcelona Primary School in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni, went up in flames again on Thursday evening. The school’s administration block and several grade R classes were gutted by the first fire set alight on Tuesday evening.
The Department said it received reports that on Tuesday night, the school’s administration block and Grade R classes were deliberately burned by community members who were disgruntled by infrastructure issues at the school.
As a result, learning and teaching at the school had been halted since Monday.
“Premeditated protests led to these acts of deliberate torching ensued outside the school premises,” the department said.
On Thursday evening, it was further reported that two more classes at Barcelona Primary School were also torched, but the fire was quickly doused by the fire brigade and left with minor damage.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi expressed his deep concern over the recent acts of arson at Barcelona Primary School.
Lesufi said the department was aware that the Department of Infrastructure was finalising a process to build a replacement brick and mortar school in that area.
“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.
“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 Lesufi.
Last month, a fire at the Bluegumbush Secondary School in the Free State resulted in the burning down of the school library, one office and three laboratory-turned-into classrooms.
The school’s ablution block was also burnt.
The Free State Department of Education said police are investigating the matter as arson was also suspected in that case.