Cape parents threaten to shut down the city if a new school is not built in Forest Village

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Apr 14, 2021

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Scores of frustrated Forest Village parents protested outside Western Cape Premier Alan Winde’s office calling for the government to urgently build a school in the area for the 502 unplaced pupils.

The parents have threatened to continue with the protest action and to even shut down the city if their demand was not being met.

Community leader, Andile Lili, said: “We are here at the premier’s office because the education MEC is racist. She hates the black child from here, and tomorrow, we will keep coming here until Friday. To make sure that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) put up prefabs urgently, failing which, we will ensure Cape Town is ungovernable for as long as the black child who is excluded from education by the DA we will make sure we shut down.”

According to Lili, 502 primary school pupils in Forest Village were still learning under trees at the illegal Empumelelweni School. They are being taught by volunteer teachers.

The parents are demanding that the department build them prefabricated schools instead of brick and motor building as it would be much faster. They are also refusing to send their children to schools outside the Forest Village area.

“Government decided to build houses in areas in Cape Town, they were supposed to look into the issue of building them schools, or at least organise prefab schools, people can’t allow children to go to already overcrowded schools in these different areas which the MEC is sending them to. Classes at these schools have children already over 50 despite Covid regulations,” he said.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said they had spent the past week attending to the Forest Village issue.

“Half of the learners have already been placed at schools. The department is still struggling to contact some of the parents of the remaining learners, who have provided incorrect contact numbers or whose phones go to voicemail. We urge the parents of those learners to contact their district to take up the placement offers,” she said.

To date, the WCED is yet to place 3 786 pupils.

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