DURBAN - KWAZULU-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for the immediate opening of 11 schools that have remained closed since the commencement of the 2022 academic year amid a dispute over the chieftaincy in Amanyavu in the Midlands.
According to a statement released by the provincial government, Zikalala has pleaded for peace and called on the community of Amanyavu to open the school gates in order for teaching and learning to commence at the 11 schools.
The schools remained closed after death threats were made to the teaching staff who were warned not to reopen the schools. Gates to the schools have all been locked.
Speaking during the provincial release of the 2021 matric results on Friday, Zikalala noted that the delay in the opening of schools would have major consequences for the pupils that were due to begin with their learning for the 2022 academic year.
He added that the provincial government held a productive meeting with izinduna from Amanyavu Traditional Council on Thursday.
“We wish to assure the people of Amanyavu that we are dealing with the dispute affecting the area. The provincial government will meet with the royal household in the next few days. We call on the community to allow the opening of schools and for learners to go back to school to learn,” said Zikalala.
The premier further emphasised that it was important for communities not to resort to violence or interfere with teaching and learning, but to aim to resolve matters in an amicable manner.
“We appeal for peace throughout our province. We urge communities and our traditional leaders not to hold the future of our children at ransom. We plead that where there are disputes and disagreements, let such not affect the teaching and learning of our children in any part of the province,” he said.
A follow-up meeting will be held soon to resolve some of the issues with the traditional leadership and community.
Meanwhile, KZN spokesperson for the Department of Education Muzi Mahlambi said that they are hoping for a resolution soon.