130116. Thousands of kids started the new school year today. An emotional Waylin Norton(5) clung to his mother as she try and see him off at the start of the school day at Blomvlei Primary school. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus


Cape Town - As 970 000 Western Cape pupils started the 2013 academic year on Wednesday, some arrived at schools which had been vandalised.

Blomvlei Primary School principal Dawn Petersen said feeding scheme supplies, including samp and beans, had been stolen, as well as sports uniforms.

She said all the textbooks had not yet been counted but she was hoping that none were missing.

She said the break-in took place on January 4.

“It happened in broad daylight. People thought they were fixing the roof.”

Petersen said teachers refused to let the break-in dampen their day.

“We are remaining positive,” she said. Most new pupils at Blomvlei put on a brave face but some Grade R pupils, as well as a few of their parents, couldn’t hold back tears.

One Grade R pupil Waylin Norton, 5, held his mother, Latasha, tightly as he sobbed.

“He’s also making me emotional,” Latasha said.

Proud parents took photographs of their children before saying their goodbyes.


At Sid G Rule Primary in Grassy Park, Education MEC Donald Grant visited Grade R and Grade 1 classrooms.


He said the school year had started smoothly apart from one or two hiccups.

“It’s still early days. It will take at least a week for the system to settle down.”

Cape Argus