150528. Cape Town. South Peninsula principal Brian Isaacs leading a group of students outside the Old Central Primary School in Diep River/Steurhof. Students including some staff held a picket outside this empty school asking the Department of Public Works to hand over the building to South Peninsula School. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
150528. Cape Town. South Peninsula principal Brian Isaacs leading a group of students outside the Old Central Primary School in Diep River/Steurhof. Students including some staff held a picket outside this empty school asking the Department of Public Works to hand over the building to South Peninsula School. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Pupils march to ‘reclaim’ school

By Ilse Fredericks Time of article published May 29, 2015

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Cape Town - A Diep River principal says his school will “reclaim” a disused primary school in their area if government doesn’t respond to their pleas to use it.

South Peninsula High School principal Brian Isaacs said his school needed extra buildings and had applied for permission to make use of the nearby Central Primary School a decade ago, but was still waiting for an answer.

During an interval on Thursday, teachers and Grade 11 pupils marched to the vacant building, singing songs and holding up posters stating, “How much longer must we wait?” and “We will take back what is ours”.

“Since 2005 this building has been standing vacant in a country where students are crying out for classrooms,” Isaacs said in an address to pupils outside the old primary school.

Boards with the South Peninsula’s name printed on it were attached to the four corners of the fence.

Thursday’s march followed three years after the school also undertook a march to the old primary school.

“We are saying to government this is the last time that we are coming here and not going inside.

“The next time we come we will cut the locks and make use of the building.”

Isaacs said Central Primary had closed after residents were removed from the area under the Group Areas Act and forced to send their children to schools on the Cape Flats. It was later used by the army.

Many of the Central Primary pupils attended high school at South Peninsula.

He said the school wanted answers about why they were not being granted permission to use the vacant school.

“This school is ours and nobody is ever going to remove us from this school again. No other business or residential property developer is going to get hold of this building.”

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said the Western Cape Education Department and the provincial department of transport and public works were looking into the status of the application.

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Cape Argus

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