Life of barricades for matric pupils
Clearing roads instead of studying after protest
Despite preparing for their end-of-year examinations, Breidbach High School pupils spent Wednesday morning removing barricades on the road after hundreds of protesters closed it on Tuesday.
Principal Lesley Mara said the pupils desperately wanted things back to normal.
“Pupils came to me to go and speak to those in charge of the protests to stop and allow school exams to continue. We could not find anyone in charge and we asked the police if we could do the clean-up and they agreed,” he said.
Mara said during the clean-up, the pupils picked up stones, the remains of burnt tyres, branches, broken glass, as well as metal railings, and discarded them on the side of the road.
“The pupils are fed up with the situation. They want a better future and can only do that through education. They need school to return to normal as they are busy preparing for their examinations,” he said.
The school’s examinations start on Tuesday for the matrics, Wednesday for the grade 11 pupils and Friday, for grade 10 pupils.
“Teachers need time to work with grade 8 and 9 until they start with exams by the end of October,” said Mara.
In a radio interview on TruFM, Buffalo City Metro spokesperson Samkelo Nwenya said the ward 44 communities had been protesting for houses to be built.
“There may be a high level of impatience although there is a project steering committee in place,” Ngwenya said.
He also admitted that they were not at 100% with regards to the timelines that were agreed upon. However they “had been briefing the community about the delays”.
Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said examinations had started smoothly.
“The rest of the subjects will start on October 22 to November 28. All other grades will start their examinations at the beginning of November and finish in the last week of November,” Mtima said.
Police spokesperson Captain Siphokazi Mawisa said nine people were arrested in Breidbach during violent protest on Monday on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. She said police had used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
FED UP WITH SITUATION: Breidbach High School pupils clear up the road into Breidbach after this week’s housing protest