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.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

FED UP WITH SIT­U­A­TION: Brei­d­bach High School pupils clear up the road into Brei­d­bach after this week’s hous­ing protest

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