A community protest over delays in the construction of a road in a rural area of the Eastern Cape has led to the closure of 35 schools, affecting over 16 000 learners.
The Eastern Cape Education Department said on Wednesday that schooling in the OR Tambo District Municipality was disrupted since Monday.
Department spokesperson, Mali Mtima, said according to a report from their District office the community are upset about delays in the construction of the road to Canzibe, in the Nyandeni Local Municipality.
He said news of the delay was delivered to the community by a representative of the MEC for Transport in the Eastern Cape, sparking the backlash.
“Upon hearing this, the community retaliated by chasing away teachers and learners from all 35 schools,” Mtima said.
He said from Monday no learning or teaching was possible in all of the affected schools with 16 162 learners being affected.
Eastern Cape Education MEC, Fundile Gade, appealed to the communities involved to consider the education of their children.
“The future of our children should be a priority and not be used to get other service delivery items" he pleaded.
The Department of Education said the mayors of both the Nyandeni Local Municipality and the OR Tambo District Mayo were trying their best to facilitate meetings to resolve the impasse.