Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
Hope is in short supply at Southey Village. But for Itumeleng Marake, the fiasco that swept his school ushered in the end of a dream.
Twenty-year-old Marake, a classmate of girl- of-the-moment Lesego Pearl Hugo is one of the 650 students who failed final exams and is so dejected he has decided to drop out of school.
With hunched shoulders that show no zest for life, the young man believes his future has been snatched away in front of his eyes by inept teachers and the education system that has failed him and his schoolmates.
"I can't take it anymore. I do not have the energy to repeat class at my age. Besides, I have been a burden to my parents for too long. They have done their part."
Even if he wanted to give school another shot, circumstances beyond his control have conspired against him, turning the dream of one day becoming a medical doctor into a nightmare.
The day he received his report he couldn't look his ailing parents in the eye. Every time the schools reopen he is ashamed to look at his parents as they go about borrowing money from loan-sharks to get him into school in the hope that one day he will be their saviour. It has got to him and he can't take it anymore.
His father returned from his mining job about five years ago a sickly man and has never worked since. His mother is disabled and the entire family, including his three younger school-going siblings rely on her meagre grant to put food on the table.
Like many of his classmates, he makes do with one meal a day most of the time.
When asked what he's going to do with his life, he shrugs his shoulders and says: "I don't know."
He's not even looking forward to finding a job because he says there are none. He should know better; many boys his senior are wandering the destitute village aimless, drinking cheap homemade brews and aging before their time because there are simply no jobs to go around.
Those who flee the village end up in the periphery of urban cities and mining towns, swelling shanty towns full of people spewed out by the economy of our country - another lost generation.