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Khutsong schools in struggle

By unknown | May 08, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

It has been weeks since Khutsong residents embarked on their latest protest action to resist relocation from Gauteng to North West.

They argue that they have not been consulted about the relocation.

Students and teachers soon joined in the resistance protest by boycotting classes. But teachers have since gone back.

With mid-year examinations approaching, Sowetan visited Khutsong to find out why students have not gone back to school.

"We want to go to school but we are also members of the community. We must support the community," said Bafana Tshabalala, a grade 12 pupil at Badirile High School.

His classmate, Sewi Madi, said it would be better if students went back to school and only joined strike action after school hours.

"I am not against the community but I think we are the most affected. I think it would be ideal if we joined the strike after school and on weekends," Madi said.

He said he did not believe students in the area would do well in their June exams because they have not written their preparatory tests.

But he said some students had formed study groups to help each other with school work.

Tshabalala said: "This thing [strike] has affected us badly. We are behind other provinces in our studies."

Small businesses have also been hit by the strike.

Bheki Zwane, who sells braaied chicken to students in front of his home, said his business was heading for collapse.

"It is quiet," Zwane said, "I am not making any money. There is virtually no business because the students were my target market."

Zwane blamed the national government for the unstable situation in Khutsong .

"The government must prove it is really democratic by coming back to us and listening to our demands," he said.

"I have heard some people blaming the leaders in Khutsong as the instigators of the protests. That is not true. People do not want to go to North West, period."

He said the people would remain on strike for as long as necessary to make their point.


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