Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The department of agriculture and environmental affairs has stepped in to ease the plight of Hlazazana Junior Secondary School pupils at Obonjeni in northern Zululand by building six classrooms.
This is after several students were forced to drop out and work on sugar cane farms after Grade 10. Others had to move to other areas to complete their high school.
The nearest school is more than 15 kilometres away and many students had opted to become workers on nearby farms because of a lack of transport money.
Hlazazana had only three classrooms that catered only for classes up to Grade 10. Some classes were conducted under trees, making teaching impossible on rainy days.
But yesterday there was jubilation when the MEC, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, officially opened six new classrooms.
Mthimkhulu said his department would spend more time working with rural communities to fight famine. He said famine resulted from the mushrooming of informal settlements in cities.
"As government we say that rural communities must develop in the same way urban communities are developing," he said.
The department had coughed out R473000, which is money sourced from levies collected from tourists visiting the nearby Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
The initiative comes soon after provincial education superintendent Cassius Lubisi claimed that the province had a backlog of about 10000 classrooms and the cost of building a single classroom had rocketed to R250000.
Lubisi said the education department needed R24billion on top of the R1,2billion it sets aside every year to address the problem of infrastructure.
Mthimkhulu said his department had set aside part of the gate collections to provide support to communities where game farms were located.
The area is underdeveloped and suffered a lack basic necessities such as water, electricity and job opportunities.
Mthimkhulu promised that his department would come back to introduce farming projects to fight poverty. The community welcomed this new development.
Local induna "D" Myeni said the community welcomed the initiative.
"These new classes are an indication that the department is committed to fighting poverty. In the past our applications to the relevant education department was not given priority," he said.