Children put lives in danger getting to school

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

Pupils at Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal have appealed to the Back to School Campaign for better transport.

The area has high levels of poverty and some pupils have to walk long distances to school.

Some children are forced to cross swelling rivers and dangerous forests, putting their lives in danger.

The Back to School Campaign was formed by the ANC Youth League and the Sisonke region of the provincial Education Department.

They want to alleviate the plight of pupils at farm schools.

Last month a pupil was stranded for two days on a sand bank in the middle of an overflowing river that his horse could not cross.

Chuma Mbhele, 18, of Glen Edward Secondary School, was trapped on the Umzimvubu River for two days without food.

He said he survived by drinking dirty water and feared river snakes would attack him.

"I didn't sleep for two days, waiting for my last day, but God saved my life," Chuma said.

The school's principal, Nomaswazi Mankebe, said Chuma almost lost his life.

"He was absent from school for weeks, suffering from trauma."

She said the school did not have classrooms and used an old church building for teaching four classes.