Vaal school classrooms reduced to ashes in suspected arson attack

The education department says there are no funds to repair the school.
The education department says there are no funds to repair the school.
Image: Gauteng education department

Gauteng's education department has described the torching of a school in the Vaal on Thursday as a “barbaric act”.

Four classrooms, learning material and stock worth an estimated R4m were reduced to ashes in the blaze at Tokelo High School. Initial investigations pointed to the fire being caused by arson.

The department said fire marshals at the school described the incident as “pure arson”.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “We wish to reiterate our disappointment in such incidents because they really derail our plans. The reality is that we do not have funds to repair the school. The department will check what can be salvaged from the burnt school.”

With schools expected to reopen in 13 days, the department said it hoped teaching and learning would not be disrupted.

Lesufi said engineers would determine which parts of the affected school block could be used.

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