Mobile classrooms were torched, in Oakdale Secondary School, in Ennnerdale, Johannesburg, after the community grew frustrated because of delays in the repairs of the roof.
The roof was damaged during a storm, last year, and four classrooms were affected by the incident.
“How do you burn a school while demanding better infrastructure? This must not be tolerated,” tweeted the infuriated Gauteng’s education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi.
Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said the police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the crowd as they had blocked several roads with burning tires and rocks. Five people were also arrested during the protest.
Gauteng’s education spokesperson said the fired had been extinguished.
According to earlier report by SowetanLive, it was revealed that there was no schooling for Grade 8 to 11 pupils, after parents shut down the school because they feared for the pupils. They cited that the containers used as classrooms were in poor condition.
In March, a stay away protest was launched by pupils at another Ennerdale school demanding for the department to prioritise repairs on the infrastructure.
The protesters said they feared that a similar incident like that at Hoërskool Driehoek, in Vanderbijilpark, in January, where a bridge collapsed and killed four pupils, would also strike them.
In March the Gauteng department of education disclosed that they had about R1bn allocated to upgrading schools but needed five times the amount in order to ensure the success of the renovations and rehabilitation.
The budget for planned and unplanned renovations of schools reportedly amounts to R871m and R200m, while the deteriorating school infrastructure requires R5bn in maintenance.
This was revealed by Lesufi when he was responding to DA’s shadow education MEC Khume Ramulifho during a questioning about the state of deteriorating infrastructure of some schools in Gauteng.
In February, Lesufi promised that school infrastructure upgrades would be his department’s priority in 2019.