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Destruction of Schools Condemned

Pretoria - Cabinet has reiterated President Jacob Zuma’s condemnation of the destruction of 24 schools in the Vhembe district in Limpopo.

"This destruction of educational infrastructure disadvantages our children and undermines the countrys effort to provide quality education," said Acting Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

She was addressing media during a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday in Cape Town.

Cabinet has further welcomed a meeting by President Zuma with King of the Vhavenda, Khosikhulu Thovhele Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, which was at the request of King on 8 May to resolve issues in Vuwani.

President Jacob Zuma has put in place a task team, led by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, to lead the process of developing a package of social infrastructure projects for the Makhado Local Municipality.

Cabinet has thanked the Ministerial Task Team, led by Minister Desmond van Rooyen, for the inroads made to resolve this matter. It commended the role played by the office of Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha, and the Mayor of Vhembe, Tshitereke Matibe; the Mayor of Thulamela, Grace Mahosi and the Mayor of Makhado, David Mutavhatsindi.

During the task team meetings, traditional leaders made commitments to work with government to resolve the crisis and condemned the destruction of property and violence. They called for the urgent resolution of the situation.

At these meetings, traditional leaders and the task team reaffirmed the outcomes of the meeting with the President and resolved to report progress to the President.

"As we speak, the task team is engaging with all stakeholders as a continuing effort by government to normalise the situation in Vuwani and its surrounding villages," Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Cabinet also thanked those members of the community and traditional leadership that have intervened to protect the remaining schools and creating an environment for ongoing dialogue.

"There can be no valid reason to justify the senseless destruction of critical public infrastructure such as schools. Those residents who are found guilty of burning our public facilities will face the full might of the law," the Minister said.

Cabinet reminded South Africans that the country's democracy gives all citizens a number of platforms to express their concerns and engage in constructive talks to find workable solutions.

"Residents of this district are encouraged to isolate any elements who are leading and destroying the future of our children and report them to the law enforcement agencies," Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said.

Violence in Grabouw area

In a separate but related incident, Cabinet noted with great concern the continuing violence, disruption of schooling and the burning of the traffic department facilities in Grabouw in the Western Cape.

"Cabinet reiterates that the full might of the law will be applied to those found guilty of criminal activity," said the Minister. -

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