Matric camp mooted for Kuruman pupils

Kimberley - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is considering opening a camp for matriculants from Kuruman after a lengthy protest over a road closed schools.

"It is a huge concern for us because learners haven't been to school since June 4," Motshekga's spokesperson Troy Martens said on Thursday.

"We are looking at different options at the moment, including taking matriculants to a camp to learn. The plans are in place, we just need the learners to come back to school."

496 matriculants

She said 16 000 pupils from 54 schools in different villages were affected. Of these 496 were matriculants.

Motshekga was in the area on Wednesday to talk to the community, with the expectation of re-opening schools.

However, the community was adamant that the situation would not change.

A group calling themselves the Road Forum began protesting in June demanding that a 130km stretch of road in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality be tarred.

The protesters were barring pupils and staff from going to school to get the attention of the authorities.

Tender for road

In that month, Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas's spokesperson Monwabisi Nkompela said the tender to tar the road was opened on 12 June and closed on 18 July.

"The tender is at a stage where the project managers at the [roads and public works] department are evaluating which bidder met the specific requirements," Nkompela said at the time.

He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

In July, the administration blocks of some schools in the area were set alight.

Martens on Thursday said Motshekga was worried about the safety of pupils, and would be engaging with the provincial department of education and parents about the matter.