President condemns torching of Vuwani schools

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the burning of 17 schools in Vuwani in Limpopo in protests that have turned violent.

The President said this when he responded to the debate on The Presidency Budget Vote in the National Assembly on Thursday.

"I wish to take this opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms the burning of 17 schools and other public facilities in the Vuwani area of Limpopo reportedly over discontent regarding municipal demarcation.

"The entire nation is in shock over this occurrence. Three is no grievance that can justify the destruction of property, especially schools which are meant to help the next generation of Vuwani to defeat poverty, inequality and unemployment.

"Nobody should be allowed to destroy and jeopardise the future of our children and our country."

The President said government has directed law enforcement agencies to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice.

He says it can't be that people engage in criminal behaviour while government does nothing about it. Protests are permissible, but should be undertaken peacefully, the President said.

"The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Minister of State Security and the Deputy Minister of Police are in the area today to deal with the situation.

"In all the protests that have taken place, people normally [block] roads and burn a few things. This really raises eyebrows very seriously," said the President.

He said, meanwhile, that there is a process that is underway to declare Vuwani as a Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) site and that the process is at an advanced stage. The CRDP aims to empower rural communities and ensuring improved access to basic services, enterprise development and village industrialisation.

He said this would help the peace-loving members of Vuwani to attain the development that they need.

"The recently established Vuwani task team, led by the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, has put together a development package for the Vuwani area, comprising projects which are being implemented by the Makhado Local Municipality, Vhembe District Municipality as well as provincial and national departments.

"People of Vuwani deserve a better life, free of anarchy and lawlessness," said President Zuma

Source:South African Government News Agency