RESIDENTS of Vuwani have suspended their service delivery protest following a month-long deadlock.
The end to protest will come as a welcomed relief for matriculants in the area as they prepare to write their final exams.
The Pro-Makhado Demarcation Task Team said that they had reached a consensus with the provincial government to allow pupils to be able to write their exams.
Pro-Makhado Demarcation Task Team spokesperson Nsovo Sambo said they decided to suspend the shutdown for normality to return to the area.
“We took into consideration that there were only three weeks left before matric learners are to seat and write their final exams. So we had to find a constructive route and be able to weigh our options,” he said.
Despite the change in attitude, Sambo said they were still adamant over their demands for the provincial government to implement President Jacob Zuma’s recommendations that the area is serviced under the Vhembe district.
“So far they have started rendering service delivery to the community. Some of the projects have already been implemented whilst there are only a few cases that can be dealt with in the long run. That is why we held a consultative meeting with the residents in order to clarify the way forward. Because we do not want to see a situation where people are suffering because of long-term service projects,” said Sambo.
He also said that the suspension was not entirely supported as many residents felt that they were abandoning their mission.
“There is no way in which we have sold out our people because what we are simply saying is that the (provincial) government has implemented its promise. I do not think a person can go and stop services just because they have not yet built a road.
“Even the community we have been engaging with them to say this is the situation and this is what needs to happen and what is your say on the matter,” said Sambo.
Limpopo Department of Basic Education spokesperson Sam Makondo welcomed the suspension of the protest. He said the decision would bring a positive change to the learners. In the past, matriculants failed to write their final exams in time and had to do so the following year after months of protests which resulted in over 20 schools being set alight.
“We as the department are delighted that this matter has been resolved after four weeks of no schooling. A number of grade 12 learners from the area were affected and missed their trial examinations. Now that the issues are resolved, we will be facilitating an educational catch-up program which will run concurrently with their spring lessons in order to fill the void. We have arranged seven spring classes which will be running in Vuwani during the course of this week,” said Makondo.
He said they were confident that the pupils would be ready for their final examinations.
“There only thing that is left is a few subjects such as economics, Afrikaans and English because the shutdown happened during the beginning of the exams.
“So we are confident that we would have managed to cover the subjects which were due to be written during the learners trial exams,” said Makondo.
Provincial Government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said the Vuwani Regional Office has been operational since 07 September 2017, and the Community Development Workers were currently manning the offices on daily basis.
“The Interim Project Manager from COGHSTA reports to the municipal offices three times a week and the District Municipality provides cleaning services at the office. Various departments are rendering services as follows: Department of Transport- The traffic office has been opened and various services are rendered. Preparations of the facility for driver testing are at an advanced stage. LEDET-Appointment of service providers has been concluded and the service provider has commenced with the appointment of workers to render the service.
“DPWRI-The department continues to render services on a need basis. There was, however, acts on intimidation of staff on 26 September 2017 as they were offloading concrete to fill potholes,” he said.