The Western Cape Education Department(WCED) has temporarily restored transport for scholars in Beaufort West in the Karoo after parents protested yesterday and blocked the N1.
Beaufort West residents took to the streets to express anger over the withdrawal of learner transport, more than 100 people burnt tyres and barricaded the road with rocks and other objects causing traffic congestion.
According to Cape Talk, Education MEC Debbie Schaffer said:
“In order to resolve this properly, the district office had an expression to reinstitute the buses on an interim basis while they do a full assessment of every child there to see who qualifies for the policy and who doesn’t.”
The WCED provides transport to learners in rural areas who live five kilometres or more from their nearest school if public transport is not available.
In the Karoo, Beaufort West was an exception as there was no bridge over the railway line and no pedestrian crossings over the N1 for pupils to walk safely to school.
Officials later found that a pedestrian bridge had been built over the railway line and a pedestrian crossing was in place on the N1 so the department cancelled the transport.
When schools opened on Wednesday the pupils had to walk for over 12km infuriating parents who took to the street yesterday.
According to Cape Times, the ANC in the Central Karoo applauded the reinstatement of the bus service as a victory for the community and the affected pupils.
Two buses arrived to take the pupils to school today.