Motshwene says money was budgeted for the new school building in 2013, but he does not know what happened to it between then and when the promise followed the three-day protest in May.
“At the moment, Phiri Secondary School is just a name – the classrooms have been completely destroyed by the fire.
“The police started firing rubber bullets and teargas at the learners. That was uncalled for because a four-month-old baby in one of the nearby houses was also affected by the teargas and had trouble breathing,” he says.
Despite the difficult conditions, Motshwene says the matric pass rate has always been above 80 percent.
Freddy Sepeng, the spokesperson for the department of education condemned the arson, saying the contractor would have started building by the end of this month.
“The Gr. 12 learners will be worst affected, and the department will have to organise camps for the matriculants to prepare for their finals. We will also have to find a venue for writing the exams,” he added.
The North West MEC for Education, Sello Lehari, was in Venterdorp to address this issue on Wednesday.