Lack of communication between government and communities resulted in schools being targeted by protesters looking for ways to draw attention to their plight, a report by the South African Human Rights Commission has found.
The commission monitored the impact of protests on education over five years and had hearings with police, Department of Basic Education, and lobby group Equal Education, among others.
“The commission finds that both DBE and SAPS response has in some cases been slow, and it appears no uniform policy in dealing with such incidents is in place,” the report found.
Judith Cohen of the SAHRC said South Africa experienced over 13 000 protests a year.
“Most of the people involved in protests are men, and mostly young.
“Joblessness, lack of service delivery are at the centre of protests, where schools are seen as soft targets,” said Cohen.