Manenberg parents were up in arms yesterday after they heard a primary school in the area is being shut down by education authorities to make way for a private school.
About 70 parents along with pupils of Saambou Primary in Ruimte Street protested with placards outside the school yesterday morning.
Parents say they were protesting because they heard their children would be transferred to Manenberg Primary a few blocks away, which they called “the heart of dangerous ganglands”.
The protesting parents were later invited into the school’s hall to have a meeting with the School Governing Body representative, Anthia Andrews, as well as acting principal Angelo Valentine, and John Lyners, a representative of the Western Cape Education Department.
“The principal and Ms Andrews told us that the school will be closing! How can we let our children go to a school in the middle of a gang danger zone?” one parent shouted out in anger.
Another parents wanted to know “what kind of future” her child would have at Manenberg Primary.
Lyners assured parents that Saambou was not being closed down.
“Will this school be closing down? No, this school will not be closing, and the rumour of a private school being opened is also not true,” he said.
He then implied that Saambou was to get a make-over like several other schools in the area.
“Did you guys see what Silverstream Primary looks like? Do you know what Red River looks like? Do you know what it looked like before?” Lyners asked the group but did not elaborate.
Parents told the Daily Voice after the meeting they are not satisfied with Lyners’ answers, and would seek advice from the WCED.
WCED spokesman Paddy Attwell could not confirm or deny whether Saambou would close.
“We can confirm that a senior WCED official discussed concerns with members of the community at the school [yesterday] morning. He will meet the principal and the chair of the governing body later this week.”