The Eastern Cape Department of Transport is readying itself to provide promised transport for 693 Kuyga pupils to farm schools, starting on Monday, after protests erupted this week.
The protests, led by Kuyga parents, were aimed at the department’s cancellation of the free transport system due to budgetary constraints.
The affected children live in Kuyga, in the Greenbushes area near St Albans, and all attend farm schools.
In terms of the system that was in operation, the pupils were ferried by either bus or minibus taxi and the department footed the bill.
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana confirmed yesterday that from Monday, transport would be available to carry Kuyga pupils attending four farm schools in the Port Elizabeth area.
The announcement, first made on Wednesday evening, comes after weeks of tension and violent protest.
Protests erupted on Wednesday after the departments of both education and transport said they would no longer transport Kuyga children to school.
Tikana said yesterday: “We have agreed with [Education] MEC Mandla Makupula that scholar transport services must be restored.
“Officials are busy with logistics in this regard, but the children will be transported not later than Monday.”
According to the Department of Education, she said, 693 pupils needed transport.
The schools involved are those at Van Stadens, Yellowwood, Colleen Glen and St Albans.
“At this stage we are unable to give [cost] figures. The distance must be calculated from the pick-up points to the schools,” Tikana said.
During Wednesday’s protests, Kuyga became a war zone as residents and police clashed.
But yesterday, following Tikana’s pledge, calm had returned.
Although there was a low pupil turnout at Rocklands High School, Kuyga Intermediary, Colleen Glen Primary and Yellowwood Primary, teaching got off to a smooth start.
At St Albans Primary School, however, only 13 pupils arrived – and then immediately boarded two taxis and went home.