Democratic Alliance (Cape Town)

17 January 2014

South Africa: President Zuma's Comments On Mud Schools an Insult to Children

press release

The DA is appalled by President Jacob Zuma's tactless comment made while addressing a crowd at the opening of Ngidini Senior Primary School - a former mud school - in the Eastern Cape yesterday. He said "We want to eradicate all mud schools... We are not in a hurry because no one is going to rule but the ANC".

The DA is greatly disappointed that the President would treat such a serious issue in this way.

This insensitive utterance is an insult to the hundreds of children who have to endure schooling in under-resourced and unsafe building infrastructures throughout the Eastern Cape. The President should be deeply ashamed of himself and should issue an apology - especially to the parents, teachers and children who battle each day to get there children quality education.

President Zuma should also be reminded of the very serious problems facing learners in the Eastern Cape in particular and that in 2010, 22 learners were injured when mud classrooms collapsed in the Eastern Cape during a storm. Despite numerous promises, there still remain an estimated 300 mud schools throughout the Eastern Cape.

There is therefore every reason to hurry, Mr President.

The truth is that President Zuma's increasing number of problematic comments and off-the-cuff gaffes are highly revealing of the ANC which he now leads.

At the ballot box this year, voters will have an opportunity to elect a leader and a party that cares deeply about building a better South Africa. That party is the DA.

Edmund van Vuuren

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