The Provincial Department of Education has confirmed reports of a fire that completely destroyed the top floor of the girl’s residence at the Victoria West Combined School. Provincial Spokesperson Geoffrey Van Der Merwe says the Department has opened a case with the SAPS in the area to investigate the cause of the fire. In a statement, Van Der Merwe thanked community members for extinguishing the fire but also called upon the communities in the Pixley Ka Seme District to safeguard learning institutions in the area during the school holidays.
“As a Department we are very concerned about the trend that is currently developing in the district. We have seen two hostels and two schools destroyed by fires in the past five years. We are appealing to the members of the public to assist the Department in the protection and guarding all our institutions of learning against any form of vandalism. We further call on anyone with information to come forward an assist the SAPS with their investigation.” Van Der Merwe went on to say that the Department will assess the extent of the damage, which is set to determine a contingency plan to accommodate learners at the start of the third term.