Protesters singing struggle songs and donning red-and-black South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) T-shirts have gathered at a Caltex petrol station in Vereeniging, where they are readying themselves to move on to Hoërskool Overvaal. The Afrikaans-medium school has been the target of protests owing to its language and admission policies.
The march is supported by the ANC Sedibeng region, as well as Cosatu.
School activities have been halted for all of Thursday; this is despite plans by protesters to hand over a memorandum of demands to the School Governing Body (SGB). However, there is still a strong police presence outside the school.
The protests were fuelled by the Hoërskool Overvaal SGB's successful court application to overturn a Gauteng education department decision to place an additional 55 pupils at the school. The school said it had no capacity, but Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi accused the school of discriminating against the pupils because they could not speak Afrikaans.
While the department has deemed the application by the Vereeniging school's SGB a way to exclude black pupils, the school maintains there is not enough space to accommodate the additional learners.
According to the department, provision had been made for new furniture and an English-speaking teacher to teach the extra children.