OPINION

Angie Motshekga does not know if schools in Gauteng are safe or not – Anton Alberts

FF Plus MP says Minister could not answer questions as she needed information from Gauteng DoE

Minister of Education does not know if schools in Gauteng are safe or not

17 April 2019

Even after the tragedy that transpired at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijl Park nearly three months ago, in which numerous learners died and several were injured when a walkway collapsed, the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, still does not know whether there are other schools in Gauteng that have structural safety issues.

This came to light after the FF Plus addressed a written parliamentary question to the Minister regarding the matter. (Complete questions and answer attached herewith).

Despite the tragic incident at Driehoek and the fact that Roodepoort High School declared some of its buildings structurally unsafe of its own accord, the Minister was unable to provide any answers with regard to the matter and she will now approach the Gauteng Department of Education to answer the questions.

The FF Plus asked the Minister how many schools in Gauteng comply or do not comply with her Department and other national Departments' legal requirements for infrastructure standards as well as the particulars related to it.

The second question was whether infrastructure inspections are conducted at schools as well as more details regarding the matter.

The answer she provided merely states that the required information was requested from the Gauteng Department of Education.

It is unlikely that the Minister will answer these questions before the elections and that raises the question of whether she is not deliberately concealing the information seeing as the parents of Driehoek are currently lodging legal claims against the Department.

The FF Plus will once again raise these questions in the new Parliamentary session, which will take some time.

If the Minister indeed does not have the information at her disposal or at the very least did not launch an investigation into the safety of schools to determine whether there are any structural safety issues, it is a scandalous and shocking indication and admission by the Minister and the ANC government of their callousness toward the safety of learners.

The FF Plus will keep insisting on answers to questions regarding what the government is doing to ensure the safety of children at schools and will, thus, fight back against a government that does not care about the safety of our country’s school children.

Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson and premier candidate: Gauteng, 17 April 2019