Lesufi’s empty promises – Khume Ramulifho

DA MPL says MEC promised Noordgesig Primary in Soweto would be rebuilt, but nothing has happened

Noordgesig Primary School: MEC Lesufi’s empty promises

18 January 2018

The Gauteng Department of Education has on many occasions promised to demolish Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto which is an asbestos school and rebuild a brick and mortar school, but this has never materialized.

The community has been waiting for almost 9 years now, and still there is no progress and no proper communication on when the construction process will begin.

This has resulted in parents embarking on several protests outside the school and some keeping their children at home and not allowing them to attend school on the first day of the 2018 academic year.

The asbestos schools poses a serious health risk to both learners and teachers. The department has failed to eradicate asbestos schools within a targeted time frame at the end of November 2016.

This school infrastructure is old and dilapidated and close to falling apart.

Here is the outline of all the promises made by the department following the DA’ s enquiries with regards to the construction of the new school:

- In the 2010/11 financial year, just over R2 million was budgeted for repairs and restoration at the school but nothing was done;

- In November 2014, a contractor was awarded a R17.8 million tender to fix the school;

- In the department’s 2015/16 first quarter report, it highlighted that R 17.8 million was spent on renovations at the school, and that the project was completed;

- In 2016, the department highlighted that R90 million was set aside for the school. However, we were later informed that R90 million was not enough and that the department needed to increase the budget to R120 million; and

- In 2017 the construction was expected to have commenced in September, but there were no signs of the impending construction.

Even though yesterday the MEC revealed that a contractor had already been appointed to rebuild the school thereis still no progress at Noordgesig Primary School.

The building of the new school is long overdue and the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi must stop usingdelaying tactics when they affect the lives of our children.

The department claims that there are 29 asbestos schools in the province but the DA believes that there are more, yes all were built by the apartheid government but it is now the responsibility of this government to fix these schools as a matter of urgency.

The DA believes that the MEC has a responsibility to provide a safe and conducive learning environment in schools.

Noordgesig Primary School has been left unattended for far too long and the DA will continue to put pressure on MEC Lesufi to begin with the process of construction and ensure that the community is frequently engaged as to the progress of the new school.

Issued by Khume RamulifhoDA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, 18 January 2018