Ekujabuleni Primary School in Clermont, West of Durban, has been found tobe running illegal electricity connections to the school. Parents and community members have exhausted all communication channels, however, the school has yet to take any action.
This illegal connection runs through one of the grade 2 classrooms, putting the learners’ safety on the line. Illegal connections put learners and staff at risk of electrocution, injury and even death. They also pose a serious fire hazard, but the school does not seem concerned.
Safety issues and poor conditions run rampant in many schools across South Africa, with overcrowding and a lack of adequate resources, like water and sanitation, a major concern. Some schools battle high levels of violence and bullying, while others are calling upon the Government to eradicate pit toilets, so unfortunately this is not a unique challenge.
The parents and the primary school previously came to an agreement that the school would pay R10,000 per month for utilities, however, they have failed to do so. Parents have taken action by emailing the Provincial Education Department and even blocking the road demanding to know what the school is doing about the situation, but received no response.
One parent states that the parents are worried about their children’s futures as even the teachers have sent their children to other schools so that they don’t have to deal with these issues.
Ekujabuleni Primary School also owes money to the municipality, although, the municipality has not revealed just how much debt the school is in. In response to these unpaid bills, the municipality has cut the power supply to the school which is what has led to these illegal connections.
The Public Service Department has called upon the Education Department to intervene by coming up with a strategy and completing a risk assessment.
All attempts for a response from the Department have so far been unsuccessful.