All 139 Looted Schools Are Operational in KZN, says MEC

All 139 Looted Schools Are Operational in KZN, says MEC

Good news for the department of education as it's been confirmed that all the schools affected by looting in Kwazulu-Natal are now operational. Repairs are yet to be done with resources being drained.

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The 139 schools which were damaged during the weeks of unrest and looting are said to now be operating.

The Basic Education Portfolio Committee received a report which outlined that the damage schools sustained from looting amounted to R140 million. 139 schools were affected in KwaZulu-Natal with another 53 in Gauteng.

KZN school damage amounted to R88 million with Gauteng seeing R53 million in damage costs.

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, said:

Things have significantly improved from the first day of schooling. We have been working flat out to make sure that all our schools are operational, including the schools that were vandalised during the unrest in the past few weeks.

The damage seen in school varies from one school to another with some schools having been set alight to others just seeing goods being stolen from the school.

Repairs will need to be done in classrooms and in some schools, areas have been completely demolished and will have to be rebuilt.

"This damage adds to the damage that is currently in backlog, in terms of repairing schools," said Mshengu, as there have been schools affected by theft and weather conditions in the past.

The department is working on improving the situation more now that all primary school learners are back in class full-time.

The provincial department is not able to get mobile classrooms to comply with social distancing because they can't afford it. The rotational timetable will therefore stay in place at affected schools.

The province struggles with the number of resources available and what still needs to be done with the MEC saying that they continue to operate under a strenuous financial position. 

This financial year, we lost about R6.3 billion that was cut from our budget which means that a number of projects, including infrastructure projects, got affected. It included the placement of educators in our schools.

"The damage from the unrest added on to an already strenuous department which was unable to afford everything it intended to perform," Mshengu continued to say.

A further R9 billion is expected to be lost in the next financial year.

 

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