Department Under Fire For Lack of Classrooms

Many schools in South Africa are currently facing a shortage of classrooms. Some schools also have a lack of running water and see major damage needing to be repaired for years.

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In Mpumalanga, parents of learners at Rhandzekile Primary School are lodging complaints about promises of classrooms not being fulfilled. Not only are these empty promises but they are also not being promised enough.

Four years ago, the school felt the impact of a storm which blew off the school's roof while also demolishing a block at the school. This left the school in a state of ruin.

Another block is crumbling with issues of damaged walls, exposed electrical wires and broken windows being seen as well.

One parent said:

The department is promising us five classrooms, we need at least ten classrooms because we have more than 400 children at the school.

The school's library is also chaotic with boxes of unpacked books laying amongst stacks of unorganised books.

"We don't trust the department if they will ever build us a school. Parents are always coming to the school to see their children because they are not safe," a parent explained.

Parents are concerned that the school's damage will affect the safety of learners. 

A temporary solution was offered when 12 mobile classrooms were put up but this is not enough.

Kids will never be safe in mobile classrooms because they don't have windows, they don't have heaters, they don't have aircons so we don't know whether kids are sick or not. We're having a problem.

The provincial department is however adamant that the school will be built with the Spokesperson saying, "The school is under planning and design through the Department of Public Works. As soon as that process has been finalised, we'll be able to start with the construction of the school".

The delay in the construction of the new school is said to be caused by bureaucracy.

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