Schooling has not resumed at some schools in Diepsloot, Gauteng, due to lack of water and electricity, and vandalism of mobile classrooms and ablution facilities during the extended school holidays.
DA MPL and party’s spokesperson on education, Khume Ramulifho, said they conducted an oversight visit to the township on Friday morning and found furniture, windows, doors and bathroom fittings smashed.
He said Diepsloot Primary School and Diepsloot Secondary School had had a number of burglaries and vandalism during the school holidays and early January.
Electricity cables and borehole pumps for both schools were stolen, along mobile classrooms’ security burglar bars.
“Diepsloot Secondary School currently does not have patrollers, the patrollers left the school in July last year while Diepsloot Primary School only has patrollers working during the day and no night shift. Diepsloot Secondary School fence was destroyed and stolen in 2018 and it was never replaced as a result the school is not secured,” Ramulifho said.
He said it was disappointing to learn that the department was aware of the situation facing these schools yet nothing had been done to provide alternative resources.
“While all learners across the province are attending school, learners from Diepsloot Secondary Schools are idling at home doing nothing and this has had a negative impact on the curriculum as they are left behind.
“[Education MEC] Panyaza Lesufi must be held accountable for failing to fix Diepsloot Secondary School before the schools reopened. This clearly indicates that MEC Lesufi misled the people of Gauteng when he made a public announcement that all our Gauteng Schools are ready to open for the 2021 academic year,” Ramulifho said.
He said furthermore, the department had failed to spend R1.3 billion in the 2019-2020 financial year while schools such as these two were are in dire need of Infrastructure and adequate resources.
It was time Lesufi stopped boasting about the state-of-the-arts schools being built while many schools were desperately in need of basic school infrastructure, according to Ramulifho.
“It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that all schools are ready to be reopened for the 2021 academic year. The DA has written to the MEC to attend to these schools in Diepsloot as a matter of urgency. Learners must get back to schools and continue with learning and teaching before end of next week,” Ramulifho said.
Public schooling resumed on Monday, while principals, school management teams, including education assistants and general assistants and non-teaching staff, returned earlier on 25 January 2021 and teachers on 1 February 2021.