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By Devina Haripersad

Senior Business/Finance journalist

‘Those responsible for delay must be held accountable’, as school built 7 years ago finally opens

Seven years later, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature's Portfolio Committee identified the root cause of the delay: a sewer line needing redirection.

Seven years after children from the Mayibuye informal settlement were left without a school, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee has strongly criticised the unnecessary delay in handing over a school built for them.

The committee emphasized the need for accountability for those responsible for the unnecessary wait.

The school was meant to support about 2 000 pupils from the Mayibuye informal settlement.

ALSO READ: School of shame: Tragic story of Mayibuye Primary

The delay stemmed from the City of Joburg’s refusal to issue an occupancy certificate, citing safety concerns when it was discovered that the school was constructed on a wetland, after its completion in 2017.

A white elephant

Despite being built, the school remained unused for several years on end, symbolizing wasted resources.

Over the next seven years, officials conducted countless oversight visits and fought administrative battles.

Finally, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee identified the root cause of the issue: a sewer line needing redirection.

A representative from the new contractor, Urban Plan Consulting, told Sowetan: “The sewer has its own diseases that would have affected the children and therefore we took an undertaking that we will assist in ensuring that that sewer is directed so that it goes underground, it goes somewhere else, which I believe now has been attended to.”

This rectification comes almost a decade after the initial construction.

ALSO READ: City Power completes normalisation of meters in Mayibuye

Finally handed over

After forking out more financial resources to solve the problem, Mayibuye Primary School in Tembisa was finally handed over to the community on 7 February 2024.

“At some point the Committee was outraged after receiving reports that the school was built on a wet land which was the main reason why an occupancy certificate was not issued.  However, these reports were later disputed,” the committee said.

“The Committee believes that such delays should be avoided and urges the Provincial Government to ensure that those who are responsible for this delay are being held accountable,” it added.

It was reported that the Gauteng government spent R98 million to build Mayibuye Primary School.

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