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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Empty taps force school to close

Ormonde Primary School has been forced to delay its opening day to January 25 because toilets weren't connected to the water supply.

The Gauteng education department says it has provided a temporary solution to the water shortage at Ormonde Primary School.

Pupils were reportedly sent home because there was no water, toilets or learning materials at the newly built primary school, situated south of Johannesburg.

The school then delayed its opening day to January 25, because the toilets were not connected to the water supply. But the department said this was not a departmental instruction and it might therefore be an illegal action.

Department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said water tankers had been sent to the school. He said the lack of water was caused by a delay in connecting the school to the main bulk water supply because it was built on two sites and the municipal approval for the two sites to be combined into one erf had not yet been recieved.

“The department has applied for the land to be combined into one site,” he said.

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Bodibe said he could not understand why the school should have a crisis when a septic tank was installed on the school premises last year. However, the department was in the process of negotiating with the municipality to fast-track the approval of the connection to the main water supply.

Regarding a complaint by some parents and pupils that text books and writing materials had not been delivered to the school, Bodibe said the department was not aware of it and that there had been no complaints in this regard.

“The department will investigate,” Bodibe said.

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