Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist


Gauteng government says they won’t have to demolish R300-million school

From damp damaging the new building already, to administrative bungles, the department says these problems are no insurmountable.


The Gauteng government has rubbished claims that the R300-million state of the art school for children with special needs built in 2015 in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, risked destruction due to administrative bungle. Last week the DA alleged in a statement that Nokuthula LSEN School was at risk of being demolished if the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) did not have the building plans approved and fail to acquire a permanent occupancy certificate. No building plans for school According to the party’s Gauteng spokesperson on infrastructure development Nico de Jager, the department failed to submit building plans for…

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The Gauteng government has rubbished claims that the R300-million state of the art school for children with special needs built in 2015 in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, risked destruction due to administrative bungle.

Last week the DA alleged in a statement that Nokuthula LSEN School was at risk of being demolished if the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) did not have the building plans approved and fail to acquire a permanent occupancy certificate.

But the provincial government has disputed this, saying the statement was factually incorrect as the initial Site Development Plan (SDP) was submitted to City of Johannesburg in July 2015.

Bongiwe Gambu, Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID) spokesperson, said since then there has been ongoing engagement with the municipality directing on their requirements.

She said there was a temporary occupation issued by the metro in November last year, which she said was valid for a year from the date of issuance.

“Compliance requirements for a temporary occupancy are not in any way less, except that there are some items to be addressed as per the municipality. As things stand there is no basis for the facility to be demolished and is now in use,” she said.

Gambu explained that there was confusion with bulk contribution calculation where they initially had to do actual bulk services upgrade.

She however said it was revised afterwards that the actual contribution was still applicable and now their department bulk works contribution needs to be discounted and the new amount be paid.

Gambu insisted that the building plans were submitted and that to conclude the process the metro will finalise the recalculation of bulk, taking into account works contribution.

She added that this will in turn enable the department to make final payment, consider all further adjustments to building plans per required additional information.  

But de Jager has claimed that Tasneem Motara, Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management, has previously failed to produce proof that all the documentation was submitted to the municipality.

He said during a recent committee meeting, it came to light that there is rising damp which is damaging the school buildings.

The damp, which can be seen from outside the school, is destroying the building and decorative bricks are falling off the wall.

nokuthula school
The Nokuthula LSEN School in Lyndhurst is seen 29 March 2022. Shoddy planning could see the school demolished at a cost of R300 million to the tax payer. Picture: Michel Bega

According to De Jager, the redesign of the storm water system and a geotechnical investigation need to be done to ascertain and verify whether the building was fit for occupation.

  • siphom@citizen.co.za

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