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By Lunga Simelane

Journalist


Swanville: School re-opening delays as sewage flooding worsens

The flooding is caused by a suspected mine dam leak and made worse by heavy rain.


After several days of delays in the re-opening of Slovoville Primary School in Swanville, concerned parents say they still fear for their children’s lives as the hazardous sewage leakage affects the school’s operations.

The school serves the Swaneville area, which is under Mogale City municipality, that is also swamped with sewage.

Suspected mine dam leak

The flooding caused by a suspected mine dam leak and made worse by heavy rain, resulted in a pipe at a nearby sewage pumping station bursting, swamping nearby homes and the primary school.

Parent Lerato Kunene said the water and sewage leakage near the school was not getting better.

“The school re-opening has been delayed due to the flooding of the water and now our children need to go back to school,” she said.

“As a concerned parent, I cannot allow my child to come back to the school.

“They’ll be starting Grade one and I cannot allow my child to come back to a school where it is not safe.”

Kunene said safety was the law in South Africa and this was a situation which started a long time ago and appropriate measures should have been taken to stop it worsening.

“Kids are kids and anything can happen. “They are always busy and can easily slip away then something scary happens,” she said.

“We can try to warn and alert them but kids are kids. “They need to be in a safe environment.”

Kunene added parents were informed that a report would be provided regarding the state of affairs, but they might be forced to bring pupils back to the school.

Torrential rains at record levels

While residents await action from relevant authorities, Mogale City mayor Tyrone Michael Gray said on Twitter that torrential rains, at record levels, had caused flooding in the area, including the Reitvallei Extension 5 pump station.

“This also affects areas in City of Joburg and Mogale City.

“Technical shared resource partnerships to craft a permanent drainage solution are under way as well as relocation via the human settlement department,” he added.

ALSO READ: Swaneville sewage spill leaves residents trapped on sinking land

GDE needs to be involved

Gray said provincial spheres of government were also assisting in terms of human settlements and the Gauteng department of education would also need to be involved.

Mogale City social development department and social workers will be on site today from 10am to assist with additional assessments,” he said.

Tshidiso Mmuso, a worker at Slovoville Primary School, said he was also affected by the flooding as he lived near the school.

“This is now bad. I have lost my place and only managed to reclaim what I could,” he said.

Mmuso said it had also severely affected school children who should have returned early last week.

“A lot of parents are conflicted on what to do,” he said.

“The school is trying to come up with ways to ensure safety but it is a tricky situation.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Residents trapped on sinking land

– lungas@citizen.co.za

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