Minister Grant: Two Additional Schools Expected in Hout Bay
Media Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Education
It is with great pleasure to be here today to witness the final month of construction to this new and exciting school development.
For years, there has been a great demand for an additional primary school in the Hout Bay area, particularly in Imizamo Yethu, which has seen a massive increase in population in the last ten years or so.
While the demand has been great, the biggest obstacle for the WCED and previous administrations was the acquisition of land in the area. The availability of suitable land for a school is simply a scarcity in this area.
However, the current Western Cape Government has stuck to its word in prioritising the need for an additional school in Hout Bay and has investigated and sought out various means to ensure that the building of this school becomes a reality.
This has included the securing of private funding. And in 2009, the Western Cape Government received an offer from the Struengmann Foundation to fund such a primary school.
However, the acquisition of land remained a challenge, and the only site available at the time was a forestry site above the Imizamo Yethu settlement which required innovative design and planning because of its size and its location on a steep mountain slope.
It was evident that traditional school buildings built by the WCED would not be able to meet the demands of such a steep mountainslope.
However, given the agreement entered into with the Struengmann Foundation, a new school would be possible on this site. Dennis Fabian Architects came up with a superb design which used the slope and its magnificent setting to build a "terraced" school in separate units and is also environmentally friendly.
The result demonstrates how successfully any of the challenges have been overcome, for which they should be congratulated.
Construction of the school began earlier this year, and the school is expected to open its doors in January with the enrolment of 270 learners in Grades R, 1 and 2. Each year, an additional 90 learners will be enrolled into Grade R. Once full, the school will accommodate approximately 750 learners in 24 classrooms up to Grade 8.
The school will also provide a full complement of extra educational and social interventions, including assistant teachers, remedial staff, social workers, art, music, drama and sport.
I would sincerely like to thank Dr Struengmann and Mrs Struengmann for their generous donation and personal interest in this project, and Jonathan Schrire who has coordinated the project between the foundation and the WCED.
The successful completion of this school has not meant that this government has stopped searching for other suitable land for school development in Hout Bay.
I am therefore delighted to announce that, after numerous negotiations, further land has been secured in Hout Bay for another school and that the WCED can go ahead with its assessment and planning for maximum use of this land. Further details on this school will be announced as soon as possible.
Spokesperson for Minister Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377