WCED Infrastructure Plan: Replacing Inappropriate School Structures
Media Statement by Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Today, I visited Oaklands High School in Lansdowne to inspect the building site of their new school.
The school is one of 20 schools that are being "replaced" in terms of our infrastructure program in the current MTEF.
In 2010, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) released its infrastructure plan which aims to address the backlogs in school infrastructure in this province. This plan includes, among other things, the building of 25 new schools and hundreds of additional classrooms over the next three years. It also includes the replacement of unsafe and unsuitable school structures, which is also a priority for this government.
Therefore, the new plan included targeting schools where there has been a decline in the quality of infrastructure over a long period of time. In most instances, these structures are made from wooden or chipboard materials that were built under the apartheid era.
Replacing inappropriate structures requires building a new school on the existing property. In some projects, the new structure is built adjacent to the old structure; therefore, learners continue to use the premises of the old school while building is taking place. In other instances, the placement of alternative accommodation such as mobiles is required for learners during the building process. The old inappropriate structures are torn down to make way for the new building site.
Replacing inappropriate structures carries extra costs than building a new school on a new site as one has to take into consideration costs such as demolition fees to tear down existing structures. These costs vary from project to project and we have allocated, approximately, an additional R3.5 million on top of the new building costs to each project to make provision for this. Erecting provisional mobile units to house the learners while the building process is underway also carries further costs.
Over the next three years, the WCED has identified and planned to replace 20 schools that were built with inappropriate materials and replace them with brick and mortar structures.
Eight schools are currently under construction; these include:
Oaklands SS, Thembalethu PS, Masibambane SS, MM Mateza PS, Plantation PS, Enshona PS, Fairview PS and Cloetesville PS.
Twelve schools are in planning stages and include:
Nalikamva PS, Garden Village PS, Formosa PS, Bottelary PS, Phakade PS, Rusthof PS, West-Eind PS, St Thomas PS, Pacaltsdorp PS, Kathleen Murray PS, Itsitsa PS and New Eisleben SS.
At Oaklands High School in Landsdowne, building is currently underway to replace their old school which is a 57-year-old wooden, chipboard structure. The project began in February 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The total cost of the project is R29.5 million.
The new structure will be brick and mortar and will include the necessary specifications of materials used today. It will also be able to accommodate more learners (1 200 learners).
The new school will include 27 classrooms, two computer rooms, a library, school hall, new admin building, new staff/visitor parking, five laboratories, two specialist classrooms and additional sports facilities to be built on the old existing site once the new building is completed.
We are pleased with the progress of the "replacement plan" and that more learners will now have the opportunity to learn in a more suitable and safe environment where quality teaching and learning can take place.
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