Top notch school opens in rural KZN

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A state-of-the-art school has opened its doors in rural uMlalazi in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Welabasha Technical High School is one of the schools that were identified by the provincial government for upgrades and renovations. Boarding facilities are being added to the schools.

The project was made possible by the Independent Development Trust (IDT) on behalf the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education. 

The IDT was contracted by the department to build 17 new classrooms; two multi-purpose centres; two computer laboratories; an administration block; three workshops for electrical, civil and mechanical engineering; a hospitality block and a kitchen; a change room for learners who participate in sporting activities; ablution facilities for educators and learners; a media centre; a parking area for educators and visitors, and a high capacity water tank and sewerage treatment plant.

The newly built Welabasha school facilities are now occupied by about 1 400 learners who come from Empangeni, Richards Bay, Esikhawini and Mtubatuba, and 43 educators, as well as other support staff including security guards, cleaners and clerks.   

Over and above building new structures, the IDT was tasked with renovating 15 old classrooms, a science laboratory and ablution facilities. 

The project cost for all the new structures and the renovations amount to about R105 million. During the construction of the school, the IDT created at least 128 job opportunities for locals, including 22 females, 106 males and 79 youths. 

Community involvement and work opportunities

The IDT undertook extensive community mobilisation and negotiations with the local chief, who donated the land for the new school. Local communities played their part by vacating their ploughing fields for the school to be built.

The IDT is an entity of the National Department of Public Works that is mandated to support all spheres of government with social infrastructure management and programme implementation.

In the past five years, the IDT supported 40 government departments. It built 97 new schools and 36 new health facilities, renovating hundreds more.   

It created more than 360 000 work opportunities in various communities through its implementation of social infrastructure programmes and the Expanded Public Works Programme. –

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