W Cape schools get makeover

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pretoria -Twenty schools in the Western Cape that were built with inappropriate materials are set to be replaced with brick and mortar structures within the next three years.

Provincial Education MEC Donald Grant, who on Thursday inspected construction that will replace the old Oaklands High School building, said he was pleased with the progress made.
He noted 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.

The replacement of a 57-year-old wooden, chipboard structure at Oaklands High in Landsdowne started in February 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. An amount of R29.5 million was allocated towards the project.

The new structure, with the necessary specifications of materials used today, will be able to accommodate 1 200 learners.

It 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 done.

In 2010, the provincial department 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 as well as the replacement of unsafe and unsuitable school structures.

"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," Donald said.

He added that an additional R3.5 million has been added on top of the new building costs to each project to accommodate other costs, including demolition fees to tear down existing structures and mobiles to accommodate learners during the building process.

Other schools, which are currently under construction include Masibambane High School, Thembalethu, MM Mateza, Plantation, Enshona, Fairview and Cloetesville Primary Schools.

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