Grange Primary raises a stink after theft of copper water pipes

2014-01-29 00:00

A COMBINATION of blistering heat, hundreds of children and waterless toilets had turned the Grange Primary School in Southgate into a smelly hellhole by yesterday.

The school was left without water after thieves stole copper pipes and taps valued at approximately R40 000 last Thursday night.

Police Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that the police were investigating a case of theft and said that no arrests had been made.

A source who asked not to be named said yesterday the school’s toilets had been blocked since Friday and the stench was unbearable, plus there was no water for children to drink.

Despite this, no water had been delivered and the school, which serves approximately 900 children, had not been closed, the source added.

The source said the lack of water posed a severe health risk and diseases like hepatitis could be passed on.

“There are small children with poo on their hands which they can’t wash. They’re crying because they’re thirsty.

“The school should be closed down until water is provided,” the source said.

Speaking for the Department of Education, Bhekisisa Mncube said the department had not been informed of the lack of water at the school.

He said it was up to the principal to inform them of any possible dangers to pupils, and that the department tried to avoid closing schools if possible.

“If we’d heard about it we would have attended to it. This is a city school, it’s not out in a rural area. We can solve that problem in 48 hours,” Mncube said.

Despite repeated attempts to speak to the school’s principal, he was not available for comment.

Last year, The Witness reported that three Pietermaritzburg schools were targetted by copper thieves.

Longmarket Girls’ School, Greenhill Primary and Alston Primary School all suffered damage after copper water pipes had been stolen.

Anyone with information about the stolen pipes and taps have been requested to phone 10111 or Alexandra Road police station on 033 845 7700.

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stop on the toll-free number 08600 10111.

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