Schools: E Cape ‘cannot do more’

2012-04-13 13:16

The Eastern Cape government is reducing its education infrastructure backlog, but does not have the money or capacity to do more, the ANC provincial branch said.

“The reasons range from lack of capacity (human resources) to insufficient funding,” ANC regional secretary Lubabalo Mabuyane said today in a report on schools infrastructure development.

According to its statistics and based on the 2011 survey, there were 5 620 ordinary public, 43 special and 169 independent schools in the province.

There were 1.9 million pupils in the province, down from 2.08 million in May 2010.

According to the report, the international norm for maintenance and repair was to spend around 2.5% of the value of the infrastructure “stocks”.

The current level of spending for this amounted to around 0.5% – about R1 billion – and when the money was used up, maintenance stopped.

The department had been reducing the number of schools which still needed basics such as toilets, electricity and solid walls.

In the report, Mabuyane said that as of April 2011, there were still 565 “inappropriate structures” in the Eastern Cape.

These included 395 mud schools, 13 wood schools, 22 metal schools and 135 prefabricated schools. However, this was an improvement from 1 825 on April 1 2004.

He said that in the 2011/2012 financial year, 97 classrooms were completed, 11 early childhood development centres, one resource centre, five administration blocks, two computer rooms and 185 toilets.

Under construction in 2012/13 were 377 classrooms, 66 early childhood development centres, three resource centres, 29 administration blocks, three computer rooms, six laboratories and 1 102 toilets.

Two special schools were also being built in the OR Tambo region, and construction on two others would start during the year.
Workshops were also under construction at four technical schools.

From 1994, 1 386 new schools had been built, and 7 377 classrooms built or renovated.

However, statistically, by 2011, 19% of schools did not have water, 20% had no electricity, and half did not have a computer.

The department had plans in place to change this.

It had seconded three department of public works managers to the education department to help improve management performance, and had created new infrastructure management posts.

It had also and advertised funded vacant posts for, among others, a town planner, two architects, a quantity surveyor and an electrical engineer.

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